How Long ’til Black Future Month? is a wonderful collection of short stories from the amazing N.K. Jemisin. They span science fiction and fantasy from the past to the future, with strong themes of race, persecution and identity running through.
In Red Dirt Witch, the pale fae take the place of slavers, stealing away black children from the deep south, draining their life force for their own needs. But a mother’s protection is a force to be reckoned with and knows ways to keep the fae at bay. There are stories about culinary delights, alien contact and artificial intelligences in a virtual world, but none of them are quite what they seem.
I done told you a million times that the world doesn’t change – but I was wrong, and I’m sorry for that. You got a big fight ahead of you, but you can win it.
In The City Born Great, the city is alive and it claims its protectors. There is a dark force at play, and a protagonist who must also avoid prejudiced police as well as supernatural evil.
Some of these stories are sandboxes for trying out ideas for novels and you may recognise the Broken Earth in Stone Hunger. One story I would love more of is The Effluent Engine, set in a steampunk New Orleans and a free Haiti. I would love an urban fantasy series starring Jessaline and Eugenie!
Humans are full of interesting-but-useless features. Crying. Wisdom teeth. Dreams are more of the same.
I felt that the collection kicked off with one of the weaker stories. I’m not familiar with Ursula Le Guin’s original so that might have had something to do with my feeling towards it. It’s not a bad story, it just seems a little old school and might have put me off reading further if I wasn’t already a fan.
There were definitely some five star stories between the covers and I’d thoroughly recommend. I also saw news that she has a new novel coming out this year and I’m excited to see if any of the threads started in these stories.
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