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text 2017-07-17 16:49
George R.R. Martin talks about the pilot - and I talk about Readercon in general
Who Fears Death - Nnedi Okorafor

And touches upon Song of Ice and Fire.

 

More to the point: he clarifies his part, that he won't be writing scripts for the foreseeable future, and as a side, he posts a picture of the author, Nnedi Okofaror. 

 

 

Nnedi, by the way, is beautiful according to one poster.   And I just want to say, she's stunning inside and out: generous with her time, appreciative of all her fans, and to top it off, we got to chat about Transformers a bit while she signed my books. 

 

Confident, outspoken about issues important to her (victims telling their own stories and hearing it from their voice came back a couple times, and is obviously something she cares deeply about), intelligent, funny, kind.   I could go on and on.   I know I always say it, but Readercon gets the best authors on their panels and as their guests of honor.   I was talking to Neil Clarke when I bought some of his back issues and he agreed when I said how much I love everyone there: there's just something special about this con. 

 

And because I can't pretend it's perfect: I am aware it's had its problems, and I'm unhappy with how they originally dealt with one specific issue.   I am happy with how it was dealt with eventually, and that ever since they've been very, very careful about being safe.  I have not had, or seen, problems myself, but I hate when people use this as 'well, it didn't happen then, right?'   I believe the victims, I hate what happened, I hate the first result, and I respect their choice to stay away.   (I probably wouldn't be comfortable coming back either.  I have the luxury of being comfortable because I wasn't there when it happened.)

 

I hope Readercon keeps that specialness for me, and for enough people, that we can continue to make it better.   Readercon, by the way, has been trying to get more diverse stories in.   They had at least one all woman and LGBTQ press - Steve Berman, who I love runs the latter, Lethe Press.   I know about Broad Universe because I fell in love with LJ Cohen's AI series after buying a book or two at her signing.   

 

They've had at least two black guests of honor - Halo Hopkinson and Nnedi Okorafor, both women, too - and two women guest of honor this year.   They've had more panels about race, sexuality, and Otherness, including some specifically on disabilities - I went to one where there was a writer who was both blind and deaf, and she had an hour long block to talk about how she wrote and how her disabilities played into that, although I had a conflict that hour so didn't go.  (They try, as far as I can see, to have women on panels that deal with gender issues, LGBTQ authors on panels that deal with sexuality, and writers of different races on panels that deal with race.)

 

I have more to say about Nnedi herself, but that deserves a post of it's own.  I'll just say this: I own this book signed.   Aw, yeah.

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review 2017-04-15 03:45
Binti
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor
Binti: Home - Nnedi Okorafor

The novella Binti by Nnedi Okorafor won the 2015 Nebula and 2016 Hugo Awards for Best Novella.  These honors are well deserved.  Binti is a wonderful story that in a few short pages uses the conventions of SF to explore race, cultural appropriation, and all without preaching.  I was blown away by Binti.  5 Stars

 

I wasn't nearly as impressed by the sequel Binti: Home.  I can't really pin my finger on why, but the attempt to explain the backstory of the magical "edan" from the first installment just fell a little flat for me.  In particular, I was deeply dissatisfied with the ending

Running off half-trained because her friends were in trouble a la Luke Skywalker

(spoiler show)

3.5 stars

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text 2017-04-01 02:06
March Wrap-up
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor
Inheritor - C.J. Cherryh
Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris

I haven’t been energized to review for the last couple of weeks, so here’s a quick wrap-up of what I’ve been reading in March:

 

Audiobooks

Dead Reckoning – Charlaine Harris – Finished March 9, 2017 – 2017 Library Challenge

 

On The Oceans of Eternity (Nantucket #3) – S.M. Stirling – about halfway through this 29.5 hour commitment and enjoying it during my drive-times

 

Short Fiction

Binti - Nnedi Okorafor – Read March 19th

 

March Book 3 – John Lewis & company – got about 2/3 of the way through and then had to return it to the library.  I just got it back tonight.

 

Novels

Inheritor (Foreigner #3) – C.J. Cherryh – Finished March 12, 2017 – 2017 Reread Challenge

 

Ancillary Justice (Imperial  Radch #1) – Ann Leckie – reread in progress.  Not picking up as many new insights as I’d hoped.  I was rereading in part because Ancillary Justice was one of the books for the  Goodreads SciFi and Fantasy Book Club Group Bookshelf Challenge, but there didn’t seem to be many active conversations.  I’m likely to abandon the reread in favor of starting Ancillary Sword, which is one of the April selections for Group Bookshelf Challenge.

 

I don’t know how actively I’ll be blogging for the first 3 weeks in April because

 

I’m eagerly awaiting Dewey’s Readathon on April 29th and am hoping to clear my schedule for once!  See you then!

 

*If you are of the protesting bent, you may also want to check out the Tax March on April 15th or the Climate March on April 29th

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-17 18:59
So, I Finally Read Binti by Nnedi Okorafor and Here's What I Thought...
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor

 

The cover was perfect.

On a related note, look at what the author had to say about the whitewashing of her covers.

 

I loved how the acknowledgments described UAE as "futuristic ancient".

It is such a perfect description because you get this old feel when you visit the place and then there are those skyscrapers that add a futuristic shade to things. Mostly unrelated but reminded me of how a Pakistani artist imagined our country would like in SF mode! Check it out:

 

 

 

 

 

See more of his art here. Anyway, back to the review:

 

This is how YAs should go!

I mean there's this teenager who is running away from home, readying herself to face all kinds of racism, just so she can attend a university. I loved that.

 

Some thoughts were expressed so beautifully...

 

 

 

 

I might have been reading too much into it but I could see some parallels.

While talking about cooking fish, Binti mentioned:

 

they lulled the fish into a sleep that the fish never woke from

It reminded me of two things:

a) The Himba are an animist people, which is why they would be gentle towards any organisms they consumed.

b) How as Muslims we have rules upon rules that minimize the pain of an animal prior to being slaughtered for food.

 

 

I loved how Binti's love and respect for her family would shine through her thoughts. For instance, look at this quote:

 

Would my family even comprehend it all when I explained it to them?

 

And then, she followed it with another thought that I wasn't expecting. She didn't think they weren't smart enough to understand why she did what she did. Instead, she said:

 

Or would they just fixate on the fact that I'd almost died...

 

I kept imagining the Meduse as the love-child of jellyfishes and Cthulhu though I dunno why! While researching that unholy union, I came across this instead:

 

 

To summarize, YA done well, in terms of strong, sensible female lead, making it a must-read for all YA lovers out there.

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text 2017-03-05 02:02
What I got with my gift card
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century - Timothy Snyder
We Should All Be Feminists Paperback - February 3, 2015 - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik
Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump - James Aaron Tecumseh Sinclair
The Black Notebook - Patrick Modiano,Mark Polizzotti
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor

On Tyranny looks fascinating and timely and I want to read a little more politically minded right now.   It's also a cute, small book, so I figure it's a good choice for post-September when I won't have much time!

 

We Should All Be Feminists is my fuck you to all the misogynists.   Also, small, cute, and short, so again, saving it for post grad-school when I'll have no time.

 

His Majesty's Dragon is a physical copy so that I have one for Novik to sign. 

 

Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump is my fuck you to Trump.   Small, short, although a little bigger than the other two.   I want to understand a little more about Trump, and well, I'd like to think anyone buying this, and reading it, pisses him off.   

 

I got three copies of Black Book by Modiano as a thank you to the three people who wrote my letters of recommendation.  

I got a copy of Binti because the professor who did my phone interview loved this, too, so I'm going to get it signed and surprise her with it.   

 

I'm looking forward to like everything.   Then again, just earlier this week I got so nervous my mind basically shut off my feelings to cope: I couldn't get interested in anything.   Everything excites me now that the feels have been turned on.   I'm watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and loving it, reading, and loving it all.   

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