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How Long 'til Black Future Month?:…

How Long 'til Black Future Month?: Stories

by N. K. Jemisin

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An absolute must-read for speculative fiction fans. Stories are sci-fi, fantasy, alternate reality, futuristic, alternate history. There are a few stories about food, a few set in New Orleans (past, present, future, or other), one set in the world of the Broken Earth trilogy. Each story draws you in to the world she has created immediately; characters are compellingly human, recognizably so no matter what the setting.

See also: The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu, Stories of Your Life And Others by Ted Chiang


From "The Ones Who Stay and Fight"
But what shocks the young citizens of Um-Helat is the realization that, once, those differences of opinion involved differences in respect. That once, value was ascribed to some people, and not others. (9)

From "The City Born Great"
What good does it do to be valuable, if nobody values you? (22)

From "Cloud Dragon Skies"
You are fools...but I know how much harm fools can do. I will watch you closely. (115)

His kind have never seen the forest for the trees, or the dragons for the vapor particulates. (117)

"We no longer change the world to suit ourselves. When the world changes, we change with it." (120)

From "The Trojan Girl"
"What good are [dreams]?"
"What good are they to humans?"
"They aren't any good. Humans are full of interesting-but-useless features. Crying. Wisdom teeth. Dreams are more of the same." (146)

From "Valedictorian"
She gets so tired sometimes. It's exhausting, fighting others' expectations, and doing it all alone. (159)

Why are you different?
Why don't you try harder to be like us?
Because none of you will let me just be myself. (164)

From "The Storyteller's Replacement"
It's sad, isn't it? So many of our leaders are weak, and choose to take power from others rather than build strength in themselves. And then, having laid claim to what they have not earned, they wonder why everything around them spirals into chaos. (181)

From "The Brides of Heaven"
Humankind had discovered a cruel truth in the centuries of space exploration: Sentience, not life, was the true rarity of the universe. Life appeared on hundreds of worlds - nearly every one they'd found with liquid water. But never once had another species been found which possessed any sort of measurable intelligence. God had spread His children to a thousand new worlds, and on every one they were alone. (190)

From "Walking Awake"
"All you know is what they've told you, and they tel you so little. They think if we don't know anything, they'll be able to keep control - and they're right. How can you want something you've never seen, don't have the words for, can't even imagine?" (230)

From "Cuisine de Memoires"
Someone had looked into my heart and found a long-forgotten moment of love, plucked it forth and dusted it off and polished it up and shoved it back in, sharp and shiny and powerful as it had been on the day the memory was made. (247)

Was it really wrong of me to remember the past fondly? It wasn't, of course it wasn't - but the past was an easy meal, after all. I could taste it again anytime I wanted, in memory, and it would always be perfect and true. The here-and-now, though, had no recipe. (253)

From "Stone Hunger"
"We've all done what we had to, to survive."
"True. And sometimes those things come back to bite us." (276-77)

From "Non-Zero Probabilities"
Some people react to fear by seeking security, change, control. The rest accept the change and just go on about their lives. (372) ( )
  JennyArch | Dec 19, 2018 |
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