A trio of reviews for Nalo Hopkinson’s vibrant FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS.
From GALACTIC TIDES:
Nalo Hopkinson has a rhythm in her writing that has me thinking in sing-song for weeks. She’s a vibrant voice with a spectacular imagination and her series of short stories also serves as a great introduction or overview. The dialogue is worth raving about.
In the foreword, the author talks about being misanthropic as a teen but learning to fall in love with hominids. Is there a central theme that ties these stories together? Not really. At best, that the magical and the mundane are never as far apart as we think they are. This might be detrimental to someone looking for a central point or a journey, but I just enjoyed the stories individually and as a collection.
A great place to continue learning to love short fiction.
Hopkinson is a master storyteller. The prose is engaging and unique, making reading these stories a true pleasure. Every character has a distinct voice, adding yet another layer of realism that makes it difficult to not get attached. The diversity of her characters is also a refreshing aspect of this collection since most of her characters are people of color and many are LGBTQ, both under-represented groups in the fantasy genre.
There is something for everyone in this collection. Hopkinson manages to make a reader’s skin crawl in one story and smile in the next. It’s a mixture that keeps you reading just to see what she will come up with next. A great collection from a highly imaginative and insightful mind, FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS is a must read for fantasy and short story fans.
The introduction to the collection explains that while each of the stories was written at different times and for different purposes, they are loosely united by the theme of the restoration of faith in humanity. FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS includes scenes both mundane and fantastical, each of which begins with an annotation describing something about the story’s conception. These personal remarks made me feel much more invested in each of the stories, and gave me a sense of Hopkinson’s own self rather than just her characters.
It took me a while to read this collection, which was partially a realization about my own reading style. I like to jump into a story and stay there for some time, and jumping from one story to another too quickly breaks my immersion. That being said, this was a collection where I’d read a story or two at a time and keep coming back for more, because each of them was unique and wonderful and disturbing and made me think and laugh and cry and ponder why the world is the way it is. And yet despite exploring some dark themes, FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS is at its heart a story of hope.
For more information on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Chuma Hill
Design by Elizabeth Story