I’m Biased (based on experience) and therefore may Prefer Autistic Writers

Admittedly, I’ve noticed as I age, I have less appetite for fiction with magic/fantasy and am more interested in exploring the reality of all manners of shenanigans folx can get themselves into in the regular world. That kind of mischief is typically far freakier and odder than anything we fiction writers are going to come up with.

Bookshelf with books organized by color by ChrisEdwardsCE is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

In an attempt to keep my reading from becoming too narrow, I join book clubs and get exposure to books I would otherwise not pick up. Of course, I’m always behind, with a to be read pile that’s spread out over shelves. My current read from one of my clubs is The Book Eaters.

Image of USA hardback book cover for The Book Eaters

Part way in, I started to have some logical problems with the world being built by author Sunyi Dean. I stopped to read her bio, which I hadn’t bothered with since it was after all, a book club pick. When I saw she identified as autistic my view of her world changed.

Something to understand about autistic writers is that we have obsessive level constraints about the worlds we make, e.g. there are rules, and they are thought through and followed, they just might not be the rules that another writer would have gone with. Knowing this, my internal critic was able to relax and trust, if I stuck with this work there would become evident reasons for all the choices being made.

Image of author Sunyi Dean

To be fair and reasonable, and in keeping with my training in philosophy, I ought to give this same benefit-of-the-doubt to all writers/books. Truth be told, though, I’ve been burned too many times.

I know I’m not the only reader who gets frustrated when an author has events happen that don’t fit into the world they’ve built, or has a character act dramatically out of character, or my biggest pet peeve, has something turn out to have ‘actually happened’ that they established earlier could not have happened. I don’t even mean deception to build a mystery sort of thing, I mean someone f’d up the continuity/editing and an event happened that couldn’t have.

Image of a Cosmic Explosion

I feel like making the unsupported claim that autistic writers are more likely to produce characters and worlds that stick to the internal rules of that character and world. My wish to make this claim may simply be based on my bias. But when it comes to this specific example, The Book Eaters and Sunyi Dean, I have been proven correct; the world contained within the pages remained true to itself and thus to the reader.

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