"Falling in Love with Hominids" by Nalo Hopkinson
Nalo Hopkinson is known for her fantastic, vivid, and stunning works of fantasy fiction. One can only imagine how incredible it is to possess her imagination. From Brown Girl in the Ring to Skin Folk, Hopkinson is at the top of the class when it comes to fantasy. Her mix of modern speculative fiction with Afro-Caribbean folklore makes for incredibly inventive stories.
Falling In Love with Hominids is a new collection of short stories written by Nalo Hopkinson, most of which are unavailable anywhere else in print. These eighteen stories were written over the past dozen years and cover a wide variety of themes.
Fantasy and Speculative Fiction aren’t genres I read much of, in fact I’m not familiar with them enough to even know if there is supposed to be a difference between the two. But whenever I hear people discussing the genres, I hear Nalo Hopkinson’s name come up. Brown Girl in the Ring is often held up as one of the best. I have not read that one yet but I did read The Chaos and was immediately drawn into world she created. Which is why I decided to pick this book up.
Short stories in this genre are new to me completely. And I must admit, I don’t think I liked it very much. My reason for this is that I found myself wanting so much more. With an imagination like Hopkinson’s, I felt like I needed more of the worlds she was creating. I think it’s just a problem of myself and the genre though. I needed time to build up the worlds I was inhabiting through the pages.
But I don’t think this should stop anyone from reading this collection. Hopkinson is an incredible writer and has a master touch at creating alternate worlds. A few of my favourite stories from the collection include:
Old Habits - ghosts who passed away in a shopping mall must live out their lives in the mall and relive their deaths each and every day.
The Smile on the Face - a teenage girl goes to a party with her friends, where a party game takes an unexpected turn.
Message in a Bottle - a man babysits his friends child, one who has a rare disorder that holds the secret of time travel.
Some of the stories in this collection were stellar for me while others couldn't hold my attention. I think this comes down to my lack of familiarity with the genre more than the writing. I'm sure that anyone who is a reader of this genre will absolutely enjoy this collection. What I like most about Hopkinson’s writing is the way she includes the folklore of her Caribbean heritage in her works and these stories are no different. The worlds that she creates are absolutely incredible and shouldn’t be missed.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley. The opinions expressed above are my own.