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Monday, August 20, 2018

Reader's Diary #1892- Nnedi Okorafor: Mother of Invention

I've been slowly trying to find read short stories set in each country around the world and while I've been having some luck with African countries, most of those I've found have been on the traditional, folklore side of things. So, it was an unexpected treat to find a futuristic sci-fi story set in Nigeria; less expected was that it was penned by Nnedi Okorafor, author of Black Panther: Long Live the King.

"Mother of Invention" involves a pregnant woman named Anwuli holed up in a "smart house" known as Obi 3. If the idea of a AI house makes you think of Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey, I hope it doesn't give too much away to say that Okorafor subverts that expectation.

But more than just a technological future, she also depicts a genetically altered biological future and some fascinating ramifications of that. It's almost shocking, this developed and believable Nigerian future of Okorafor's imagination.

And finally, the best setting in the world isn't much without a story and thankfully she delivers on that front too, with the complexly proud Anwuli and the coming of a life-threatening storm.

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