Sunday Shorts – Vacation Placeholder – What I’m Listening To

bintiI’m on vacation for three whole weeks, so Sunday Shorts is also on vacation. That said, I thought I’d fan-boy blast you about an audiobook novella that blew me away, in case you—like me—also adore the short fiction when it’s read aloud to you.

What? It’s like being a kid again and getting tucked into bed with a story, except you can also be doing household chores or walking the dog.

I cannot tell you enough how much I loved Binti. This book by Nnedi Okorafor won the Hugo for best novella this year and oh my gosh how it deserved to. The performer was freaking brilliant. Every vocalization was so immersive and engrossing, every character of the small cast so distinct. Wow. So, if you’re an audiobook fan, don’t worry about the performance. Truly.

Prose-wise, Binti was so solid. A great SF tale through lenses you don’t encounter often in the mainstream, I can see why this blew away so many readers, and I count myself among them. The ideas in play of home as healing, as well as liberation and tradition and so many other pieces just click on so many levels.

Narratively, the set-up is deceptively simple (as is often the case in novellas): a woman from a very insular culture sneaks out in the dead of night to accept a position at a multi-species university on another planet. Mid-way to her destination, an alien attack occurs, and she finds herself in the unique position of being so many firsts to these aliens: the first human to offer a resistance to them, the first human to understand them, the first human to offer an option that is not violence.

So engaging. So happy to have listened to it, and so looking forward to the next instalment.

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