How Long 'til Black Future Month?

How Long 'til Black Future Month?

Book - 2018
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N. K. Jemisin is one of the most powerful and acclaimed speculative fiction authors of our time. In the first collection of her evocative short fiction, Jemisin equally challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption. In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story "The city born great," a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis's soul.
Publisher: New York, NY : Orbit, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316491341
0316491349
9780316491372
0316491373
9780356512549
0356512541
Branch Call Number: SCI-FIC JEMISIN 2018
Characteristics: xii, 400 pages ; 22 cm

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liljables Oct 15, 2019

N.K. Jemisin's How Long 'til Black Future Month? is an incredible collection of science fiction and fantasy stories with an almost unbelievable variety of tones, voices, themes, settings, and characters. Seriously: how did one human produce all of these narratives?! I've never read any of Jemisin's novels, but her Broken Earth series won her three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel, so...I've gotta rectify that ASAP.

As per usual with a short story collection, I can't offer much of a synopsis, but I can tell you about some of my favourite stories; this isn't an easy task, mind you, because I loved pretty much every one! The book opens with "The Ones Who Stay and Fight," a near-future utopia delivered by a beguiling first-person narrator; there are two equally delightful fantasy tales about food (new favourite genre?), "L'Alchemista" and "Cuisine des Memoires". "Valedictorian" would be a best-selling YA dystopia right this minute if it was released as a novel, and "Red Dirt Witch," set in Alabama, is one of the best fairy tales I've ever read. To randomly round out this selection, "The Evaluators" is a chilling epistolic sci-fi horror story that had my heart racing.

What else can I say about this book? As the title suggests, Jemisin (along with many other authors of colour and LGBTQ+ authors) is working hard to diversify the science fiction and fantasy genres, which have long been dominated by straight, white, male authors. Jemisin's heartfelt introduction to this book describes how, even as recently as the early 2000s, "science fiction claimed to be the fiction of the future, but it still mostly celebrated the faces and voices and stories of the past." I'm really excited for the young sci-fi fans who are growing up reading authors like Jemisin, who will never have a doubt that the future is for every colour, every gender, and every background.

p
peachmcd
Jul 24, 2019

This collection introduced me to N.K. Jemison, and I couldn't have been more delighted by her radical mind and her talent. I am now reading everything else she wrote as quickly as the holds come in.

SCL_Justin Jun 11, 2019

This collection of scifi short stories was good, but I think I agree with Jemisin in her introduction when she says she's a novelist and these are more about working out some small ideas. A lot of them feel like the introduction or prologue to a novel rather than something in and of itself. Good stuff but a little slight.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin May 13, 2019

An excellent short story collection! For whatever reason, I have a hard time listening to Jemisin's work on audio...but once I switched over to old school "reading" I loved it!

IndyPL_JosephL Feb 14, 2019

While not all the stories of this anthology are created equal, they are all fantastic for what they are intended to accomplish. As Jemisin expresses in the book's forward, there is a lack of diversity in the science fiction world, both in terms of characters and authors, and this book is meant to help remedy this problem by drawing attention to that fact. Full of different styles of stories featuring everything from steampunk to fantasy and the reaches of outer space, Jemisin's stories offer a lot to enjoy and digest for a wide range of sci-fi/fantasy readers.

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