When you’re down to two mega bookstore chains in the U.S., the prospect of one of them going into bankruptcy — even if it is rather a flawed company sometimes — is not a happy thought. But today, Borders Books — which had flirted with selling itself as a rescue effort and then taken itself off the market block — announced that they’d paid off their really big investment loan, got a humongous line of credit from Bank of America, and are starting to see some recovery if not yet actual profits.
So congratulations, Borders, on managing to escape the executioner’s axe. Now, please move Alaya Dawn Johnson’s debut fantasy novel, Racing the Dark, out of the African American section of your bookstores and put it in the SFF section, like the other booksellers, or at least put it in the YA section. And anyone who would like to support Ms. Johnson, please feel free to contact Borders to put in your request for this inventory change as well.
This is not at all to disparage the African American section of bookstores — a most excellent section that everyone should check out — or the authors who may be in that section. In fact, if Borders wanted to keep some copies of Ms. Johnson’s novel in the African American section while moving other copies of Racing the Dark to the SFF section, I think that’s an excellent idea. But I’m tired of SFF being a racial pit. I’m tired of the bizarre notion that black people only read black authors and white people only read white authors that seems to be creeping about beneath American corporate bookselling. So if you’re going to stick around, Borders — and yay, good luck to you — please get your act together.
You can learn more about Johnson’s novel below. The next book in the Spirit Binders series, The Burning City, will be out in June. Ms. Johnson also has a historical vampire fantasy novel set in the roaring ’20’s, Moonshine, coming out in May.