3 reasons to read Binti, Nnedi Okorafor’s magnificent space opera

3 reasons to read Binti, Nnedi Okorafor’s magnificent space opera

Nnedi Okorafor recounts Binta’s journey to the most prestigious university in the galaxy. But encounters along the way will turn the journey into a nightmare… and into the initial quest for heroin. An excellent space opera, which comes in your pocket.

Binti was destined to take over her father’s astrolabe business, as was the custom among the Himba people. But the teenager will defy all traditions, leave Africa, go to the most prestigious university in the galaxy.

It is about this grandiose initiation quest that Nnedi Okorafor tells us: after the initial publication by ActuSF, the work is now available in Pocket Book. Always translated by Hermine Hémon. You no longer have an excuse not to read Nnedi Okorafor.

Binti was published in Livre de Poche in October 2022 // Source: Livre de Poche
Binti was published in Livre de Poche in October 2022 // Source: Livre de Poche

That’s good Binti it is often presented as a work for young people, due to the age of the character, it does not do justice to the universality of the author’s pen. Nnedi Okorafor has built a well-written space opera, which is easily devoured and fragmented with rather intelligent reflections. Binti therefore, it has its place in the library, regardless of the reader’s age. The author became famous with her post-apocalyptic novel Who is afraid of death?and, without finding violence, the depth is always there.

The heroine of the book, Binti

If Nnedi Okorafor’s book bears the name of his heroine, it is not trivial: it is, in a way, his memoirs. The author excels in the psychology of her main character, described with such love that one is deeply sensitive to every strength and every fragility that characterizes her. Binti is dazzling in its complexity: it always seems more real with each page. His mathematical genius is, of course, admirable. However, she is more than that. Curious, brave, not without limits, but manages to overcome them in order to survive and, above all, to understand what is happening to her.

If you must read Bintitherefore, it is above all to meet the excellent heroine of SF literature.

An initiation quest at the edge of the galaxy

In a good space opera, Binti takes us far away from Earth. When the heroine boards a gigantic living ship, the journey promises to be wonderful. But an attack disrupts the journey: Medusa’s men attack the ship and its passengers. This is where the initiation quest for Binti begins and where, through interspecies relations, Nnedi Okorafor puts the question of otherness at the center of the story. Fascinating research – the novel is devoured in a short time, because the fate of Binti is important to us.

American writer Nnedi Okorafor // Source: Photo by Colleen Durkin
American writer Nnedi Okorafor. // Source: Photo by Colleen Durkin

L’africanfuturisme de Nnedi Okorafor

The author of Binti, Nnedi Okorafor, does not appropriate Afrofuturist literature, but African Futurist. The nuance is especially in anchoring the story: Binti it starts in Africa and these are the roots of the heroine that she carries with her throughout her adventure. Africa is not only present in an aesthetic and thematic sense: it is the default point of view of the narrative.

Nnedi Okorafor explained this choice of words with the need to regain control over the definition of her art – Afrofuturism was initially tied to her without being able to give her opinion. ” African futurism is specifically and more directly rooted in the culture, history, mythology and outlook of Africa she said on your blogin 2019

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