This seemed like a perfect selection for a Black History Month read (yes, I am VERY behind on writing reviews). N.K. Jemisin is probably best known for her fantastic Broken Earth Trilogy which you should absolutely read if you haven’t. This book is a collection of short speculative fiction stories which are set in places ranging from the Jim Crow South, to the net, to a dystopian earth colony. One returns to the world of the Broken Earth Trilogy and one introduces her new book The City We Became. All have Ms. Jemisin’s unique and enthralling voice.
The stories in this book are able to immerse you into a complex story in just a few pages and none seem overly long. Possibly my two favorites are “The Trojan Girl” told from the perspective of an AI. I think the story that immediately follows it is a sequel but it’s not entirely clear and it can stand on its own regardless. There is also “The Effluence Engine” which is a fun work of steampunk queer lesbian fiction. Finding a way to make a book of speculative fiction where each story is unique and fresh is no easy task but she does it.
A lot of folks have been buying up non-fiction author’s and that’s definitely positive (as long as they’re actually reading them) but black fiction should absolutely not be overlooked. N.K. Jemisin is one of the preeminent voice of Sci Fi/Fantasy right now and this would be a great starting point if you’ve never read her stuff. If you’ve read all her stuff and you need more pick it. Hell, just pick it up.