I’m a bit late reporting this, but Feminist SF – The Blog! is running a poll in two phases to determine the Top 10 Obscure Sci-Fi Books. As Draconismoi pointed out to me, the titles all seem to share something in common besides obscurity: they don’t feature a white heterosexual male as the lead.
The film industry is not alone in its belief that we won’t buy something that isn’t about Whitey. Hollywood people often (and I’m not supposed to share this) argue that most people who watch TV or see movies are intellectual vacuums, and this is why they’re just too lugubrious and easily-threatened to watch something that isn’t safely ensconced in stereotypes. But sci-fi readers? Surely that’s an audience that would clock in with a reasonable average IQ, if only because it can read.
Of course, there is some truth to the belief that people are only interested in stories about Whitey. But mostly because for centuries, they’ve only had stories about Whitey. Everyone else is a special genre.