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Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Books 2020, 24)

I wasn’t quite sure about this at first. I know it won awards and all that. It was assigned for the ‘Genre’ module of my Creative Writing masters,1 but it didn’t immediately grab me.

But I came round to it. It’s set in the very far future, because there are examples of technology that is old, but people don’t understand it. Reminiscent of Viriconium or Against A Dark Background in that way. And ‘Home is the pink one’ — star — suggests that Sol has got very old. Like, billions of years older than now. Which feels wrong, because humans should have changed a lot more in that time.

The titular character is the first of her people to leave Earth (we assume it’s Earth, anyway) to go to Oomza University, which appears to be a whole planet that’s a university, and takes people from many different species and civilisations.

Things happen on the way, as you might expect. It’s good, and I’m keen to read the sequels.


  1. As such it’s an odd choice: for the crime and historical fiction we got long novels, and even for YA it’s a full-length novel. But for SF: a novella. 

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