the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘Afrofuturism

binti nnediBinti, by Nnedi Okorafor

published Sept 2015

where I got it: purchased new

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In a way, Binti is a completely traditional scifi/hero’s journey story – young woman gets an opportunity to leave home, does so, finds herself in a situation far beyond her control, and ends up single handedly stopping an interstellar war. A perfect dove-tailing of tribal and futuristic, of sentient space ships and ancient cultural traditions, Binti was a beautiful story to read.  For some of you, this will just be a story that you read and forget about two days later. For others of you, it will be a door that opens and never closes. File me under “others of you”.

 

Binti is from Earth, from a traditional family in a traditional village. Her people are curious, but they don’t travel. Her family is famously innovative,  but inward looking.  Her acceptance to a prestigious university is as thrilling to her as it is horrifying to her family.  She leaves in the middle of the night.  Just by leaving she has shamed her family, so she might as well go all the way and get on the damn shuttle.

 

She wasn’t surprised to learn she was the only Himba on the shuttle, nor is she surprised to be the only Himba student at the university. However it was a shocked, shameful silence that blanketed her when strangers poked and prodded her protective hairstyle – can I touch it, does it smell, why do you put mud in your hair, that’s so weird, don’t let the mud touch anything on the ship. What they are telling her is that she is different from them, and that she should be ashamed of her difference. That to be accepted, she needs to assimilate, and look and act like them.  That when she reaches civilization, she’ll understand. Yes, all that in a facial expression and a few words spoken at her, not to her. People are just this crass in real life, too.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.