A short book with a powerful punch. This is 96 pages of MASTERY!
Why, oh why, did it take me this long to pick-up this book? I loved Binti!
Nnedi Okorafor is an author I heard mention of in the sci-fi circles. I even listened to her 2017 interview on the 88 Cups of Tea podcast series. Still, I did not read any of her work, until now when looking to fulfill the “Afrofuturist book” prompt on the 2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge.
Okorafor is known for combining African culture with sci-fi and fantasy, which is most definitely found in Binti—the first novella introduces us to the sixteen-year-old that shares the name of the novella and Okorafor’s Binti series. I am in awe of Okorafor’s skill in building memorable, complex characters and revealing them to us through a delicate dance of situational change. She paints a picture so honest and beautiful, and yet so human, that the characters come to life.
“As I moved past seated passengers far too aware of the bushy ends of my plaited hair softly slapping people in the face, I cast eyes to the floor.”
This is the kind of story that expands readers’ minds, but also roots readers in the fine threads of reality. Here is a quick overview of the story.
Binti leaves the only place she’s ever known, her home and her family, to attend the prestigious Oomza University. En route, she comes face-to-faces with prejudice, perils, and the warring alien race of the Meduse. To survive, Binti must use her knowledge and gifts, or everything is lost.
The story engages with imaginative world-building that rivals novels triple the length, which no doubt is why the novella boasts wins for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award.
Now I know and love Okorafor’s work, I look forward to more journeys with so many of her other stories.
Shop this title in my curated collection: Caterpillar & Gypsy Moth Press