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Emergency Skin

(Forward Collection #3)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  14,256 ratings  ·  1,855 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 w
Kindle Edition, 33 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Amazon Original Stories
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Jennifer I’d say this is the level of A Brave New World. Some ability to think about ethics. Etc.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,256 ratings  ·  1,855 reviews

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Emily May
Sep 12, 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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite short story from the Forward Collection.
chai ♡
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the most brilliant short stories I've ever read. There's so much in this tale that I cannot possibly hold enough of it in my hands. I will recommend it every day. ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 25, 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.
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
What a fun lunchtime read this was. NK Jemisin is so fucking cool.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Can’t start a revolution with the enemy shouting in your head, after all.”
It’s a story told by that little nagging voice inside your head - the one that you can spend your whole life trying to get rid of. You know - one that is an amalgam of the small-minded, closed-off and judgmental influences that are everywhere; the crotchety old guy telling those kids to get off his lawn.
“We left because it would’ve cost too much to fix the world. Cheaper to build a new one.”
Here that voice
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 ac
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 h ...more
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
***Winner of the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novelette***

The world’s elite, who call themselves the Founders, has left the dying planet and most of its population behind. However, centuries later they send back an explorer to collect some samples which are crucial to their colony’s survival. What he finds, though, is not the graveyard world the Founders expected, but a planet that has flourished. How could that have happened?

The thought behind this story is a nice one. Its not very subtle message o

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!
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
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2021
I am a huge fan of Jemisin's Broken Earth series so I jumped at the chance to read this short story.

Emergency Skin is a tale about a traveller sent from an advanced future race to retrieve something vital that they need from Earth, now supposedly a dead planet which they abandoned way in the past. Said traveller is fitted with an AI which is supposed to inform and lead him through the process.

This AI is the best part of the story and the dialogue between it and the traveller is hilarious. Jemisi
Look, I'm as woke as the next intersectional Twitter feminist, but this.. just no.

Would I want to see all the libertarian, right wing nutjobs shooting themselves into space in the Elon Musk's rocket? Yes, yes of course.

Would it be fun to see them flounder and stutter when they realise they were wrong, we were right and everything is just so much better without them? You bet.

But this sort of daydreaming doesn't make good literature. It was a very heavy-handed piece propaganda, that was already p
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Solarpunk Fans!
Recommended to Lena by: Solarpunk BOM
“Six billion people working toward a goal together is much more effective than a few dozen scrabbling for themselves.”

Reread: Fun and worthwhile!

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.”
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.
Kayla Dawn
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite from this collection so far and I only have two more missing.
3.5 to 4 stars

Emergency Skin was my next (and fourth) journey into the Forward series. I have been enjoying these little bites of speculative science fiction. So far, I would highly recommend this group of short stories to any science fiction fan.

This entry from N.K. Jemisin focuses on the question of who would really be at fault if we are forced to abandon a ruined Earth someday? In addition to this, do the people with the most money and power know what’s best for our planet as a whole? The one
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-e-books
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 accompani
***3 stars***

This is the third story I'm reading from the Forward Collection.

I didn't know what to expect based on title, but it has an interesting premise. It might have been better if it was a longer book, with more details and backstory. Jumping into the middle of the plot made me feel like I was missing something.

My biggest issue with this short story is that it had some confusing dialogue. I found the multiple voices difficult to follow/to understand who was talking when.

Comparing it to th
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...
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

★ 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
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z2019-12, x-4-star

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Science Fiction

This is the third book in Amazon's Forward Collection series and the first book I read for N.K. Jesmin. I have her The Broken Earth series on my TBR and looking forward to reading that one. This is a very short story, around 33 pages. An explorer is sent to our destroyed planet to gather information about the human beings who used to live there. Along with the explorer, an A.I. is also sent who has all the knowledge necessary to help and assist the explorer wi
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. ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No, I'm not reading these stories collected by Blake Crouch and penned by some of the best authors of the fantasy/scifi genre in order. Technically, while they are numbered, there is no order since they are all standalones.

Blake Crouch had the idea of asking some of the leading authors in fantasy/scifi to write short stories about what is to them a pivotal moment in humanity's technological advancement and to also address a problem or blessing they foresee with / thanks to it.

N.K. Jemisin has pu
Loved it! Why not a little earth wide Kumbaya! Bring it!!

4.5 Stars

Listened to the audiobook. Jason Isaacs was superb!
Sep 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is the most heavy-handed story I have ever read.
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 foll
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Popsugar Challenge 2021 - The Shortest book by pages on your TBR

This 33 page short story is part of the Forward Collection which was curated by Blake Crouch which at time of posting is available on Kindle Unlimited.

I am so glad that I read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks last year as so much would have gone over my head without that knowledge. If you don't know anything about Henrietta Lacks its worth researching before reading this as the HeLa cells and their controversy are the baseline
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A story told in second person, an implanted AI voice addressing an individual that came back to Tellus (the Founders' name for Earth) looking for some biological samples. The individual comes from a different society built by the Founders - the most rich and 'cream of the crop' of the species, that fled from a dying Earth.
We only get the lines coming from the Al and the people on Earth, but the individual's replies are omitted and you have to use your own imagination to complete the conversa
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N. K. Jemisin lives and works in New York City.

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Forward Collection (6 books)
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Articles featuring this book

"Oh, we are living a dystopian reality!" You've heard it, you may have even said it. But despite what's happening in the world—or maybe because...
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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.” 13 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.” 8 likes
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