FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS is a delightful smorgasbord
A smattering of gift guides, best of lists, and even a review, all featuring Nalo Hopkinson’s great FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS.
On his VLOG BROTHERS video blog, John Green shares his Book Giving Guide For the Holidays. Among his selections are Nalo Hopkinson’s MIDNIGHT ROBBER and FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, saying about the latter "I recently started FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, which is a great title and so far a great book.“
ROCK, PAPERBACK, SCISSORS offers its own holiday guide.
In many of Neil Gaiman’s stories, the fantastical is just around the corner from reality, and the world can be very dark although it’s never completely devoid of light. If that sort of story appeals, then I would recommend FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS by Nalo Hopkinson. It is a short story collection that spans multiple genres, from horror to sci-fi to fairytale.
Brit Mandelo of TOR.COM shines the Short Fiction Spotlight on the collection.
As for the stories that stuck out to me the most from this delightful smorgasbord, there are a handful. I tended to appreciate the longer pieces more than the flash work, but the flash work remains interesting, often for what it reveals about Hopkinson’s pet projects and the things she finds enjoyable as a writer.
“The Easthound” (2012) is the first piece in the collection and also one of the ones that stood out most to me—both because I hadn’t encountered it before and because it’s a strong showing. As a post-apocalyptic piece, it combines a few familiar tropes: a world of children, where the coming of adulthood is also the coming of the disease that turns them into werewolf-like monsters who consume their nearest and dearest. Hopkinson combines the Peter-Pan-esque attention to staying a child as long as possible with a much darker set of notes, like the children starving themselves intentionally to slow their development. The language-game the protagonists play to occupy themselves in the fallen future is intriguing as well. Overall, I felt that the ending was a bit obvious in coming—of course it’s her twin; of course she’ll change right after—but that the emotional content of the story doesn’t suffer for it. The payoff just isn’t in the actual conclusion.
Overall, Falling in Love with Hominids is a worthwhile collection that goes together well—and these are some of the stories I liked best. Hopkinson is a talented writer, whose interest in topics like embodiment and desire comes through in many of these stories; I appreciated reading it quite a bit.
Read the rest of Mandelo’s review at TOR.COM.
THE ROOT’s Hope Wabuke included FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS on her list of 15 Powerful Works of Fiction Published by Black Authors in 2015.
Jamaican-born writer Nalo Hopkinson made a name for herself with her debut novel, BROWN GIRL IN THE RING, winner of the Warner Aspect First Novel Award. Hopkinson has also won the John W. Campbell Award, the Locus Award, the World Fantasy Award and the Prix Aurora, among others. In FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, the multitalented author turns her considerable prowess to a collection of short fiction steeped in Afro-Caribbean folklore.
THE BOOK SMUGGLERS’ Smugglivus 2015 Guest Author Silvia Moreno-Garcia dubbed the collection as one of the best books of 2015.
Finally, 2015 also saw the release of
BROOD: SCIENCE FICTION STORIES FROM SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT and FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS by Nalo Hopkinson, both of which would be of interest to short fiction readers who enjoy stories that don’t quite fall in a single category but straddle different genres.
For more information on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Chuma Hill
Design by Elizabeth Story