FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS showcases Nalo Hopkinson’s talents at their best

FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS in particular and author Nalo Hopkinson in general continue to excite readers.

Photo: David Findlay

At UNBOUND WORLDS, Matt Staggs includes the collection among 19 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reading Suggestions for International Women’s Day.

Jamaican-born author Nalo Hopkinson benefited from an incredibly diverse childhood, having lived at different times in Guyana and Canada. Her rich cultural heritage is reflected in her work, much of which is influenced by her Caribbean heritage. Her recent short story collection FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS showcases Hopkinson’s talents at their best.

Danika Ellis at BOOK RIOT recommends both the book and Hopkinson’s novel THE SALT ROADS in The Sapphic
Fantastic: Lesbian & Bi Women Fantasy Books

Nalo Hopkinson’s books are always a trip, and THE SALT ROADS is no exception. This book bounces between different POV characters and time periods, all bound together by their relationship to the goddess Ezili. This has a focus on racism, colonialism, and slavery while also including several queer characters. THE SALT ROADS isn’t linear, and you do rocketed from place and to place while also jumping through time, but it’s fascinating and compelling throughout.

I’m cheating and putting in another Nalo Hopkinson book, even though only the novella has f/f content! FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS is worth reading for the novella alone, but this collection as a whole is one of my favourite books I’ve ever read. (And there is other queer content, just not f/f.) “Ours Is the Prettiest” is a Borderlands series, which means it shares characters and a setting with other authors. It also has an interesting look at a queer community and the complex, multi-layered relationships between everyone involved.

The Winnipeg Public Library’s READER’S SALON includes without comment FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS among it’s Black History Month selections.

BEST SCIENCE FICTION BOOKS offers a Hopkinson overview.

Hopkinson was born in Jamaica but moved to Canada while still in her teens, and the resultant culture clash is played out in her first novel, BROWN GIRL IN THE RING.  It is set in a run-down, near-future Toronto where the rich have abandoned the city for their safe high-tech suburbs, while the inner city has become a wasteland ruled by criminal gangs. When the powerful want to harvest body parts from the poor for transplant, a young, black single mother finds herself at the centre of the conflict in which voodoo figures become an integral part of the battle for the soul of the city.

As with Okorafor, what is particularly interesting about Hopkinson is the way that distinctions between science fiction and fantasy break down. A different worldview informs their fiction, one in which technology and mythology are not necessarily separate. This is noticeable in her second novel, MIDNIGHT ROBBER, which tells the story of a young girl growing up first on the colony world of Toussaint, and then on New Half-Way Tree where convicts are exiled. Abused by her father from a young age, she eventually kills him and flees into the bush, where she takes on the traditional role of the Robber Queen to defend others from abuse. All her life is shaped by traditional stories drawn from Caribbean and Yoruba culture, and by the end of the novel the heroine has herself become the star of a new set of stories.

At THE HUFFINGTON POST, Hopkinson contributes to Feminist Sci-Fi Writers Dream Up A Better Future For Women And Reproductive Health.

For more information on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Chuma Hill

Design by Elizabeth Story