(photo: Aurora Public Library)
MY BOOKISH WAYS included Nalo Hopkinson’s FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS on their list of August 2015 Must Reads in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, while THE SKEPTICAL READER gives the awe-inspiring collection 3 our of 5 stars.
I’ve been wanting to try Nalo Hopkinson was a really long time now and somehow have never been able to locate her works in bookshops. So obviously when I saw this one up for review on NetGalley, I pounced on it immediately. It took a while to get through as I’ve mentioned but I was quite impressed by some of the stories in this collection.
Like any short story/anthology collection, this one was quite varied in its themes, narrations, and the reactions it wangled from me. There were some stories in here which were awe-inspiring but then there were some I could barely get through, despite each of them just being short stories. It’s a very strange blend — I had so much appreciation for some, but then so much dislike for some others.
What I actually thought was the most impressive part of this collection is the little introduction Hopkinson provides in the beginning of each story. Because short stories are such microscopic, abstract narratives, having insight into the thought process of the writer penning them brought about a whole new dimension to the product. Not always, but often her introductions would set the stories perfectly into the “big picture” she was trying to emulate via her storytelling. Absolutely adored the creativity.
Other wonderful elements Hopkinson plays around with are allusions, literary references, and at times, what seemed to me, an attempt to retell a popular story or myth. This was both entertaining and frustrating. Frustrating because there was a story introduced with a connection to The Tempest and another which is inspired by Goblin Market and while I loved that she drew inspirations from these, as someone who’s read Goblin Market but not The Tempest, I was unsure how much I really like this technique. Obviously I’m missing out on some another layer of symbolism by not having read The Tempest, especially since I understood her story relating to Goblin Market more because I was already familiar with the poem.
Read the entire review at THE SKEPTICAL READER.
Discover the rest of the August must reads at MY BOOKISH WAYS.
For more information on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Chuma Hill
Design by Elizabeth Story