So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan was the sweetest well of water when I was dying of thirst in the desert. I went looking for this book and others like it, and when I got it from super inter-library loan, I was blown away.
I often have a hard time getting through anthologies of short stories, but not so with this one. I read it cover to cover in two days and then immediately purchased a copy for myself.
“Terminal Avenue” by Eden Robinson, “When Scarabs Multiply” by Nnedi Okorafor, and “Panopte’s Eye” by Tamai Kobayashi are all standouts for me in a collection that already stands out.
“Lingua Franca” by Carole McDonnell is the story that got under my skin and deep into my brain, that made me think, rethink, and rethink some more. I’d only recently seen feminists like Audre Lorde and Joanna Russ and others questioning and critiquing “the generation gap” as an invention of capital and patriarchy to keep generations from sharing knowledge and banding together to fight oppression and degradation. This story fascinated me and gave me much to chew on, including a personal bigotry I have against Christians. (I was raised a fundamentalist Christian, which gave me scars I’ll carry til death.) I went in prepared to hate a story by an author who’s bio was Christian this, Christian that, and I kept waiting to get pissed at the story, but I never did, and it’s the one that got to me the most.
I’m very much looking forward to reading more by all of the authors in this anthology.
I glanced at the reviews, and surprise surprise, felt like I immediately needed to go grab this warning I’ve posted elsewhere. It makes me so incredibly sad/irritated that the negative reviews are often framed as being written by people who WANT to like things and are woke, but oh, ugh, sigh, this text just does it wrong. Yeah. Right.
Warning: I’m typically choosing to link to Goodreads, and, as one might expect, any text written by people about themselves instead of members of the dominant classes tend to get some really really negative, dismissive reviews, that often end up front of the list as other people who also don’t want to rethink what they thought they knew glob onto these negative reviews in a self-defensive position of adherence to ignorance and rationalizing away what they don’t want to hear. You’ve been warned. I’ve seen so many negative reviews that were utterly, factually false, despite any “difference of opinion” that might legitimately exist, and yet, there they often are, the top of the list. Funny how that might work.