FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS by Nalo Hopkinson
I’ve been a fan for at least a decade, BROWN GIRL IN THE RING is one of the most important books I have read. Junot Díaz calls her one of ‘our most important writers’ and this current offering is nothing short of greatness. FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS presents more than a dozen years of Hopkinson’s new, uncollected fiction, much of which has been unavailable in print, mixing sci-fi and Afro-Caribbean folklore, her stories are vivid and varied.”
Patrick P. of the MULTNOMAH COUNTY LIBRARY is thrilled with his recent discovery of Nalo Hopkinson’s work.
Some writing just speaks to you. You relate to a situation, you long to experience a setting, you thrill at an exciting plot twist, or maybe you smile at a fanciful phrase and turn it over in your mind a bit before speaking it out loud. I LOVE it when that happens! I had some of this good fortune recently when I heard about the short story collection FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS by Nalo Hopkinson. I’m only a few stories into this and I know that this 2015 release may be my favorite item of 2016.
What it’s like: Imagine Twilight Zone episodes, really good ones. Now add a splash of something that is hopeful and touching (but maybe still a bit weird). For me, that would be It’s A Wonderful Life. Pepper it liberally with thoughtful, revealing, sensual dialogue. Her writing is a bit like that. There are themes around gender and culture and the future. It’s science fiction, but think Octavia Butler, not Star Wars.
Each story has its own spice. Each could have been written by a different author, but there is a tone that unites them. It might be the hopefulness, or the ‘heart’. One story that doesn’t end well for the main character still manages to find triumph in what we might think of as defeat.
For THE HIGHLANDER (University of California, Riverside), Joseph Avila reports on a conference discussion about science fiction and fantasy by people of color.
On Thursday, Jan. 21, professors of creative writing Nalo Hopkinson and Rachelle Cruz and Ph.D. candidate in comparative literature, Jaymee Goh, met in INTS 1111A to discuss their experiences curating, editing and writing for science fiction and fantasy anthologies driven by communities of color. The panel was moderated by recent post-doctoral fellow, Brian Hudson, who studies science fiction from indigenous and other ethnic communities.
Hopkinson, who is extensively published and renowned in the genres of science fiction and fantasy and has edited numerous anthologies, including her most recent project published through the online magazine “Lightspeed” called “People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction,” echoed Cruz’s comments about disrupting the Eurocentric mainstream saying, “I’m interested in how as (people of color) … we make incursions into science fiction and fantasy that both play with and mess with boundary.”
The last questions were asked by Angela Penaredondo, a recent MFA grad in creative writing, and concerned the writers’ future plans and what it was like working in the anthology genre. “I have so many screwball ideas … but it was fun to work on my contemporaries’ work because there were so many people who had never been published before and to be able to bring it to an international scale was really satisfying,” Hopkinson jokingly answered. “Maybe one day I’ll do an anthology called ‘Revolting Hags.’” Cruz responded, “I’ve been immersed in comics and I think it would be really cool to do a (people of color) comics anthology.”
For more information on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Chuma Hill
Design by Elizabeth Story