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Remote Control

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,600 ratings  ·  592 reviews
The new book by Nebula and Hugo Award-winner, Nnedi Okorafor.

"She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own."

The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa­­--a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past.

Her touch is de
...more
Kindle Edition, 156 pages
Published January 19th 2021 by Tordotcom
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Tanya Patrice I would start with the Binti series - but that is probably considered YA (main character is a teenager) - so if you're not into, then start with the L…moreI would start with the Binti series - but that is probably considered YA (main character is a teenager) - so if you're not into, then start with the Lagoon and then Who Fears Death.(less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,600 ratings  ·  592 reviews


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Nnedi
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It's May 10th and, yes, I've actually read this novella, so my review is honest. It's fantastic. ...more
Nataliya
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-reads
“Sankofa felt the town staring at her as she walked. It was hoping, wishing, praying that she would pass through, a wraith in the darkness.”

Once upon a time, in the near-future Ghana, little Fatima was a little girl who liked watching stars from the branches of her parents’ shea tree. Now she’s Sankofa, one of the new myths and legends, walking the roads from town to town, admired and feared because the legends portray her as Death’s adopted daughter. You see, she can emanate a strange green
...more
Bookishrealm
Thank you so much to Tor.com for providing me a copy of this book for review. All thoughts are my own.

As the new year approached I made a silent commitment to myself to try out a little more science fiction this year. I'm not a stranger to the genre; however, I've always felt as though I could read more. When I was given the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at the chance to read something new from Nnedi Okorafor. Although I've only read Binti and her children's picture book, I knew tha
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s.penkevich
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Nataliya
Shelves: afrofuturism
She wondered what story it would weave about her and how far the story would carry.

There’s something I really enjoy about novellas. It is like the poem version of a novel, stripping down to the bare necessities while still expanding voluminously in your mind. Nnedi Okorafor excels at this in Remote Control, leaving signposts that evince a much larger and sinister world at play while confining the story to a sharp and singular tale within it. An Aftrofuturist book set amidst the shea fields of
...more
Jenna
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it
What Star Trek GIF - What StarTrek Kirk GIFs

Who decided this was Science Fiction???

When I think of science fiction, I think of advanced technologies, aliens, spaceships, quantum physics, wormholes, and an unfortunate astronaut trying to survive when his crew abandons him on the surface of Mars.

Am I wrong for expecting at least one of those things in a book that's purportedly science fiction?

Maybe. So I Googled "definition of science fiction" and the first thing it gave me, from Oxford Languages, is this: "fiction based on imagined future
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Sankofa is given a dangerous gift that isolates her from her community. It also makes her a mystery to the drones who can't figure her out enough to include her in their surveillance. Set in near-future Ghana with possible aliens, this is Nnedi Okorafor's newest work and a interesting take on African Futurism. I heard it might tie to Who Fears Death but it's been ten years since I read that.

It reminds me of the emotional tone of The Obelisk Gate where you have this person who has supernatural ab
...more
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Remote Control may not be genre-busting in the scifi department but the protagonist and story immediately came to stunning life as soon as it began.
Full review to come on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/hollyheartsbooks
...more
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars
This was a unique piece of African futurism that read more like a folktale, than science fiction. The young girl was a likeable character with a sympathetic backstory. My favourite aspect of the narrative was learning how others reacted to her abilities, both fearing and worshipping her.

Overall, this novella had a compelling premise, but I was not completely immersed in the story itself.  I would recommend this one to readers who love myths and folktales. Personally, my reading tastes l
...more
Claude's Bookzone
CW: (view spoiler)

Well that was a remarkable and thought provoking fable-like story.

Nnedi pulled me in instantly with a character that needed love and community, but received only fear and ostracization. There are so many interesting ideas that are explored in this novella. It is human nature to seek comfort with others and this was the most emotional theme for me. Stories where young children are alone, confu
...more
Monica **can't read fast enough**
One of the things that I appreciate about Okorafor's writing is her ability to completely and quickly immerse me into her stories and characters which is why she is among a handful of authors whose novellas I can count on to be satisfying. Remote Control explores how a really young girl comes to know and accept unexplained powers and the fear and reverence it brings when she doesn't understand it herself. I'm a fan of characters taking a literal and/or emotional journey in order to figure out th ...more
Anna Luce
/ / / Read more reviews on my blog / / /

3 ½ stars

“Fear of death is a powerful weapon.”


Remote Control is Afrofuturism at its best. Nnedi Okorafor seamlessly blends folklore elements and aesthetics with sci-fi ones, delivering a unique and intriguing piece of speculative fiction. Set in Ghana, Remote Control opens in medias res: the appearance of Sankofa, a fourteen-year girl, and her companion, a fox, sends the residents of a town into hiding. They shout her name and the following: “Beware of
...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
This cover is literally one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen. WOW.
Boston
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nnedi Okorafor never fails to amaze me with her storytelling, wordbuilding, and characters. Remote Control is a small novella, but it packs a punch and will stay with you for a long time.

*Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this novella in exchange for an honest review
Scottsdale Public Library
Transcendent, stunning, devastating.
I've had a lump rising and resting in my throat since I began reading Fatima's journey. My heart is still tender and overwhelmed and so very full from this devastatingly beautiful allegory of self-destruction, awareness and compassion. The feels! I loved it. -Sara S.
...more
Thistle & Verse
What's it like to grow up as the most powerful person you know? Sankofa's powers elicit fear, which isolates her and gives her the leverage to demand most of the things she wants. What's it like to confront the one entity who could harm you?

For full review, watch here: https://youtu.be/Y-AeKLn4FJ0
...more
Sonja Arlow
3.5 stars

There are not many books that can pull off African folklore mixed with sci-fi and this one did it admirably.

I tried Binti a while ago and could never get past chapter 1 but as with most authors I am always willing to give them a 2nd chance.

This is Ghana, set in the future but with its feet firmly planted in the old ways. A Ghana filled with high tech drones, robots and the study of aliens, juxtaposed against the loud, organized chaos of African markets, culture and local cuisine.

This is
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Toya (the reading chemist)
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Don’t be fooled by this novella. Okorafor brilliantly delivers a story about a young girl (Sankofa) gifted with the ability to execute people upon will in this africanfutristic Ghanaian setting.

Sankofa navigates a life of grief, fear, death, and freedom as she comes to terms with her unusual abilities and its source.

This book will make you question what is both power and control. Furthermore, you’re left wondering if killing another is ever justified and the morality surrounding such an act.

I
...more
Shivvani Rao
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
This one reined me in as soon as I started it. The mood was so eerie and uncanny. I had to know what happened to Sankofa. I wanted all the answers, fast.
It’s my first book with an African place as the backdrop. It was cool to see the native food (yes, I googled all of them and they look so tasty!).
I loved Sankofa’s journey. Her maturity. Her strength. I loved her time in Robotown the most, though I sensed the foreboding.
The ending was good enough but it left me... unsatisfied. I wanted more plo
...more
h o l l i s
I think it's official. Sadly, Okorafor's books are not for me. I always get drawn in by her plots, the concepts, but then never seem to enjoy myself. And REMOTE CONTROL is another example of that. I was so keen for this based on the pitch but it was just.. fine.

Probably won't pick her up again but at least I tried.
...more
Veronique
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
This novella challenges your preconceptions. Is it science fiction as advertised or fantasy? Well, I’d say both. Okorafor juxtaposes an ‘old’ world full of traditions and superstitions with a modern, even futuristic, one where you find advanced technology and the possibility of alien life. At first, this perplexed me, throwing me off my reading, but soon I enjoyed it and wondered where the author would take me.

Fatima/Sankofa is a great character, very charming in her naivety, and who reminded m
...more
Justine
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-read, novella
A very satisfying and fully immersive tale, this science fantasy story is told with the resonance of Myth. What's unexpected is that a story about death, and the loss that inevitably surrounds it, could ultimately be uplifting. ...more
Kristina (heartsfullofreads)
When I read the description for this novella I was really intrigued. The adopted daughter of death in a futuristic Ghana was a really cool concept with lots of potential. Unfortunately, it just wasn't quite what I was hoping for. The writing was fine but the plot just kind of fell flat for me. I also wasn't expecting the protagonist to be quite so young. If you are a fan of the author or enjoy sci-fi I would say give it a try. It's a really short read and definitely unique. ...more
Katie
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2021-tbr
I went into this not knowing it was a novella so that’s my bad. After reading reviews I guess this is more of an African folktale so within that genre I suppose it works?

I just don’t know what the point of everything was. Was there a purpose to her powers? Why were there nods to an evil corporation that then did nothing for the story? Why was the fox there? What was learned in the end?

An interesting premise but this did nothing for me. Almost kind of felt like a not-fully-fleshed-out prequel to
...more
Chidimma Desiree
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
The way Okorafor creates a stunning story with intricate world building and character development in under 100 pages never ceases to amaze me. This got me out of my mini reading slump and it was definitely due to how quick I read it because of the short page length but also wonderful storytelling.
Adam
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Sankofa. Her name strikes fear into each town she visits. Rumors about her fly. She is the adopted child of the Angel of Death, the destroyer of technology, a remedy of suffering, an agent of chaos, and wanderer, a loner, an indestructible glowing force of nature in search of something that she'll never find.

It is a hard life for a pre-pubescent girl.

Remote Control is an origin story about how a seven-year-old girl--a lover of nature, animals, and the world around her--is given a gift from the h
...more
Elizabeth Turnbull
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Sankofa has been bestowed with a terrible gift, relegating her to a life of solitude, wandering through Ghana eliciting fear with every step. The adopted daughter of death, she glows green and can kill with a single look.

I read Binti by the author last year and quite enjoyed it, and was looking forward to dipping my toe in Okorafor's flavour of Afrofuturism yet again! For those uninitiated, Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic, philosophy of science, and philosophy of history that explores the d
...more
Lata
Fatima/Sankofa is a wonderful character, full of energy and a sense of right and wrong. Unfortunately, after gaining a strange power that allows her to kill everything around her, as well as render electrical devices inert, she finds herself wandering Ghana on foot, meeting a succession of people both kind and fearful, trying her best not to hurt others except for mosquitoes and the occasional person wanting to be released from life.
The story has great scenes full of difficult decisions, along w
...more
Kaa
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
As other reviews have pointed out, this is a sci-fi folk tale rather than any sort of hard sci-fi. For me, that was a plus. I enjoyed the mystery of Sankofa's powers (although I'm still not clear where the term "remote control" came from), and I thought she was very powerful as a main character. I loved the way the timeline skipped around a bit, speeding up and slowing down though several years of Fatima/Sankofa's life. Listening to the story be told aloud was an especial treat - Adjoa Andoh is, ...more
Matthew Quann
Sankofa, the Adopted Daughter of the Angel of Death, walks the roads of Ghana bringing death wherever her footfalls land. Is she a vengeful spirit? A benevolent angel of mercy? Okorafor's latest novella from Tor.com's imprint attempts to answer those questions in a character study in a near-future Ghana.

The book is a page turner throughout: interesting mystery, great world building, and an interesting lead in a peculiar conundrum kept me wanting to pick up the book. I was a little letdown by the
...more
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11,627 followers
Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American author of African-based science fiction and fantasy (Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism). Okorafor has won a Hugo, a Nebula, a World Fantasy Award, and a Locus Award, and her many fans include Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, John Green, and Ursula Le Guin. She is writing a series for Marvel about Shuri, Black Panther’s sister, and has a number of book-based project ...more

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“Her story travelled like an ancestor, always ahead of, beside and behind her.” 0 likes
“In Sankofa's years on the road, she'd learned that people were complicated. They wore masks and guises to protect or hide their real selves. They reinvented themselves. They destroyed themselves. They built on themselves. She understood people and their often contradictory ways...” 0 likes
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