I have been reading quite a few anthologies, novellas & short stories of late. While I often enjoy these titles, we all know that attempting to provide a full, in-depth review can be challenging. So it is time for another round of Mini Reviews.
Binti (Binti #1)
By Nnedi Okorafor
Genre: Science Fiction
Thoughts: This is a brilliantly executed science fiction novella that manages to pack a lot of diversity into a small amount of time. It successfully navigates self discovery, culture and tradition all while tackling the heavy topic of war and its remnants. Binti is bold and defiant (much like its self titled protagonist) with a fast pace, creating an immersive experience, that quite honestly ends too soon. I have already picked up the next two titles as well as a few others by the author. I would love to see these combined into a full length novel.
Robots vs. Fairies
By Dominik Parisien (, Navah Wolfe
Challenge Prompt: A book by 2 authors (ok this was more, but I think an anthology counts?)
Thoughts: This is a collection of short stories centered around, you guessed it; robots and fairies. Who is superior? Featuring a familiar cast of sci-fi and fantasy writers, it offers an entertaining and easy read. I was expecting a bit more complexity than what was delivered, but the end result was still worth the few days I invested. Maybe not memorable, but delightful. A few of my favorite short stories included: QUALITY TIME by Ken Liu, BREAD AND MILK AND SALT by Sarah Gailey & THE BURIED GIANT by Lavie Tidhar
*I think I may be team robot based on the stories I favored, but that is debatable 😉
The World is Full of Monsters
By Jeff Vandermeer
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Thoughts: First of all, let us take a moment to admire that cover. Yeah? OK, so I connected really well with Borne and quickly established that Vandermeer seems to have a knack for the bizarre. This was no exception. If anything, it really takes the unnatural talent and showcases it. But with that being said, for such a short read, it requires a bit of effort. The writing is superfluous at times, drawing out more than I felt necessary. Yet tucked within still lies those hidden messages. The problem here, is finding the patience to reveal them. I feel that Vandermeer’s writing is left open to the readers own interpretations and will impact each in a very different manner.
You can actually read this one for free on Tor.com right now. Check it out here.
Have you read any anthologies, novellas or even short stories that appealed to you recently? I find that they are necessary from time to time to sort of cleanse the reading “palate” and shake things up. Do you have any recommendations?