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review 2017-09-18 17:07
Akata Witch / Nnedi Okorafor
Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied. But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged in to the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children. Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own, or will the future she saw in the flames become reality?

 

Read to fill the “Diverse Voices” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

The Nigerian version of Harry Potter, with an albino Nigerian-American girl as the star. Sunny really only wants to be able to play football and attend school without being bullied, but her family has a legacy of magic that no one talks about and which is going to take her life in unexpected direction. Her talent is recognized by the friend of a friend and soon Sunny is being coached in juju, taken to the magical city of the Leopard People, and dealing with some very serious magical situations. Fortunately, she has her own coven of friends to aid and abet her in her adventures.

Here, there are leopards and lambs, rather than magicians and muggles, there is football rather than quidditch, but there is also a whole window into West African life and mythology that will be unfamiliar to many North American readers. Nnedi Okorafor is in the perfect position to open this window for us, being born in the United States with Nigerian immigrant parents. With feet in both worlds, she is able to weave a tale understandable to both sides of the divide.

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text 2017-09-15 21:35
Weekend Reading
Grendel - John Gardner
Misery - Stephen King
Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor
Nine Coaches Waiting (Rediscovered Classics) - Sandra Brown,Mary Stewart

The weather has cooled down here in Calgary considerably.  I haven't any big plans for the weekend, so I hope to do some baking and read some Halloween Bingo books.

 

I've read part of both Grendel and Misery, so I just want to finish them up.  Akata Witch is the next book due at the library (with holds so I can't renew).  And I think that Nine Coaches Waiting will be an excellent Friday evening book.

 

Happy weekend, everyone!!

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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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