"Sci-fi and Fantasy are the only genres that realistically depict the lives of marginalized people - Nalo Hopkinson": Strange Futures reads Brown Girl in the Ring

April 2, 2019

"Sci-fi and Fantasy are the only genres that realistically depict the lives of marginalized people - Nalo Hopkinson": Strange Futures reads Brown Girl in the Ring

Tonight we got together at La Petite Librairie for the second installment of our Strange Futures book club for Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring. The Strange Futures book club focuses on sci-fi and speculative fiction by QT/BIPOC writers. "Strange Futures" speaks to the unknown worlds that are to come--but also to the strangeness that is ascribed to marginalized voices, and how such strangeness can actually be generative, challenging, discomforting, and revolutionary. Hosted by Helen Chau Bradley, the book club meetings take place every two months, and are open to the public.

Host Helen mentions: "I was reading an interview with Nalo Hopkinson where she talks about growing up being perceived as Other and that Sci-fi and Fantasy are the only genres that realistically depict the lives of the 'Other' or that of marginalized people."

Everyone agreed that despite being set in Toronto, the magic realism and fable of the story allows the reader to go along with the unrealistic aspects of the novel. 

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Another person mentioned the relationship between the three women looks at different and multi-generational cultural experiences but also shows how each generation of women is screwed over by men. 

Someone mentioned that the book is arguing that accessing magic is harder than it seems, you have to be able to relinquish control to go there. There is a different thought and belief that is being centered in the book that is not a Western belief of magic. Helen mentioned that the ending also spoke to an alternative and non-carceral form of justice, which she really enjoyed. 

For the next Strange Future's book club, we'll be reading An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon, Library Journal’s Best Book of 2017 (Science Fiction/Fantasy), on June 6th at 7pm! 

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An Unkindness of Ghosts

Rivers Solomon

A Best Book of 2017: TheGuardian (SF and Fantasy), NPR Book Concierge,Publishers Weekly (SF/F),Library Journal (SF/F),Bustle (Fiction),Bookish (Best Book to Give),Barnes & Noble (SF...

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Eli Tareq Lynch

Events Coordinator

Non-Fiction, Poetry Support