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review 2020-06-17 14:04
Unexpected Stories
Unexpected Stories - Octavia E. Butler

Really enjoyed these two short stories by Octavia E. Butler. They were wonderful and I was left wanting more.

 

Per usual, here are my reviews for the two stories.

 

A Necessary Being”(5 stars)-Butler creates a world in which the color of a person's skin means they are meant to be leaders. We find out that these "people" are able to change colors which shows what type of caste they belong to. We follow Tahneh who is a Hao. Hao are kidnapped and forced to govern "tribes". We get peeks into what was done to Taneh's father who was the Hao before her. Tahneh is not able to have a child which means her "tribe" is desperate for another Hao. When a Hao and two other "people" are found nearby, Tahneh can either go along with what her people want, or try to steer them to something new. This story really plays with race, class structure, and consent. You can see pieces of plots and narrative that will show up in Butler's Xenogenesis series.

 

Childfinder" (5 stars)-Way too short. Seriously. I wanted more. We are in a new world when those who have telepathic abilities are valued. An older woman has found a new child with these abilities. We find out that she is focusing on finding black children and trying to hide them from a larger organization who does not have their best interest at heart. We have Butler playing with the angry black woman trope a bit and how black people do their best at not showing their feelings, i.e. their hatred. Who better to go out and find children with special abilities and teach them to keep their feelings inside. This really did read like a start to a longer book and I really really wanted that longer book.

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text 2020-06-16 17:53
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Unexpected Stories - Octavia E. Butler

Childfinder was too short! I wanted more.

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text 2020-06-15 19:06
Reading progress update: I've read 74%.
Unexpected Stories - Octavia E. Butler

Just finished "A Necessary Being”. A story that follows peoples whose coloring decides who rules. This reminds me somewhat of Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy. She delves into race, consent, and class structures. I thought the story really worked. We follow Tahneh whose father was a Hao. The Hao are rare and are put forth as leaders for different tribes and are even crippled, kidnapped, etc in order for tribes to always have a Hao. When another Hao is found nearby, her tribe goes about trying to capture him and his companions. Tahneh is trapped doing what she has to in order to give her people a future, or doing something that can cause them all to die out. 

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text 2020-06-12 17:25
Reading progress update: I've read 5%.
Unexpected Stories - Octavia E. Butler

Trying to get into the writing on this one which is surprising since I have always found Butler's books easy to get into for the most part.

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review 2016-12-06 18:14
Unexpected: Short Stories From Around the World
Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World - P.F. Citizen One

This one is for The Twelve Tasks- an African American author!

 

 

A short collection of brief stories and anecdotes compiled from the author's very interesting life travelling around the world as a petroleum engineer.  Each of his stories is told as though sitting down with a good friend for some coffee and hearing about their amazing adventures.  The stories, though short each have an unexpected ending that elicits strong emotion through humor, sadness and compassion.  

My favorite story is probably the very first where the author tells of his Brazillian friend who is waiting to get married.  The friend is away from home for long periods of time and has a girlfriend on the side.  The author warns the friend of his actions and come wedding day the groom is in for a big surprise.  

I also loved the last story about a Chinese boy who grew up thinking that he would amount to nothing and decided to live his adult life trying to make others happy.  However, it wasn't until after his death that he was recognized for all he did.

A nice little collection of short stories, and a very quick read.  I did notice a few editing errors, such as 'live' instead of 'life' and the repetition of a phrase, but nothing that hindered my enjoyment of the book.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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