One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read more books that are recommended to me by people. I tend to be great at giving recommendations, but not so great at taking them. So the book I’m reading this week is So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy edited by Nalo Hopkinson & Uppinder Mehan. This was recommended to me by T, who was talking about it enough that I opened up the introduction and took a look for myself.
Scifi using “massa’s tools” to retell.
Usually, I read novels, not collections of short stories, so book beginnings makes a little more sense. This Book Beginnings is from the first story in the collection, entitled “Deep End” by Nisi Shawl.
The pool was supposed to be like freespace. Enough like it, anyway, to help Wayna acclimate to her download.
And finally, The Friday 56, which comes from page 56 on my Kindle. This one is from the short story entitled “Rachel” by Larissa Lai.
“Please do as I ask, child,” he says. “One of the escaped androids is the same model as you. You could really make a difference.” He gives me a set of photographs, not nostalgic, sepia-stained images, but holographic cards identifying the escaped replicants. He turns abruptly and leaves the room.
My cheeks are wet. It is the first time I’ve cried since my mother and brother died.
For more thoughts, read on.
First, a little about the Six Word Summary. In the introduction, Hopkinson talks about how Audre Lord talked about how one couldn’t use massa’s tools will never dismantle massa’s house. She goes on to talk about the nature of science fiction, and how the most familiar story line in scifi is one of colonization. But people of color have not been on the winning side of colonization, so writing about science fiction and taking on familiar tropes…
The beginning of the book – the opening line of “Deep End” makes me think of the show Black Mirror. I could see someone in a pool receiving a download, as part of a storyline in that show. T said this was one of her favorite stories in the collection so far, and the first line intrigues me enough that I actually want to read it (and I’m not just reading it because she recommended it).
For The Friday 56, the first thing I thought was “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” Which is a terrible joke. But from the information I have here, I’m intrigued. So in this world, androids can recognize each other if they’re the same model? And I thought androids were all machine, so how is it that she cries? The androids are called “replicants,” so I can’t help but wonder if the androids are people whose consciousnesses have been transfered into an android, kind of like what happened in The Scorpion Rules.