Saturday, January 27, 2018

Binti: The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor

[Tor Novella]
★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Space Opera; Binti) With a war brewing and her own family under attack, Binti takes the initiative in trying to make peace. (47,885 words; Time: 2h:39m)

If "Make Room Make Room" is ratified at WorldCon 76, this story will qualify in the Best Novella Category for the 2019 Hugos. However, This series needs to be read starting with the original Binti novella. There is no way to make sense of this one if you read it stand-alone; there isn’t even a synopsis. See related articles on

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

Pro: This is really a sequence of episodes—like a TV series—within the overarching tale of Binti getting her problems at home straightened out and finally returning to school. In the process, she sees her whole family murdered, brokers a peace deal, sees a war start anyway, gets killed, gets resurrected, learns her family are really still alive, and returns to school.

Con: The story suffers most of the same suspension-of-disbelief problems the earlier two did. The “magical mathematics” is a problem, the “magical genetics” is another (Binti is now part Medusae and part spaceship), but the worst is that Binti’s actions are impossible to believe in. After witnessing the murder of her entire family, she calmly negotiates with the people who killed them, even though the man who ordered it tries to goad her into a response.

There is little or no tension. I was sure Binti's family would be rescued with no losses and that Binti herself would live again with no real inconvenience.

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Nnedi Okorafor Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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