Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Jamaica Ginger, by Nalo Hopkinson and Nisi Shawl

Find this book
In a steampunk New Orleans, Plaquette works for miserly "Msieur" building watches and automata. The "George" she's working on could gain her freedom, if it doesn't ruin her first. (8,500 words; Time: 28m)

Rating: ★★★★☆, Recommended
Recommended By: SFRevu:4 SFEP

"Jamaica Ginger," by and (edited by Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell), appeared in Stories for Chip (RSR review), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The story does a nice job of gradually revealing the extent of Plaquette's plight, and at the same time detailing the class system of this version of New Orleans. We see enough of Msieur's stinginess to have no qualms about Plaquette robbing him. She found freedom in her work and in her stories, and then literally finds freedom in the money stored in "Claude," where her stories are also stored.

Despite the title, the addictive drink plays only a small role in the story, and we never learn its true nature. But by incapacitating her father, it set the whole chain of events in motion. Otherwise she'd never have been desperate enough to actually win her freedom. Jamaica-Ginger Paralysis was a real problem in the 1930s.

Con: Somehow we never feel emotionally attached to Plaquette. Although we applaud her escape, the story fails to deliver a big emotional punch.

Other Reviews: Search Web,

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)