(4 / 5)– It’s Worth It!
2023 can best be characterized by the short stories I have been diving into; a year of starts and stops, quick vignettes that touch on life changing themes. I am not sure what led me to pick up all these books on my TBR shelf, but it started in January and appears to be continuing. “How Long ‘Til Black Future Month” by N.K. Jemisin is an outstanding compilation of fantastic tales from an incredible mind for futuristic worlds and characters.
Like all short story compilations there are stories that resonate and connect more deeply than others, but as a whole this book is worthy of readers’ time and attention. If you are familiar with Jemisin’s work there will be themes and characters that echo her published novels, yet they each stand alone with particular voices and points of view. Like most fantasy/science fiction, these stories play with the overarching theme of the purpose of life and the consequences of finding a purpose and living it, or not as the case may be for each character.
There is a potency and intensity in these characters’ tales, likely due to their shortened form, which I enjoy though sometimes I still find myself longing for more at the end. If you are just starting in the speculative fiction world, these stories would be a great place to start. Jemisin provides a wide range of setting, characters and themes to choose from for a reader to then dig deeper into a novel or even a series with a bit of direction and joyful expectation.