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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 city 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 mothe 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 city 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 figure out how to 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.


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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 city 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 mothe 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 city 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 figure out how to 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.

30 review for How Long 'til Black Future Month?

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I don’t think I could be more excited for this.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leah Rachel

    How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? is simply superb. There wasn’t a story in the twenty-two that didn’t impress. Jemisin is a science fiction and fantasy powerhouse, and that is clear by the sheer variety of tales told—there are a dozen novel-worthy worlds crafted in this volume. Jemisin opens with “The Ones Who Stay and Fight,” a direct story response to Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” It ends with a parallel—a story about a man defending his city, post-Katrina New Orle How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? is simply superb. There wasn’t a story in the twenty-two that didn’t impress. Jemisin is a science fiction and fantasy powerhouse, and that is clear by the sheer variety of tales told—there are a dozen novel-worthy worlds crafted in this volume. Jemisin opens with “The Ones Who Stay and Fight,” a direct story response to Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” It ends with a parallel—a story about a man defending his city, post-Katrina New Orleans, from hateful spirits alongside dragons. There’s a rebellion about many of these tales, an insistence, a resistance towards being told to leave, to abandon, or to be any less than you know you can be. One of my favorite tales in the collection was “Valedictorian,” a story about a black girl who refuses to underachieve even though being the best in her class will have dire consequences. Other stars include two stories about food: "L’Alchimista,” about a chef fallen from grace who finally finds a challenge worth her skills when a magician brings her strange materials with unexpected power; and “Cuisine des Mémoires,” where a restaurant serves people meals from history—or from their own pasts. In “On the Banks of the River Lex,” Death and other deities try to get by after mankind is gone; in “The You Train,” a woman keeps glimpsing ghosts of NYC subway lines that don’t exist; in “Non-Zero Probabilities,” one-in-a-million chances suddenly become day-to-day probabilities in the city. Those are just some of my favorites, but any of the 22 stories about destruction, rebirth, and redemption could have been featured here. How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? is a stunning short story collection from one of the best SFF writers of all times, let alone ours. It comes out November 27, 2018 from Orbit Books, but I recommend preordering it now.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    I’ve recently been making my way through this authors ” Broken Earth ” trilogy – one book to go- and the way she writes is so creative, beautifully done, so as a fan of short stories generally I was looking forward to this. There is an art to the short story form, not every author no matter how talented can pull them off, but N K Jemisin certainly can. In this collection we have varying lengths but each one is a small gem unto itself, exploring many themes, a lot of them melancholy and thought pr I’ve recently been making my way through this authors ” Broken Earth ” trilogy – one book to go- and the way she writes is so creative, beautifully done, so as a fan of short stories generally I was looking forward to this. There is an art to the short story form, not every author no matter how talented can pull them off, but N K Jemisin certainly can. In this collection we have varying lengths but each one is a small gem unto itself, exploring many themes, a lot of them melancholy and thought provoking. Each one is involving and beautiful, sometimes really emotional and at times scary. I was particularly taken with “The City Born Great” with it’s descriptive, sprawling metropolis and “The Elevator Dancer” which packs a whole load of punch and relevance into a very small narrative. There isn’t a single failure here, I mean I could mention so many and give you reasons why it’s better than the last (The You Train for example left me feeling vaguely sad for days and says so much without saying anything much at all) or I could describe them all in minute detail but to my mind you should just dive in and appreciate each on your own terms. There is a gorgeous little gift of a tale in here for fans of the aforementioned Broken Earth trilogy too. Excellent. Loved this. Let’s hope N K Jemisin offers us more of these in the future. Like Stephen King she has the art of it down- whether the setting is our world or another, these are little snapshots of the soul. Highly Recommended

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rana

    Is there even any doubt that this would be fucking fantastic?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    'In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes.' UM NEEEEEED. THIS AND THE REST OF THE SHORT STORIES

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    I was utterly delighted to get my hands on a copy of How Long ’til Black Future Month. Short story collections are generally a struggle for me, but I’ll read anything Jemisin writes. The variety of these 22 stories is stunning. Some are set in our own world with magical elements, while others unfold in more fantastical settings. I was thrilled that one of the stories is set in the universe of her Broken Earth Trilogy. I did prefer the stories set in imagined worlds, but it’s possible that’s only I was utterly delighted to get my hands on a copy of How Long ’til Black Future Month. Short story collections are generally a struggle for me, but I’ll read anything Jemisin writes. The variety of these 22 stories is stunning. Some are set in our own world with magical elements, while others unfold in more fantastical settings. I was thrilled that one of the stories is set in the universe of her Broken Earth Trilogy. I did prefer the stories set in imagined worlds, but it’s possible that’s only because it’s what I’m used to from Jemisin. This is a rich collection that I’ll be revisiting in the future.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    MOST ANTICIPATED!!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meg Elison

    Spectacular collection. Loved the lesbian dirigible spy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ithil

    Like every Jemisin’s work so far it is absolutely brilliant and stunning. Truth to be told, I’m a bit of a fangirl but even though I try to be as impartial as possible. This is probably one of the best short story collection I’ve ever read, and this is coming from someone who is not a massive fan of short stories. That being said, there wasn’t a single story that I disliked. Nor even in the slightest. My favourite was ‘Cloud Dragon Skies’ but I also loved the ones based in the Broken Earth and D Like every Jemisin’s work so far it is absolutely brilliant and stunning. Truth to be told, I’m a bit of a fangirl but even though I try to be as impartial as possible. This is probably one of the best short story collection I’ve ever read, and this is coming from someone who is not a massive fan of short stories. That being said, there wasn’t a single story that I disliked. Nor even in the slightest. My favourite was ‘Cloud Dragon Skies’ but I also loved the ones based in the Broken Earth and Dreamblood worlds. New and old readers to her work will enjoy this collection as it can be an introduction to her work or a wrap up to what you’ve read previously. And Goddess, her imagination and creativity is a blessing to this world. Following, a very brief compilation of my afterthought while reading the book. ‘Non-Zero Probabilities': Amazing reflection about luck and how we build it and work around it. 'Sinners, Saints, Dragons and Haints, in the City Beneath the Still Waters': Is in stories like this when you can see reality mixing with fantasy spiced with what you'd like to believe. A superb ending. 'Henosis': Honestly, where does she gets these ideas. Brilliant! 'Too Many Yesterdays, Not Enough Tomorrows': Beautiful, clever and creepy at the same time. Cleverly designed. 'The You Train': This one felt like reading someone's messages or diary. So personal and private." 'On the Banks of the River Lex': Brilliant. "The thinker did not matter, so long as thought remained. 'The Narcomancer': And this one is from Dreamblood. The longing and the feelings, damn CET you made me cry. 'Cuisine des Mémoires': Literally. That was so cleverly done. 'Stone Hunger': YAS. Hello again Shattered Earth." 'The Evaluators': It took me a while to get this one because of the narrative but when I did... OMG. 'Walking Awake': This one was actually quite scary. Revolution and freedom are very important topics. 'The Elevator Dancer': Shorter than usual. Honestly I'm still amazed how she manages to get a short story, and a good one, out of an apparently mundane thing. 'The Storyteller's Replacement': Again I'm amazed for the unusual POV. 'The Brides of Heaven': Love how she introduces Motherhood and dilemmas related to it." 'Cloud Dragon Skies': Probably my favourite so far. What a powerful beginning. 'The Trojan Girl': This concept is so vast and rich and yet it works son finely as a short story. Makes you wonder about the importance of dreams. 'Valedictorian': Again, amazing concept. I'm loving all Jemisin's ideas regarding AI and humankind, they're nearly literally blowing my mind. 'The Effluent Engine': An amazing steampunk world with a couple of the most charismatic kick ass queer black women I've read in my life. Definitely enjoyed this one ❤️. 'L'Alchimista': "Who is to say plutonium is more powerful than, say, rice? One takes away a million lives, the other saves a hundred times as many." 'Red Dirt Witch': I enjoyed the mix of history and supernatural in this one. With a big sprinkle of fight for freedom. 'The City Born Great': Loved this whole concept. The pace and plot were absolutely on point. ‘The Ones Who Stayed and Fight': I LOVED this idea and the way it's written. The certainty that, if we'd knew of a utopia, we'd be jealous and we would not understand how it works it's painful to read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) I am the biggest Jemisin fan. Seriously. Sell me some of her grocery lists. Ever since finishing The Broken Earth trilogy, I've been obsessed ever since. And this collection is no different. While it's different than anything I've ever seen, it truly showcases Jemisin's true gift of writing. Jemisin is such a talented writer in terms of characters and setting. Even though thes (Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) I am the biggest Jemisin fan. Seriously. Sell me some of her grocery lists. Ever since finishing The Broken Earth trilogy, I've been obsessed ever since. And this collection is no different. While it's different than anything I've ever seen, it truly showcases Jemisin's true gift of writing. Jemisin is such a talented writer in terms of characters and setting. Even though these stories are shorter, there is no lack of attention to detail and world building. Each one establishes us in a world, with characters who grab us, and stories with glorious mystery.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Piña

    Amo y admiro a autoras como Jemisin que frecuentemente se encuentran contra corriente y sin embargo son contundentes en su deseo de plasmar su cultura, sin necesidad de adaptarse a estándares ajenos. Lo mejor es que su talento y excelente manejo de las palabras son innegables, además de que noto que está explorando más a fondo las posibilidades del cuento corto, con excelentes resultados (incluso en los casos que detestaría por estar en primera persona, pero funcionan).

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Harris

    I'm grateful to Nazia at Orbit for an advance copy of this book. In her introduction to How Long 'til Black Future Month? (the title coming from an essay not included here, but drawing attention to the lack of representation of people of colour in SF, the self-styled "literature of the future") Jemisin explains that she never saw herself as a short story author, but was persuaded to learn. Well, I'm glad she did, because this passionate and accomplished collection really showcases her fiction and I'm grateful to Nazia at Orbit for an advance copy of this book. In her introduction to How Long 'til Black Future Month? (the title coming from an essay not included here, but drawing attention to the lack of representation of people of colour in SF, the self-styled "literature of the future") Jemisin explains that she never saw herself as a short story author, but was persuaded to learn. Well, I'm glad she did, because this passionate and accomplished collection really showcases her fiction and makes for a diverse (in every sense), readable and deeply thought provoking book. It also - as an extensive collection, published over nearly 20 years - serves a timely reminder that Jamison didn't just burst on the scene with the recognition of her Broken Earth trilogy. For me, I found stories here that almost ignited something I'd forgotten. In my early I came across SF stories in the school library that had a thing about them... a kind of eeriness, a sense of strangeness and disconnectedness which made me, as a reader, start almost form nothing in trying to understand and relate to them. I can't remember the titles or authors of most of them and I'd almost forgotten that sensation, until reading stories like The Evaluator, told through scraps of social media and documenting humanity's first contact with a deeply alien world, or Cloud Dragon Skies - a gorgeous little story, looking at a future Earth respected, not violated by its inhabitants. (Trouble comes, of course, from outsiders - the descendants of those who departed for an artificial habitat in the skies, and who won't let alone). Or there's Stone Hunger, which gradually reveals a young woman's talent to manipulate the Earth itself, Jemisin's writing almost fizzing as she makes the central concept so, so real. There are 22 stories in this collection overall, and the range is breathtaking. The first story, The Ones Who Stay and Fight, is an explicit response to Ursula K Le Guin's Those Who Walk Away from Omegas. A persuasive and plausible narrator attempts to convince a sceptical reader (listener?) that the city of Um-Helat really is a good place. Despite their slightly eager-to-please tone (the reason for which eventually becomes clear) they make out a good case ("This is not Omegas, a tick of a city, fat and happy with its head buried in a tortured child") up to the moment where a rather dark secret is revealed. It seems there are those who must fight for Um-Helat, to keep it a good place. Do we think that makes it less than good? In The City Born Great a nameless, homeless boy sings the glories of New York City, becoming its protector, midwife, avatar. Jemisin's language here is positively incandescent as - while recognising the dark sores and suffering of the place - she glories in possibilities, in birth and rebirth, wielding fantasy language like a hammer to beat meaning out of a glowing lump of words. It's an exhilarating read. Red Dirt Witch is, apparently, a more traditional fairy tale, recasting European myths of fairies and Fair Folk into the bloody reality of the US South in the 50s and making them the White Folk, still exercising power over the red, brown and black people but about to be outwitted by - well, I won't say who. L'alchemista is a delightful story, blurring the boundaries of cookery and magic. Franca is a cool and self possessed protagonist who weighs up the strange situation that she finds herself in. Not fazed at all, she knows just what to do. The story is notable for its sensual descriptions of food and cooking, creating quite a different imaginary experience from the normal run of science fiction (or indeed fiction, at all). The Effluent Engine takes us to an alt reality New Orleans, still afflicted by slavery but doing commerce with a free Haiti whose self-liberated inhabitants are determined to stay that way and have developed some radical technologies to that end. It reminded me a bit of Graham Greene's The Confidential Agent - the sense of sense of a hostile city (or worse, a city indifferent to the life or death struggle being waged), the invisible yet omnipresent enemy. It's different though in that the loneness of the narrator isn't... quite that. And also it's a bit steampunk-y. That can be a difficult genre, tending as it sometimes does to see an Imperial past through a haze of nostalgia, but Jemisin isn't falling for that one. Entertaining and fun, it could well have run to novel length (as could many of the stories here - the Introduction makes the point that some of them were trying out worlds she might have expended to novels). The Trojan Girl is hard to describe, a story of becoming, of transcending. It's a very beautiful story about the power of dreams (real dreams, not waking aspirations) and I think Jamisin hits on a real insight here about their importance. But to understand that, you have to read it! Valedictorian introduces Zinhle, a talented young woman going through all the normal traumas of High School with the added horrors of a kind of Hunger Games setup. Here, grades may make the difference between life and death. But why do the adults, the teachers, collude in such a system - and how should one respond? A deeply moral and philosophical story this is also I thing a metaphor for a society that more and more eats its young - particular it's young who happen to be of colour - and asks why we tolerate that. What would an outsider, from a different sort of society, make of it? The Storyteller's Replacement is one of those stories that just gets weirder and weirder as you think about it. The meat is a tale of kings, princesses and dragons - a traditional fairytale on the surface but with some very nasty twists which highlight the assumptions and prejudices that often lurk unacknowledged. But then it has a framing device - which is where the title comes from - that just made me think there was something else going on here, something even more sinister than the story proper. Just delightful. With this story Jamison simply shows how it should be done. One of my favourites here. The Brides of Heaven is an SF story about a group of women who have colonised a far world, after an unimaginably long journey in suspended animation. But the future of their colony is threatened and one of their number may just have made things much, much worse. Or has she? Walking Awake is a masterpiece in miniature, a story of enslavement and masters and the fight for liberty. The Elevator Dancer is short and really strange. It only gradually becomes clear why a woman's dancing, alone, in a lift is a dangerous act of rebellion. Cuisine des Mémoires is another story that makes food magical - or a channel of magic. It's notable for a deeply annoying protagonist who insists on taking peel behind the scenes. You do not let daylight in upon magic! On the Banks of the River Lex is set in a post Apocalyptic New York (realised in loving detail). Although humanity has gone, our hopes and fears still, somehow, persist, and new life flourishes. It is a truly optimistic story, looking to what might be saved and carried forward to the future. The Narcomancer takes us into deep fantasy territory. Set in a place which reminded me of ancient Egypt, it follows a priest/ magician sent to deal with a village under assault by bandits and to bring peace. Focussing on love and duty, it's the kind of story that in other hands might be padded out to novel length but here is just a perfect short story: my favourite in the book. Henosis - an account of an author travelling to a literary awards ceremony - is clever and chilling, perhaps a metaphor for the writer being consumed by over eager fans. You can read the chapters in time order if you want but I'd stick with the way Jamison presents them (but you might wonder why they're chopped up like this...) If Henosis comments on the way that authors are used up, Too Many Yesterdays, Not Enough Tomorrows might be taken as an examination of the reality - or otherwise - of online life. Isolated after a future quantum event, a number of individuals are trapped in their own recurring timelines, able to communicate with each only through blogs, emails and Internet chat as they each live their day over and over. In The You Train, a woman finds escape from her frustrating life among the shadowy, abandoned trains of the New York Subway. Non-Zero Probabilities, also set in New York, looks at what happens when randomness itself goes wrong. And the final story in the collection, Sinners, Saints, Dragons and Haints, in the City Beneath the Still Waters, tells the true story - perhaps - of the destruction of New Orleans by hurricane, juxtaposing the awesome power of Nature with the evils of humanity. Took finds some strange allies when a mysterious creature stalks him through the floodwaters. It's a story with a fittingly hopeful end. I don't think it's possible to sum up this collection and it would be trite to try. It's full of treasures: dip in and I'm sure you'll find something to enchant, spark wonder or make you think (or indeed, all three).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Candice

    N.K. Jemisin does not disappoint in her first short story collection. The collection features 22 stories (yes, TWENTY TWO!), and all have themes of rebellion, resistance, and resilience. Whether writing about chefs, or witches, or cities, or dragons, or computer code, or aliens, Jemisin's writing is simply stunning. She explores themes of fighting versus walking away in pretty much every story, along with resilience. It's difficult to choose favorites here, so I'll mention a couple of the stories N.K. Jemisin does not disappoint in her first short story collection. The collection features 22 stories (yes, TWENTY TWO!), and all have themes of rebellion, resistance, and resilience. Whether writing about chefs, or witches, or cities, or dragons, or computer code, or aliens, Jemisin's writing is simply stunning. She explores themes of fighting versus walking away in pretty much every story, along with resilience. It's difficult to choose favorites here, so I'll mention a couple of the stories I found had the most interesting premises (although really, they're all just wonderful): There are two stories involving food: "L'Alchemista," in which a woman who has fallen from grace as a famous chef must use mysterious and magical ingredients to create something new; and "Cuisine des Memoires," which features a restaurant that serves exact meals from any point in the past - including your own. Then there are the stories where Jemisin tested the waters for worlds that would become series. In "Stone Hunger," we visit the world of the Stillness from the Broken Earth trilogy (and a character we know makes a cameo); and in "The Narcomancer," we visit Gujaareh from the Dreamblood duology. Then there's "The Trojan Girl" and "Valedictorian," which both feature anthropomorphic computer code; "On the Banks of the River Lex," which shows us what happens when mankind is gone and the gods must fend for themselves; "The Effluent Engine" and "Sinners, Saints, Dragons and Haints, in the City Beneath the Still Waters," which feature New Orleans; and one of my favorites, "Too Many Yesterdays, Not Enough Tomorrows," which explores human connection when humans can never meet. I could truly name every story in this collection as a favorite, as something that stuck with me after I read it. N.K. Jemisin is not just one of the best writers of modern times; she is truly one of the best of ALL time. This collection comes out Nov. 27, and I highly suggest pre-ordering or putting in on hold at the library now, because once people get a hold of it, they will not be able to let go.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brad Bell

    I waited patiently for this book, Jemisin’s first collection of short fiction and I was not disappointed. Collecting stories spanning her whole career, I was surprised by the richness and imagination of these stories. Whether it’s a alien story told in military memos or a restaurant that’s used a time rip to make special dishes, all these stories were great. The most interesting aspect of these collection is a obvious precursor stories to worlds she would layer flesh out more fully. Both the Drea I waited patiently for this book, Jemisin’s first collection of short fiction and I was not disappointed. Collecting stories spanning her whole career, I was surprised by the richness and imagination of these stories. Whether it’s a alien story told in military memos or a restaurant that’s used a time rip to make special dishes, all these stories were great. The most interesting aspect of these collection is a obvious precursor stories to worlds she would layer flesh out more fully. Both the Dreamblood world and Broken Earth world feature in a story. Some of my favourite stories though are the ones with a premise that grabs you from the start. Like the previous mention of a time travelling restaurant, humans who are controlled by fungus that’s evolved, a city fighting for survival from a evil entity or a lizard helping a man through Hurricane Katrina, all these stories are just endlessly entertaining that I wanted whole novels about them. I really hope Jemisin releases another collection because like her novels, every story no matter how fantastical has this human component that elevates a cool premise to a examination of where we are and where we are going as a society, a culture and as people. She’s always been adept at weaving a premise that at first seems hard to build a story around but she somehow manages to give it emotional depth. I will read and love anything this woman writes, please don’t make me wait so long for the next book? Please!

  15. 4 out of 5

    John Rennie

    I'm not a huge fan of short stories so I'm not the best person to review this book. I only read it because I loved the Broken Earth trilogy so much that I'll read anything new that Jemisin publishes. But I did enjoy the stories and it was interesting to see how they compare to the novels. One of the stories, "Stone Hunger", was obviously written as a testbench for ideas that were later used in the Broken Earth books, while others seem unconnected to the novels. There are lots of interesting ideas I'm not a huge fan of short stories so I'm not the best person to review this book. I only read it because I loved the Broken Earth trilogy so much that I'll read anything new that Jemisin publishes. But I did enjoy the stories and it was interesting to see how they compare to the novels. One of the stories, "Stone Hunger", was obviously written as a testbench for ideas that were later used in the Broken Earth books, while others seem unconnected to the novels. There are lots of interesting ideas in the stories, though I felt the more technical stories weren't as successful because it was hard to get involved with them. The stories where Jemisin is focusing on the people were the ones I liked best, and my favourite is the last one "Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Beneath the Still Waters" about the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The main characters in this story are just wonderful and the story inspires a feeling of hope that is a great way to end the book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    VexenReplica

    Excellent collection of Jemisin's short stories. If you've liked her longer works, this is definitely worth checking out. A note for readers, though, is that many of the short stories are available online, so if you prefer reading or listening to them electronically to a print copy, this may not be the ideal format to read them in. Additionally, readers who have read said short stories before, while there is new content, much of it you may have already read, so temper your expectations accordingl Excellent collection of Jemisin's short stories. If you've liked her longer works, this is definitely worth checking out. A note for readers, though, is that many of the short stories are available online, so if you prefer reading or listening to them electronically to a print copy, this may not be the ideal format to read them in. Additionally, readers who have read said short stories before, while there is new content, much of it you may have already read, so temper your expectations accordingly. (Although it is quite fun to look at the stories with new eyes and come back and catch some of the subtle references that you may have overlooked in your first readthroughs) For readers new to Jemisin's work, this is an excellent way to become acquainted with her work with a shorter commitment and figure out if Jemisin's style does or does not work for you.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kaleb Aronson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. *Spoilers only from the introduction* From Jemisin’s introduction: “...it’s also a meditation on how hard it’s been for me to love science fiction and fantasy as a black woman. How much I’ve had to fight my own internalized racism in addition to that radiating from the fiction and the business. How terrifying it’s been to realize no one thinks my people have a future. And how gratifying to finally accept myself and begin spinning the futures I want to see.” Representation is important. Jemisin fi *Spoilers only from the introduction* From Jemisin’s introduction: “...it’s also a meditation on how hard it’s been for me to love science fiction and fantasy as a black woman. How much I’ve had to fight my own internalized racism in addition to that radiating from the fiction and the business. How terrifying it’s been to realize no one thinks my people have a future. And how gratifying to finally accept myself and begin spinning the futures I want to see.” Representation is important. Jemisin fills her books with people too long missing from science fiction: women, people of color and LGBTQ people. She has an extraordinary ability to build worlds that breathe and grow and characters that are relatable, tender, complex and relevant. She is transforming what science fiction can be, and I can’t wait for more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bree

    I really wanted to love this entire collection, but while the prose is beautiful throughout, I think the collection would be a lot stronger if it were half as long and a little more consistent. About halfway through we get all the super experimental pieces, some of which are lovely and others which left me scratching my head. In all, those pieces really took away from the strength of the collection as a whole, and as they comprise nearly the entire second half of the book, I found myself running I really wanted to love this entire collection, but while the prose is beautiful throughout, I think the collection would be a lot stronger if it were half as long and a little more consistent. About halfway through we get all the super experimental pieces, some of which are lovely and others which left me scratching my head. In all, those pieces really took away from the strength of the collection as a whole, and as they comprise nearly the entire second half of the book, I found myself running out of enthusiasm. This is a 3.5 for me, but rounding up for the amazing prose. I'd definitely recommend giving this one a read. Just give yourself time to digest the boring or confusing bits.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    I read through the Broken Earth trilogy after it got its third Hugo in a row, and while that wasn't entirely my bag, it was well written and made me hungry for more of Jemisin's writing. This dropped onto my Kindle just in time. Like most short story collections, this has a few misses, but dang, the hits are great. I heard NK Jemisin read an in-progress version of "The Ones Who Stay and Fight", the story that opens the collection, earlier this year and it's just as great in its final form. These I read through the Broken Earth trilogy after it got its third Hugo in a row, and while that wasn't entirely my bag, it was well written and made me hungry for more of Jemisin's writing. This dropped onto my Kindle just in time. Like most short story collections, this has a few misses, but dang, the hits are great. I heard NK Jemisin read an in-progress version of "The Ones Who Stay and Fight", the story that opens the collection, earlier this year and it's just as great in its final form. These do a great job of reflecting real issues in our current world through a fantastic lens, which is all I ask of sci-fi/fantasy. Highly recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ciera

    This rating pained me, but not as much as finishing this book pained me. And that sucks because I worship the ground Jemisin walks on. But these stories were just a bit too quirky for me - I've never been a fan of magical realism anyway, and the lofty prose and stream of consciousness style of writing that was prevalent throughout the book reminded me of the horrid Latin American magical realism classics I had to slog through during undergrad. Jemisin is so talented, but these stories were just no This rating pained me, but not as much as finishing this book pained me. And that sucks because I worship the ground Jemisin walks on. But these stories were just a bit too quirky for me - I've never been a fan of magical realism anyway, and the lofty prose and stream of consciousness style of writing that was prevalent throughout the book reminded me of the horrid Latin American magical realism classics I had to slog through during undergrad. Jemisin is so talented, but these stories were just not for me.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Klassert

    Y’all, this short story collection is *amazing.* it’s utterly brilliant & I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it re: short story collections. I want more like this! It hit me like “A Thousand Beginnings & Endings” did a couple of months ago, but it’s definitely not YA/middle grade like that one was. I’m really glad I got this on Audible. I’ll try to get a proper, edited review up sometime but medical conditions make it harder lately.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Malcolm

    I’m not a great fan of short stories, and like most collections of them, this was a bit of a mixture. Some stories were excellent, some didn’t grab me as much, but the best ones were very interesting and imaginative. This was the first I’ve read of this authors work though and she certainly is an excellent writer - I look forward to reading her novels asap.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Misha

    Wow, worth the wait! Definitely Jemisin can write short stories (which I knew from some best-of and other collections). I read them in order, which is helpful for some of them, but not required. Even the few I've read before are worth rereading.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Beautiful. Each story became a new favorite. The audible version is fantastic and brought so much life to each vignette.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    I am not much of a short story reader, I prefer novels but these are very good.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jesslyn

    10 gazillion stars. The writing goddess strikes again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rani

    Like most short story collections, there were some that I liked more than others. But overall, this was a really strong collection!

  28. 4 out of 5

    t r a c y

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kali

  30. 4 out of 5

    Megan

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