Things I'd like to see more in secondary worlds:
- Hunter-gatherer societies that acknowledge their sophistication and complexity and don't relegate them to noble savages
- Matrilineal societies that are not some caricature of "matriarchy"
- Nuanced ideas of gender and sex, dammit
- Religion and spirituality that are actually real and important guiding principles in characters' and communities' lives and not just exotic color or a source of supernatural power
- "Soft" skills like negotiation, relationship management, homemaking, spirituality, gardening, caregiving etc. being given actual importance. So sick of women characters' worth being decided solely by how good they are at violence, and physically disabled people being left out altogether unless they have Disability Superpowers.
The lack of this kind of variety is why I've largely checked out of fantasy and started taking more interest in history tbh. It's not that great stories haven't been told under more conventional action-adventure frameworks, it's that they all feel the *same* after a while and I'd rather go to a much richer, diverse source: real life.
On that note, do yourselves a favor and read Nnedi Okorafor's Binti.
Oh, and also:
- Write fat characters who are heroic, desirable and sexy, you cowards
@ljwrites A lot of those show up in Seth Dickinson's Baru Cormorant books that I'm reading. The main character is a lesbian financial genius who is rebelling against acts of cultural genocide. But they also need *all* the CWs for horrible stuff (not violent sexual assault, as far as I recall, to their credit). Most of the viewpoint characters are women, only some of whom are violent, and one viewpoint character is third-gender from a culture that doesn't link gender to genitals.
Generalist Hometown instance with a strong focus on community standards. No TERF, no SWERF, no Nazi, no Centrist.