The internet continues to exploded with praise for Nalo Hopkinson’s standout collection FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS.
In her introduction to the book, Hopkinson explains how she derived its title from a phrase penned by the legendary science fiction author Cordwainer Smith. But it’s more than just a hat-tip from one pioneer of the genre to another. In her youth, Hopkinson goes on to write, she hated people. Now, in her fifties, she’s learned to have a certain optimism about the human race despite its innumerable cruelties and injustices. That guarded, hard-won hope — and along with it, a graceful sense of sympathy and wonder — are what make Hopkinson’s stories dazzle, even when they probe the darkness. In a way, that’s a magic of its own.
Something that I liked about Nalo Hopkinson’s writing here is how she takes the legends, myths, and folklore of a number of cultures, including Caribbean, Indian, and European, and puts her own spin on them. The characters are from all walks of life: rich and poor, black and white, straight, gay, and bisexual. It’s most definitely diverse and if you haven’t signed up for Aarti’s A More Diverse Universe, it would be perfect for that. There’s something for everyone who enjoys SF.
It is easy to see why Hopkinson garners such praise from authors and readers alike, but also why her name is new to many of us. Falling in Love with Hominids is a standout example of her body of work, and her novels will find their way to my shelves, right next to Dandelion Wine and One Hundred Years of Solitude.
I’ll absolutely look for Hopkinson’s previous work, and I look forward to seeing what new worlds and characters she’ll create in the future. It’s rare to find an anthology which is great from beginning to end, but there were enough successes in Falling in Love with Hominids that I would feel comfortable recommending this collection to other readers.
For more information on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Chuma Hill
Design by Elizabeth Story