Book - 2015
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Jan 14, 2021

The premise is good but the execution is weak. Try Arkady Martine's A Memory Called Empire for a stronger exploration of what it's like to be a member of a minority group caught up in a much larger and more powerful empire's conflicts.

JCLAnneG Nov 06, 2020

I adored this novella. I got introduced to Nnedi Okorafor earlier this year with her Akata Witch/Akata Warrior duology, and while this is shorter it is in a way even more immersive. I can't wait to read the rest of this trilogy. If you want to read a short Afrofuturism science fiction story with a strong female protagonist this is a win.

syrobert03 Sep 04, 2020

I loved this quick read. I am now embracing Sci-fiction reading and this is a good choice, I feel for the underrepresented in the genre. I felt very present and immersed in the narrative thanks to the author’s descriptive writing!

Aug 11, 2020

Binti, a member of the Himba people of Earth, secretly applies to prestigious Oomza University and, to her simultaneous delight and consternation, is accepted. Defying her family's wishes in pursuit of her education and natural talents, she embarks on a harrowing and disastrous journey across the galaxy, never having imagined that in addition to being a mere passenger she'd also be playing an unexpected role of interstellar diplomatic negotiator.

I chose this in the "sci-fi/fantasy novella" category for the 2020 Read Harder challenge. At just 90 pages it's a swift read, though there is a lot to chew on. I relished in the details about her culture and the practices she intended to maintain despite her distance from home. Binti's tale continues with further volumes, though as my preferences nowadays lean less toward sci-fi than they used to, I'll be placing those in my 'maybe' pile.

Aug 08, 2020

A Himba girl in space in this scifi story - about the same level as a good Star Trek.

JCLRachelN May 05, 2020

Even if you may not be able to relate to traveling from one planet to another, many may recognize Binti’s courage in moving so far from everything she knows and grappling with changes in herself. All while under extreme pressure that I did not see coming. This novella works on its own but I’ll be picking up the next two stories to see what is happening in Binti’s life.

Apr 03, 2020

I still have no idea what the Meduse are supposed to look like and I feel like everything happened way too fast. Still, this was an enjoyable and quick read and I’ll definitely be picking up the rest of the series.

Jan 28, 2020

Okorafor's series of short novels creates an extraterrestrial culture that feels steeped in tradition. The story is an allegory for the treatment of outsiders, racial and cultural differences, and the unique contribution that an indigenous culture makes to matters of war and peace. The title character is well-developed and compelling, immersing us in a fascinating culture. Three short novels make up this Afrofuturist series.

Jan 17, 2020

Drops you into a deeply speculative sci-fi future of our universe, which both helps in some ways (allowing you to discover these interesting cultures/alien races in the moment with little exhaustive exposition) and detracts in others (sometimes felt left in the dark with regard to what things were, how a scene looked, and what the mood of the scene was). I don't want to spoil anything, but one particular event's aftermath felt totally wrong, and I could not understand the cause-and-effect that led to the novella's ending. Binti is a strong protagonist and I enjoyed her relationship with Okwu. Despite some large narrative flaws in this novella, I am excited for future Binti stories and the world is interesting.

Kay Thomas
Nov 24, 2019

I adored Binti's tenacity and inventive nature, as well as the description of the otjize - I so badly want to know what it smells like! I'm so excited to read Home when it becomes available!

Nov 01, 2019

Binti is the best kind of scifi. An exploration of who we are and what defines us. A really great series.

Oct 29, 2019

Such a cool story. I love short sci-fi books that just take risks.

JCLLizW Sep 30, 2019

This Hugo Award-winning novella is an extremely quick read. I wish we got to know some of the characters and settings more, but it was also refreshing to read a story that doesn't overload you with information or waste time on unnecessary scenes.

Aug 15, 2019

Actually a novella, not a novel, this book packs a lot into its pages. You get a continuation of the universe of strange and divergent alien cultures, and the author expands on that in this continuation of the travels of Binti. At times a fable, at times a myth, and sometimes feeling like a mystical dream, a new culture is revealed in the desert land of Earth, Binti's homeworld. I admire this author's writing style and her vivid imagination. Since this ends in a cliff hanger, I look forward to reading the third novella in the series.

Jul 15, 2019

Excellent! Easy, fast read which is the downside because I want more! 5 stars all the way *****

OPL_DavidD Apr 24, 2019

A thought provoking novella about a young woman who leaves home for college being caught in the middle of a conflict. A story of a compelling story of outsiders and the heroine's relationship to her own culture.

Dec 12, 2018

Okorafor's sequel flawlessly picks up where we left off, showing us that reconciliation between enemies is never impossible.

It is easy to forget that Binti is a young girl, and thus would have still face the challenges of developing an identity that other teens do. Burdened by the expectations of her new life and desire to stay true to her roots, Binti and Okwu will find new danger--and new purpose-- in Okorafor's "Home".

Dec 12, 2018

Binti is a great example for the future of diverse science fiction. Okorafor seamlessly weaves this new world in front of us, without the usual info dump that takes place in futuristic novels.

Afrofuturism fans will love this story that blends an amazingly rich culture with the possibilities of a distant future. Binti is a young girl, brilliant, with hard choices before her; family, culture, tradition vs. education, future prospects, and heroism.

Nov 08, 2018

The best science fiction imagines complex worlds grounded in our own, and challenges us to consider new possibilities and to examine the limitations of our prejudices. Binti is a story of a young Black girl who is brilliant at math and talented in creation, so much so that she is the only one with the imagination and foresight to bridge years of violence between two peoples---all the while adjusting to her own pain.

By creating this world and characters that feel both mysterious and relatable, Nnedi Okorafor has proved herself a master of the sci-fi genre. Binti is an exploration of social justice and of self-love and growth, an invitation to turn an empathetic eye inward to give ourselves a chance to develop our inner strength by supporting our needs and pains and a challenge to broaden our worldview. Okorafor's writing is nuanced but simple, and impossible to put down. Make sure you have all three in the series before you start, because you're not going to want to wait to finish.

Hillsboro_RobP Oct 29, 2018

The best of what science fiction has to offer, stripped down to a bite-sized, must-read chunk.
Action! Suspense! Growing as a person!

JCLStefanieE Aug 20, 2018

Writer Okorafor vividly describes an interstellar community at war and fully immerses the reader in the lives of several completely unique and absolutely compelling characters in less than 100 pages. Binti is the first part of a short story trilogy and I will be recommending it to all of my friends who enjoy excellent space sagas or find international relations fascinating.

profdavis Jul 11, 2018

A young woman of the Himba people of Namibia becomes the first person from her culture to be accepted at a prestigious off-world university. The story starts as if it is going to use a Science Fiction trope as a metaphor for a woman leaving Africa to pursue an education in the West and struggling with holding on to her native culture or embracing Western culture. Instead the story takes a major turn when the ship carrying her is attacked by aliens who hate all humans. Then the narrative shifts to confronting hate with courage and compassion.

Jun 22, 2018

Cinematic...Easy to read. The sequel picks up right where the first one left off... as if to say: " 'Binti'..." I hope that they both get to be made into movies or mini-series someday. --Mark A. Payne

DCLadults Apr 23, 2018

Well written and a great story. The aliens were horridly bizarre and I connected with Binti’s fear. It’s my first novella, so I’m not sure how to rate it fairly. I was a little disappointed at how fast it moved through some of the more philosophical parts of the storyline, something a longer sci-fi novel would have explored more fully and is a main reason why i like sci-fi. I am looking forward to continuing on with the series.

DPLchandra Apr 06, 2018

Beautiful and wholly original start to a new sci-fi series.

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