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Report from Planet Midnight

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  385 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Infused with feminist, Afro-Caribbean views of the science fiction and fantasy genres, this collection of offbeat and highly original works takes aim at race and racism in literature. In “Report from Planet Midnight,” at the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts, an alien addresses the crowd, evaluating Earth's "strange" customs, including the marginalizat ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by PM Press
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3.96  · 
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 ·  385 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I’ve meant to read something by Hopkinson for a while — in fact, at one point I was a chunk of the way through Midnight Robber. I’m not sure what happened then; had to give it back to the library, maybe? But I’ve been meaning to have another crack at it sometime soon, and this is definitely encouraging. The two short stories are well-crafted, and I especially love the voices she gives to Ariel and Caliban and Sycorax. I didn’t read it as the ‘house nigger’ and the ‘field nigger’, as some of the ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This rating is for Report from Planet Midnight, which for some reason seems to be linked to completely different book by Hopkinson here on Goodreads. I enjoyed this collection a lot. The two short stories were rereads, and I remember them being some of the few I really enjoyed at the time I read her collection Falling in Love with Hominids a few years ago. The star of this is probably her ICFA keynote speech - the title piece - which she gives some great context for, as it came about shortly aft ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
While this book contains two of Nalo Hopkinson’s older short stories, the text of a speech she delivered about racism in genre fiction and an interview, both from years ago (2011-ish), the stories were good and Nalo Hopkinson’s points were well articulated. Her voice, frustration and humour come through well, and while her points were raised years ago, there hasn’t been huge progress since 2011 in genre publishing. While it’s easier to find works with a PoC PoV, and there are initiatives to brin ...more
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was fascinating. It really was an odd combination of things--two short stories, a speech, and an interview--but it served as a great introduction to Hopkinson's work.

I didn't much enjoy the fantasy story. It's not my thing as a genre, and it's based on The Tempest, a play I kind of hated. But I liked the sci-fi story, which had an interesting premise and a creepy child.

I most enjoyed her speech and her interview, which addressed racism in the sci-fi/fantasy community and in literature as a
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent taster of Hopkinson's short fiction and non-fiction.
Two short stories, a speech, and an interview.

I think I most enjoyed "Message in a Bottle," a science-fiction story about art and a creepy child. (view spoiler) The
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alt-worlds
This short taster is a fine introduction to Nalo Hopkinson’s work – two short stories, a speech and an interview but all buzzing and bustling with smart, cheeky and provocative ideas that do the things good science fiction should do – entertain and suggest new ways of looking and seeing. ‘Message in a Bottle’, the first of the stories, disrupts our taken for granted ideas of childhood as a time of naïve gazing at the world weaving in an apocalyptic vision and the disruptive marvel that is time t ...more
John Defrog
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another selection from the PM Press Outspoken Authors series that also serves as my introduction to Nalo Hopkinson, whom I’d never head of before. That fact alone may lend credence to her criticism that the SF/F industry is dominated by straight white guys and thus is in need of a lot more diversity than it currently demonstrates. The title comes from a 2010 presentation at International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in which she tackles issues of race, racism and sexism in SF/F (and d ...more
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
The stories were great, and I'll definitely be checking out more of her fiction. I thought the interview and the talk on race in SF were worth reading too, though they aren't the kind of thing I usually read. An author's interpretation of the future/alternate worlds is (obviously) hugely influenced by their present...I think it's so important to have (and read) SFF authors from a variety of backgrounds. I miss Octavia Butler.
Scott Neigh
I've read a few pieces of Hopkinson's work but not nearly enough, and this great little book has whetted my appetite for more. It contains two short-stories, both very good; the text of an important address on science fiction/fantasy and racism she gave to a convention during the fateful days of Racefail '09; and an enjoyable and thoughtful interview of her done by series editor Terry Bisson. Lots of good writing and important ideas in a very digestable package.
This is sort of an odd mix of things: two short stories, a transcript of a speech (with an introduction and after comments), and an interview. My thoughts in order:

"Message in a Bottle" (short story): I don't think it lives up to the hype of the one sentence teaser on the back of the book, but it is an interesting sort of variant on a time travel story. Part of what makes it work well is that it isn't obviously a story about time travel. Also, having a first person narrator who is skeptical abou
This book is a transcript of a speech by Hopkinson (about racism and representation in scifi and fantasy,) an interview with Hopkinson, and two short stories. I had already read both short stories fairly recently in her anthology "Falling in Love with Hominids." "Message in a bottle" was my favorite story in that anthology so I happily read it for the second time.

The speech and interview are must-reads for all scifi/fantasy fans. They gave me an even greater appreciation for Hopkinson. She is v
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This slim volume includes two short stories, a transcript of a speech Hopkinson delivered to the ICFA (The international Association for the Fantastic in the Arts) and an interview with the author. The short stories were very thought-provoking. I love a well-crafted short story. Hopkinson's speech addressed the bias and racism in the world of science fiction and fantasy writing. I found it moving, well reasoned and very original. If you are a fan of Sci Fi and/or Fantasy writing, I strongly reco ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved both Message in a Bottle and Shift! They are both brilliant and magnificent in their own ways! And now I for sure need more Hopkinson in my personal library.
I must say I really really love her word choices. As far as I know/remember I've never read stories with such attention to the choice of words used which is/was undeniably refreshing!

From an editing perspective I'm not a huge fan of the story-speech-story-interview order of the book but I'm sure that's just my own issue w
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I got this because it was available on my library overdrive and it was fascinating. I hadn't read any of Hopkinson's other books, and now I want to, and I think this would have been better if I already had.
Brian Gaston
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: other
A mix of stories and an interview which were very interesting to read.
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
I'm shelving this as novels, but it's not. It's two short stories and a speech and an interview. All interesting and made me think.
Stephen Theaker
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: minibooks
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Didn't think it was possible but I love Nalo Hopkinson even more now.
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Phoenixfalls
Shelves: 2013, anthology, library
This is a very thin volume (which is what originally caught my attention) and about half of this book is about race issues in science fiction - about 20 pages worth of a speech and another 30 pages of an interview.

I wasn't enamored with the two short stories (which is a surprise since I normally love her writing) but the non-fiction portions were fascinating. I really don't pay attention to the goings on in the fandom community and had never heard of "Racefail 2009", and since I really don't pay
I enjoyed this short little chapbook. It's four chapters long, with a bibliography. Those chapters break down into two short stories, a speech/performance piece which took place at the International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA), and an interview. I really liked the format because I have a short attention span and it blended short bursts of fiction with chatter. I love chatter. Interviews are the best.

I loved that the speech from ICFA, from which the title is derived, is annotat
Dec 29, 2012 rated it liked it
The first I've read in PM Press's Outspoken Authors series. Contained two great stories, a transcript of a talk she gave to a SF audience about race in SF, and an interview. The talk about race was given in the wake of a huge heated online dialogue about racism in the SF community. It was clearly a piece that she felt super vulnerable giving, and worked really hard on. I'm glad it's published. But reading it gave me that anxiety that you get reading idiocy online. Like, how hard she had to argue ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading this alongside Said's 'Representations of the Intellectual' and it - while unintentional - was a remarkably suitable pairing. Hopkinson's short stories are always compelling and wonderful reads, but their placement (short story, public lecture, short story, author interview) in this text grounds the story, the telling, Hopkinson as author, sci fi/fantasy as genre and political space (one that oppresses often but holds the potential for liberation/transformation/transgression/ ...more
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Picked this up at the Bay Area Book Fest in Berkeley last weeekend. I'd read some of her fiction, and this looked interesting, as it includes a couple of short fictions, as well as a speech to a Sci-fi/Fantasy convention audience and an interview. The fictions are good, and the speech and the interview are both great. In the speech, she pretended to be taken over by a spirit that spoke through her -- I wish I had been present to see her do it (note to self: track down the video). Judging by the ...more
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Containing 2 short stories, an interview, and a speech made after the great RaceFail '09, "Report From Planet Midnight" is a short book that makes me fall in love with Nalo Hopkinson over and over again. Hopkinson tackles race, identity, and mainstream publishing with a booming voice and steady pen. "Shift", one of the short stories, brings to mind (and uses the names of) some of the characters from Shakespeare's "The Tempest." In the interviews with Terry Bisson, Hopkinson offers a glimpse of h ...more
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Short collection with 2 short stories, a performance speech that provides the origins of the book title, and an interview. Most of the collection focuses on the intersectionality of race. Nalo's interview predominantly focuses on her experience as a black woman, in a white dominant and often white privileged field (the sci-fi/fantasy field). Her speech invokes her talents to provide a performance that helps open up a conversation of race. One short story is a new play on a classic Shakespeare pl ...more
May 26, 2016 rated it liked it
A very small collection but one that leaves you curious to find more by the author. Two well-crafted stories and a speech, as well as an interesting interview. It's all over almost before you know it, but it seems like a good introduction to the author's work and her interests.

The stories also hint that she has a way of approaching ideas such that you may think you know what point she'll be making when, in fact, she's going to take things in a different and novel direction. I look forward to fi
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Nalo Hopkinson is an able writer, a courageous thinker, and a moving fabulist. This quick little book's collection of two stories, an interview, and a speech exposes the various sides of Hopkinson's writing personality to good effect, and if her speech demonstrates a contextually limited vision of theme and subject, the interview compensates in spades. Of the stories, the first is my favourite: chillingly defined, cleanly delineated, and lacking in external fluff. If you're looking for an introd ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
From PM Press’s series of radical genre works. This includes two short stories, an interview with Hopkinson, and the core piece, a lecture she gave on race, ethnicity, and science fiction. Of the two short stories, I liked “Message in a Bottle” – it was usefully creepy, if that phrase makes any sense at all. The lecture is very direct, which is probably a good thing. Science fiction fandom can miss more subtle critiques sometimes.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is my first book in the "Outspoken Authors" series and I definitely want to read more of them. The slender volume contains short fiction, an essay by Nalo (based on a keynote address she gave) and an interview. I loved how it gives you a round view of an author. Also I loved the story "Message in a Bottle". It was captivating.

I've met Nalo, she was one of my Clarion instructors, and she fed me fabulous curry, but this book made me fall in love with her.
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Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born writer and editor who lives in Canada. Her science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories often draw on Caribbean history and language, and its traditions of oral and written storytelling.