I almost didn’t think that I was going to be able to make this post, but here I am writing it.
So last year, I told myself that I would get into more POC writers, particularly those who wrote Fantasy and Science Fiction. I have talked before about coming across Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death, which later lead me to Binti.
Binti is the story of a young woman from the Himba tribe who becomes the first of her people to attend the intragalactic Oomza University. The journey alone should have been a wondrous adventure, but it quickly turns into a nightmare when the Meduse launch an attack against Binti’s transport. Now, if Binti wants to stay alive, she must use her intelligence and her heritage to survive.
One day I’ll stop writing these summaries, until then you guys are just going to have to deal.
I liked Binti, but it left me wanting more. I get that it was a short story, and it’s intended to be self contained, but I really want to read more about Binti and her journey. I liked her as a character, and I thought her experience was an interesting one, but even knowing that it was a novella couldn’t stop me from wishing it was longer.
I liked the Meduse as an enemy, but I felt like there was some vengeance lacking. Their original attack was so brutal that I could not understand how they got away with it without retaliation. If the Meduse and the Koush were such great enemies, how could anyone let that stand?
I also have to wonder about what happened with Binti’s transformation at the end. Is she still considered a Himba now that she has alien traits? Will her family allow her to come back? How did they really feel about Binti’s leaving? I am honestly curious, and I want more answers.
Yet and still, I liked it. I liked that Nnedi Okorafor took a real world culture, that most don’t know much about, and gave it an afro-futuristic spin. I liked the imagery. I didn’t have to wonder too much about what was going on.
And so, if you like novellas, Binti is definitely worth the read. If you like to read POC Science Fiction, this book is for you. If you just want a good space journey, I suggest this story to you too. All in all, though I wish it was longer, Binti was something that I will continue to recommend.
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