Mini Reviews: Binti, Robots VS Fairies & This World is Full of Monsters

mini-reviews.pngI 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.

bintiBinti (Binti #1)
By Nnedi Okorafor
Publisher: Tor.com
Genre: Science Fiction

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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.

robotsvsfairies

Robots vs. Fairies
By Dominik Parisien ((Editor), Navah Wolfe (Editor)
Publisher: Saga Press
Genre: Anthology/Sci-fi,Fantasy

Challenge Prompt: A book by 2 authors (ok this was more, but I think an anthology counts?)

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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 😉

worldThe World is Full of Monsters
By Jeff Vandermeer
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Science Fiction

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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?

Happy Reading,

Danielle ❤

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29 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Binti, Robots VS Fairies & This World is Full of Monsters

  1. It’s hard for me to get into short stories, but I recently read and enjoyed Her Body and Other Parties. The thing about short stories is that I usually don’t like every story in the book, so it’s a bit of a mixed bag. With the one I just mentioned I only ended up skipping over one of the stories, so that’s a win! Glad to hear you liked Binti. 🙂

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  2. I don’t read a lot of anthologies or short works like Binti, even though when I do read them, I like them. I thought Binti was amazing, but have I read the next two? Nope. Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life and Others was fantastic, but have I delved into any other short story collections? Nope. *sighs* I need to rectify that. Especially when it comes to the Binti stories.

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  3. I quite love short stories and I love novellas but only if they’re standalone not part of a series…. 🙂 I did stumble across Robots vs Fairies somewhere but never took the plunge… robots, they’re becoming more and more popular as characters… not sure how I feel about that yet XD

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    1. So I am hit and miss. I actually love novellas (cannot recommend Binti enough!) but often struggle with anthologies. Maybe I crave more consistency between stories and you just cannot have that with multiple authors? But I found some of the Robots VS Fairies to be very rewarding. There were even a few clever instances where the author successfully blended the two elements 😉

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  4. I’m always having mixed feelings with short stories and novellas since it’s tricky to get a certain dept in such a short time… But agree they can be very rewarding as well. Great reviews!

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  5. Awesome reviews, Danielle! I’ve been curious about Binti myself and it sounds like it delivered! I’ve only read one anthology in my life and I think you know and plan on trying it out some day too (Book of Swords?). I also think there was a story by Ken Liu in it too hahah

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