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Emergency Skin

(Forward Collection #3)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  4,470 ratings  ·  610 reviews
What will become of our self-destructed planet? The answer shatters all expectations in this subversive speculation from the Hugo Award–winning author of the Broken Earth trilogy.

An explorer returns to gather information from a climate-ravaged Earth that his ancestors, and others among the planet’s finest, fled centuries ago. The mission comes with a warning: a graveyard
Kindle Edition, 33 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Amazon Original Stories
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,470 ratings  ·  610 reviews

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Emily May
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I went back and forth on this rating because I seriously loved the story, but there was this cynical little voice in my head questioning whether it was too oversimplified. In the end, though, I rate based on personal enjoyment and I enjoyed Emergency Skin so much. It was my personal favourite from the Forward collection.

When I started to see where this story was going, I think I actually let out a little delighted laugh!

Many years into the future, a small group of humans have fled a dying Earth
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yes creepy as hell, do you smell the smoke? Yes, it’s coming from my brain cells and they’re BBQed now, ready to serve inside bun! Four amazing, smoking, mind killer, making you an urgent order for fresh new grey cells kind of great stars for different kind of weird, political, ideological but definitely enjoyable story!

Wow! This series of stories, written by multiple talented and mostly my favorite authors are really intriguing. And the best part of it, before you feel to urge for dnf-ing, you
A little soft and quite overt for Jemisin's capabilities, but I do appreciate the flip of the wish-fulfillment fantasy. An interesting tone, somewhat playful, that accomplishes that time-honored goal of holding up the mirror so that one recognize's one's own prejudices and environment.

An intrepid explorer has landed, expecting a devastated Earth peopled with savages. As he works through his encounters, the reader comes to understand what happened way back when.
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
3.75 stars. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

A single spaceman arrives on Earth (which he calls “Tellus,” a Latin word similar to Terra) on an important mission from a far-off planet that was colonized by a group of rich white men who left Earth centuries ago. The spaceman, as well as the collective AI that was implanted in his brain and constantly speaks to him in his mind, expected to find a world completely barren of life, decimated by climate change and toxic pollution. What they
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Solarpunk Fans!
“Six billion people working toward a goal together is much more effective than a few dozen scrabbling for themselves.”

N.K. Jemisin needs to write more Solarpunk because this little taste was delicious.

When things went downhill the rich left Earth, which was all the motivation the rest needed to come together for The Big Cleanup. It was simple:
“People just decided to take care of each other.”

I don't know how to categorize it, and I don't know what else to say about it. It was intriguing and then it changed into something else altogether. A fable of sorts? Maybe. A warning of sorts? Maybe. Then again, maybe it was just created as a mirror so we could take a good look at ourselves? How about all of the above?

Highly recommended!
Kayla Dawn
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite from this collection so far and I only have two more missing.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
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This was the second novella I read from the collection and I was so excited about it because I have heard great things about the author and always wanted to try her works and this seemed like a good chance to get a glimpse!

The novella uses the second person POV which worked well for the story and for a story so short, it could discuss major themes quickly and in a funny way. I did not expect to get all of that in 30 pages.

I think there is no point in
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent short story!

Not only does Jemisin concoct a brilliant tale, one full of derision and irony, commenting on many recognisable prejudices, but she does it through a distinctly different narration. It is very smart and yet so entertaining. I kept smiling at what is said in between the lines, listening to Jason Isaacs’s perfect rendition. Ultimately, I loved it for the glimpse we get of this new world...
Richard Derus
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindled
Real Rating: 4.75* of five

The Publisher Says: What will become of our self-destructed planet? The answer shatters all expectations in this subversive speculation from the Hugo Award–winning author of the Broken Earth trilogy.

An explorer returns to gather information from a climate-ravaged Earth that his ancestors, and others among the planet’s finest, fled centuries ago. The mission comes with a warning: a graveyard world awaits him. But so do those left behind—hopeless and unbeautiful wastes of
Milda Page Runner
Political manifesto/sci-fi.
I think this read was too soon after Light Brigade. Whilst political ideas are actual in the current climate, with Brexit madness and all I feel there there is too much politics stuffed down my throat as it is. I want more escapism from my sci-fi and fantasy.
That said at least it's short and not grim.

Free with Kindle Unlimited.
Anna Luce
4 stars

Now this is how you write a great short story.
There is a reason why many, me included, regard N.K. Jemisin as one of the best speculative fiction writers out there it’s because of stories such as this one.
One of her greatest strengths is her ability to use innovative writing perspectives in such a compelling way. In Emergency Skin she once again masterfully utilises the second person point of view.
The narrative never lets us see through the eyes of the explorer himself and we follow
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A hopeful and amusing short story with a unique POV, about how we could change the world and make it better.

An explorer goes back to Earth on a secret mission, after his ancestors fled centuries previously due to the destruction of the planet. What awaits him?

I have been wanting to read some N.K. Jemisin for a while now, and actually own The Fifth Season. I might be moving that book up my tbr list now after reading this great little story!

At first the narration style surprised me, but I really
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Non-dystopian climate fiction? Of course Jemisin would figure out how to do that brilliantly with a fantastically unique POV. Also, choosing Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) as the voice of the villainous narrator AI is just so so perfect. Ugh, how dare such a short story be so completely brilliant!
A utopian idea bursting with political statements, which could be too on the nose for some crowds, yet undeniably amusing and thought-provoking. I adore the second person POV. The audiobook is narrated by Jason Isaacs so that"s another plus.
Alex Bright
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was lovely, and oddly hopeful. I enjoyed it very much! It's the first of Jemisin's work I've read, but it certainly won't be the last.
Matthew Quann
It should come as little surprise to those of us in the SF/F community, but N.K. Jemisin KILLS this story. Of course, she's given more than adequate support through the fantastic audio narration of Jason Isaacs who sells a one-sided conversation with grace and style. This story is hilarious, and outright entertaining throughout. Though I think of Jemisin as an author of pretty serious speculative fiction and fantasy, this story is light and humorous. Indeed, though it tackles some heavy themes ...more
Dawn C
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Again I feel like Nemisin writes better short stories than novels. This was excellent, and I’m definitely going to read the rest of the Forward collection by various authors, if this is an indicator of the quality.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Definitely going to read the other stories in this collection. This was a wonderful way to pass the day in bed on Sunday. Also this weekend in the U.S. we should be seeing a cool down. There is even snow happening in some parts. And as for me I am going leaf peeping. So this book was the perfect thing to read especially with the discussion of climate change going on.

So "Emergency Skin" follows an unseen narrator talking to someone who is going back to someone placed Tellus. The narrator reads as
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really, really enjoyed this short story! It’s hilarious. Using absurdity Jemisin illuminates a hopeful attitude of how we could change our world for the better. I listened to the audio book narrated by Jason Isaacs who is nothing short of brilliant.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
Entertaining. Subversive. Amusing. My first Jemisin. Maybe not my last. Hard to put down. The unusual POV was well done and increased my fun through coming up with the missing part of the conversation.

Jason Isaac did a great job with the audio narration. But I expected no less from him.
Loved it! Why not a little earth wide Kumbaya! Bring it!!

4.5 Stars

Listened to the audiobook. Jason Isaacs was superb!
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one of six short stories published by Amazon and all of them deal with some sort of technological advancements which is not my usual kind of genre, so I don’t think these would have even been on my radar if not for this short story by N. K. Jemisin. And she never disappoints.

I’ve actually come to associate second person POV with the author, so I wasn’t at all surprised when this story began the same way. As per the premise, I was expecting the space explorer to find a much destroyed
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this: the completely different take on the dystopian genre, the unique narrative voice and the absolute relevance of the story’s moral to our current world political situation. Brilliantly told in Jemisin’s usual imaginative style, this short, but powerful tale will stay with me for awhile yet.
I wanted science fiction, not a comically heavy-handed political statement with caricatures of the extremeists on both sides. The evil people are all rich, white capitalists who check of literally every possible ticky-box for bigotry there is: gender, race, age, disability, financial/working class status, hair type, sexuality, body size. The good people are all purely communist, non-white, predominantly female, patronizing and blindly accepting of violence from outsiders. There's no moderation ...more
Jemisin is my fave and she does NOT disappoint with this one! Her stories are always so layered and I am amazed at how much she was able to pack into such a small number of pages. And her use of second person POV never fails to suck me in and gut punch me. She is a genius!

I am definitely going to listen to the audio version, which will absolutely enhance the second person POV
Leon Jane
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Emergency Skin is an interesting science fiction novella.

It's a well written piece, and although the story telling method was not unique, I felt like the true emotion of the main character was muted. It reminded me of The Host, where the main character is lectured by a foreign element - an internal 'voice'. However in Emergency Skin we don't get to hear the hosts voice, rather their questions and directions are narrated by others and the foreign element.

Emergency Skin is a well research,
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, 2019-shelf
Oh, so deliciously funny. I didn't even mind the basic message. It was definitely not a massage. It was more of a slap. But that's okay.

We all need to get out of our composite suits and learn to live with some real skin. :)
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
A compelling short story on a traveller returning to earth
”Sometimes that’s all it takes to save a world, you see. A new vision. A new way of thinking, appearing at just the right time.”

The stories in the Forward short story collection of Amazon are till now turning out to be quite optimistic.
Emergency Skin narrates a story of an unnamed traveller going to an abandoned earth. What unfolds is firmly in the spoiler area, but we are drip fed information skillfully by Jemisin.
Our scout is
My first encounter with Jemisin's work was The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and I was enthralled from the first chapter. The worldbuilding there and the rich, immense history she managed to unspool so beautifully was astonishing. She had over four-hundred pages to work with then, however, plenty of time set a comfortable pace and walk her readers through the more imaginative aspects of the novel.

What is astounding about Emergency Skin (and her anthology How Long Til Black Future Month) is that
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N. K. Jemisin lives and works in New York City.

Other books in the series

Forward Collection (7 books)
  • Ark
  • Summer Frost
  • You Have Arrived at Your Destination
  • The Last Conversation
  • Randomize
  • Forward Collection
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“We realized it was impossible to protect any one place if the place next door was drowning or on fire. We realized the old boundaries weren’t meant to keep the undesirable out, but to hoard resources within. And the hoarders were the core of the problem.” 3 likes
“Sometimes that’s all it takes to save a world, you see. A new vision. A new way of thinking, appearing at just the right time.” 3 likes
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