Genre: Speculative Fiction
Publication Date: August 7 2015 by Tachyon Publications
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Falling in Love with Hominids presents over a dozen years of Hopkinson’s new, uncollected fiction, much of which has been unavailable in print. Her singular, vivid tales, which mix the modern with Afro-Carribean folklore, are occupied by creatures unpredictable and strange: chickens that breathe fire, adults who eat children, and spirits that haunt shopping malls.
I really enjoyed this introduction to Nalo Hopkinson’s work. I can’t wait to read more of her work in the future because I loved the speculative worlds in this short story collection. I particularly enjoyed the stories with sensuous and visceral character transformations. I liked the grounded sense of realism in the worldbuilding and diverse mythos across the stories. There is also a short contextual note on inspiration before each piece. A few favourites:
– The Easthound –
It started off with a simple game between wary kids which builds up towards an intense monstrous twist at night.
– Message in a Bottle –
A cynical narrator’s late night conversation with a time-traveler. I loved the humour of the piece and the reflections on life and art:
Every shell is a life journal, made out of the very substance of its creator, and left as a record of what it thought, even if we can’t understand exactly what it thought. Sometimes interpretation is a trap. Sometimes we need to simply observe.
Art helps us know how to do change. That’s made it very valuable to us.
– The Smile on the Face –
I was obsessed with dryads as a child but I love hamadryads even more after reading this coming of age story. In this story, the heroine finds herself empowered by drawing on the words/stories close to her heart in the midst of an ugly (potentially triggering) situation.
– Ours is the Prettiest –
I want to experience a magical masquerade in a Bordertown. I’ve always enjoyed diverse urban fantasy stories. This is no exception.
– Shift –
A wonderful Afro-Caribbean revisionist take on characters from The Tempest.
– Snow Day –
I liked the randomness of this fantastical short story. I appreciate a good Oryx and Crake reference.
– Blushing –
Bluebeard inspired stories always creep me out. This micro-story is for the ones who like horror.