BooktubeSFF Awards discussion

Binti (Binti, #1)
This topic is about Binti
note: This topic has been closed to new comments.
88 views
Archived (2016) > Binti by Nnedi Okorafor - Best Short Work Nominee (2016)

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Thomas (last edited Mar 01, 2016 04:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Thomas Wagner (sff180) | 49 comments Mod
Binti, the dazzling novella by award-winning Afrofuturist Nnedi Okorafor, is one of our short fiction nominees this year. The story is also nominated for a Nebula and will likely end up on the Hugo shortlist as well. I'll be posting the link to my own non-spoilery review of it here shortly, but in the meantime, discuss amongst yourselves. Be aware you may want to read the story first before taking part in this thread; spoilers may happen. It shouldn't take most of you more than an hour or so.


Alistair | 54 comments I've both "read-read" and "audio-read" this.
5 stars for reading.
5+ stars for audio. Brilliant narration by Robin Miles.

Robin Miles also narrates The Fifth Season, so I'll be "reading" that by audio. :)


message 3: by Kaitlin (last edited Mar 01, 2016 04:03PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kaitlin (kool_kat_kitty) | 110 comments Mod
I just read this one and I have to say that although I liked it enough to give it 3*s, the overall concept and execution of the story was a little lacking for me and I wanted to be told a lot more than I was.
Maybe it's just that I like world-building and character, or maybe it's because this was a short story, but something here just didn't fully click and I couldn't fully get invested or excited by what was happening.
I did like the cutural referencing and traditions she had, but otherwise it was just likeable for me.


message 4: by Paul (last edited Mar 01, 2016 06:06PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul (paul_sff) | 70 comments Rereading right now and I decided to google the Himba people. Absolutely amazing culture that I think really makes this novella have extra meaning. Such a beautiful people and culture.


message 5: by Paul (last edited Mar 01, 2016 08:28PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul (paul_sff) | 70 comments So I finished my reread and I think about the same of the novella as I did when I first read it. I think a lot of the metaphysical stuff just didn't work for me and caused the writing to annoy me a little bit. The plot just kind of happens and there isn't really anything Binti can do about it. She is very fortunate and lucky. I disliked that the Meduse stung her without actually telling her what would happen first.

I think a little less of the novella after my reread actually. I like to remove the best part of books and see if the book stands on its own without that element. Remove the cool Himba stuff, which is an actual Earth culture, and you remove my favorite part of the novella. Basically, everything that Okorafor added herself was sub-par, and the entire strength of the novella was from something she borrowed from an Earth culture.

I still like it, but it is even more "meh" to me now than it was.


message 6: by Nicole (last edited Mar 01, 2016 08:50PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nicole (nicolepo) | 107 comments Kaitlin wrote: "I just read this one and I have to say that although I liked it enough to give it 3*s, the overall concept and execution of the story was a little lacking for me and I wanted to be told a lot more ..."

I more or less agree with Kaitlin on this one. I liked this novella, but I've read Okorafor's novel Who Fears Death, and I liked that much more. While I think the plot in the novella is appropriate for the length of the work, I also think the story could have been developed and expanded, and I would have enjoyed the resulting novel more.

Oh, and I listened to the audio of this one too, and I agree with Alistair that the narrator is great. I've listened to a couple of works narrated by Robin Miles, and she's one of my favorite narrators. Love her voice.


Kaitlin (kool_kat_kitty) | 110 comments Mod
After just having read Midnight Hour by Mary Robinette Kowal which is much shorter I have changed my rating for this down to a 2.5*s as it just doesn't hold up for me against the Kowal story. I think that it's a shame having to change a rating down, but it just wasn't quite sitting right for me on the 3*s sadly.


Sarah (sarahofthebooks) I was a big fan of it when I read a few months ago. That being said I haven't read anything else by Okorafor, so I didn't have much to gauge it against for her like Nicole (I have Lagoon waiting for me on my shelves though).
I think the best part, especially like Paul said is the culture and the people. I grew up reading about a lot of white males in my science fiction. I get tickled when I see some representation, and especially at that level. It adds something to the story, some depth the character for me I think.


Krazyaboutbooks | 14 comments I gave this novella 3*s as it was an okay read and I was expecting to be mind blown due to the positive reviews. I liked the cultural aspects of the story but I feel that the story overall was pretty meh.


Rachel (Kalanadi) (kalanadi) | 66 comments I reread Binti today and loved it just as much the second time, although now more of my enjoyment came from understanding that the Himba people and culture were real, from page 1. That's something I didn't know was real until after I read it the first time. It made me pay much more attention to what was said about tradition, and the prejudice and snap judgments that Binti encounters.

I do agree with many criticisms of this novella. The plot is a little weak. It could have been longer (and still stayed under the novella threshold!) to flesh out the character and the worldbuilding. But I just enjoyed it so much, and both times I've read it, it's immediately fired me up to read Okorafor's novels.


message 11: by Paul (last edited Mar 03, 2016 07:30PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul (paul_sff) | 70 comments Question: I think someone mentioned this to me, it might of been you Rachel, the "math treeing" that Binti does, is that something grounded in reality?


Rachel (Kalanadi) (kalanadi) | 66 comments Math trees are real, but I don't know if they are accurately portrayed in Binti. I don't know anything about them except that they exist! I was curious after my reread if "harmonizing" was real because the descriptions in the text seemed like magic, or incredibly abstract.


Maija (maijavi) | 60 comments I was a bit hesitant going into this, since I wasn't a huge fan of Lagoon by Okorafor - the writing style didn't gel with me. But I really liked Binti! The writing style didn't feel the same as in Lagoon, and the character wasn't caricaturized like some were in Lagoon.

I liked Binti as a character. I also enjoyed the world - I think enough is shown to give the reader an enticing feel of it, and I thought it was enough and didn't crave for more to be added. I'm not a big short fiction reader, so it says a lot that this works for me at this length & I didn't need it to be longer. I didn't know anything about the story going in, only that it was science fiction, so it was really interesting to follow along. A strong 4 stars.


Cristal Punnett | 1 comments I thought the story was enjoyable but not mind blowing, I thought Binti was a very likable character. I would like to try some more books by this author.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Where have people been listening to the audio version of this? :)


Alistair | 54 comments Ellie wrote: "Where have people been listening to the audio version of this? :)"

I listened on audible narrated by Robin Miles, she is a very good narrator.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you!


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I've just finished Binti and given it a 4* rating, although I'm wavering between 3 and 4*. This is one of the first short stories I've read, and I'm also not a huge sci-fi reader, so I really had no idea what to expect in terms of pacing and how the story would fit with a shorter length than what I'm used to. Having said that, I really enjoyed this and thought the story worked well with the length, I felt as if there was just enough information given to make the world sufficient for the story and I didn't finish it feeling like there was more I needed to know. I recently read one of the other nominees, Midnight Hour, and although I've given Binti a higher rating I'm not yet sure which was my favourite. This was a great story for one of my first short works that I've read, and the uni sounded awesome :)


back to top
This topic has been frozen by the moderator. No new comments can be posted.