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So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science…
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So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy (2004)

by Nalo Hopkinson (Editor), Uppinder Mehan (Editor)

Other authors: Opal Palmer Adisa (Contributor), Celu Amberstone (Contributor), Ho Che Anderson (Cover artist), Ven Begamudre (Contributor), Tobias S. Buckell (Contributor)15 more, Wayde Compton (Contributor), Andrea Hairston (Contributor), Maya Khankhoje (Contributor), Tamai Kobayashi (Contributor), Larissa Lai (Contributor), Karin Lowachee (Contributor), devorah major (Contributor), Suzette Mayr (Contributor), Carole McDonnell (Contributor), Nnedi Okorafor (Contributor), Eden Robinson (Contributor), Nisi Shawl (Contributor), Vandana Singh (Contributor), Sheree Thomas (Contributor), Greg van Eekhout (Contributor)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I like the idea behind this collection so so SO much more than another tired collection of retold European fairy tales. I particularly liked Eden Robinson's "Terminal Avenue," because the characters in the dystopia felt completely real and realized, even if the dystopia itself was only dimly sketched. Vandana Singh's "Delhi" reads like a heady, suicidal and Indian version of [book: The Time Traveler's Wife]. Karin Lowachee's "The Forgotten Ones," Greg van Eekhout's "Native Aliens" and Celu Amberstone's "Refugees" question land settlement and dispossession. And finally, I appreciated Carole McDonnell's "Lingua Franca," a nuanced and uncomfortable look at language and the power it grants--or takes away. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I find it quite difficult to talk about short story collections by various authors. It's the last story read that's most vibrant in memory, but that seems so unfair to the first read, the story that drew me in. Suffice it to say we could do with a lot more from these writers. Highly recommended for anyone who has fallen out of love with SFF these past ten - fifteen years and wants to be in love with it again. ( )
  veracite | Apr 5, 2013 |
Some of these stories were amazing, but felt like they would work sooo much better as longer works. The anthology introduces a speculative fiction/sci fi newbie like myself to a wide range of writers of color, but this definitely should *not* be taken for a one-sitting reading. ( )
  VikkiLaw | Apr 4, 2013 |
A fairly decent short story collection comprising science fiction and fantasy works "by leading African, Asian, South Asian and Aboriginal authors, as well as North American and British writers of colour" (per the back cover). Because it's a short story collection, you're naturally going to have some variance in the quality.

Thematically, the book is divided into five sections: "The Body", "Future Earth", "Allegory", "Encounters with the Alien", and "Re-imagining the Past". Section 4 is the biggest and also contains the story which was my primary reason for borrowing this book. This is also the last section I read; after that story I don't particularly feel like working my way through the rest.

I rated each story as I went, so each section will have an average rating. The rating for the collection as a whole is an average of all of the stories (not average of the averages; I'm adding all the stories' ratings together to average them out).

Section 1: The Body. Average rating: 1.75

Ouch. I guess I should not be surprised that a section focusing on the body would be my least favourite. The worst of this section featured gratuitous lesbian sex, half-baked worlds, gag-inducing description and an uncomfortable-for-me focus on the female form. The best of this section was the River Song-like protagonist of the second story.

Section 2: Future Earth. Average rating: 3

Much better. Most of the stories in this section were at least a 3; only the last story rated a 2. The worst of this section was creepy masochism scenes in the first story and a tired Big Brother dystopic society in the last story. The best of this section involved a man who could communicate with people in different timestreams (the Doctor Who fan in me got a huge kick out of that) and a fable of sorts set in a post-apocalyptic Saharan Desert that was scarily plausible but also magical, and it had a good message.

Section 3: Allegory. Average rating: 4

I was really taken with the two stories in this section. "The Grassdreaming Tree" rated a 3.5 because the narrative voice was very good, definitely captured the rhythm of oral storytelling, and the description was good as well. "The Blue Road: A Fairy Tale," meanwhile, got a pleasantly surprised 4.5 because I really, really enjoyed it. It was really quite magical, and I think I shall have to retain a copy of it to read to any children in my family or friends' circles. I like this kind of fairy tale, with clever, resourceful protagonists overcoming adversity.

Section 4: Encounters with the Alien. Average rating: 2.5

This is actually the section with the story that was my reason for borrowing the collection ("Lingua Franca"), so this rating may appear a bit harsh. However, there was a one-star in this section: "Trade Winds". Completely not interesting and I also had a personal beef with it (don't call interpreters "translators"). Still, I did like the story I came for, which is about a Deaf planet having to deal with spoken English becoming the lingua franca, and the young people all getting throat and ear implants so that they can become part of the speaking world. Very interesting concept, also quite relevant.

I ended up skipping the last section, so my rating as a whole reflects only those sections I read. To sum up, I'd say borrow this from the library if you really want to give it a go. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Feb 26, 2011 |
The premise: ganked from BN.com: An anthology of stories of imagined futures, written by leading writers of color from around the world.

My Rating

Worth the Cash: Overall, I was very pleased with this anthology. There are MANY stories here that deserve a re-read, so I suspect I'll keep this sucker around so I can come back to it again and see what more I can get out of each story. There were a few stories that disappointed me, but overall, I was fascinated, engaged, and impressed. There's solid writing in this anthology, and I've found some new authors to check out, which is always a good thing. If you're interested in science fiction and fantasy written by authors of color, this is a fantastic place to start.

Review style: I really don't know how to review this, and that's because my reading of this anthology got interrupted with surgery and pain killers. I will talk about the anthology in general and how it's constructed, and I definitely provide the table of contents with star-rating and brief commentary. There's also a bonus question at the end of the review! No spoilers, because what's the point of spoiling short stories? That's silly!

The full review is at my LJ, for anyone interested. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.

REVIEW: SO LONG BEEN DREAMING edited by Nalo Hopkinson

Happy Reading! ( )
  devilwrites | Oct 2, 2010 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hopkinson, NaloEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mehan, UppinderEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Adisa, Opal PalmerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amberstone, CeluContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Ho CheCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Begamudre, VenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buckell, Tobias S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Compton, WaydeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hairston, AndreaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Khankhoje, MayaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kobayashi, TamaiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lai, LarissaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lowachee, KarinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
major, devorahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mayr, SuzetteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McDonnell, CaroleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Okorafor, NnediContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robinson, EdenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shawl, NisiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Singh, VandanaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thomas, ShereeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
van Eekhout, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 155152158X, Paperback)

So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy is an anthology of original new stories by leading African, Asian, South Asian and Aboriginal authors, as well as North American and British writers of color.

Stories of imagined futures abound in Western writing. Writer and editor Nalo Hopkinson notes that the science fiction/fantasy genre “speaks so much about the experience of being alienated but contains so little writing by alienated people themselves.” It’s an oversight that Hopkinson and Mehan aim to correct with this anthology.

The book depicts imagined futures from the perspectives of writers associated with what might loosely be termed the “third world.” It includes stories that are bold, imaginative, edgy; stories that are centered in the worlds of the “developing” nations; stories that dare to dream what we might develop into.

The wealth of postcolonial literature has included many who have written insightfully about their pasts and presents. With So Long Been Dreaming they creatively address their futures.

Contributors include: Opal Palmer Adisa, Tobias Buckell, Wayde Compton, Hiromi Goto, Andrea Hairston, Tamai Kobayashi, Karin Lowachee, devorah major, Carole McDonnell, Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, Eden Robinson, Nisi Shawl, Vandana Singh, Sheree Renée Thomas and Greg Van Eekhout.

Nalo Hopkinson is the internationally-acclaimed author of Brown Girl in the Ring, Skin Folk, and Salt Roads. Her books have been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Tiptree, and Philip K. Dick Awards; Skin Folk won a World Fantasy Award and the Sunburst Award. Born in Jamaica, Nalo moved to Canada when she was sixteen. She lives in Toronto.

Uppinder Mehan is a scholar of science fiction and postcolonial literature. A South Asian Canadian, he currently lives in Boston and teaches at Emerson College.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:49 -0400)

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