Book - 2015
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Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach. If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself--but first she has to make it there, alive.
Publisher: New York :, Tom Doherty Associates, LLC,, 2015
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780765385253
Characteristics: 90 pages ; 21 cm


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forbesrachel Feb 12, 2018

A fantastic and original sci-fi short story. Binti is a character who is caught between what she wants and what her people want. As a part of the Himba people, she knows that she should not leave home. No Himba has ever left. Part of her also doesn’t want to leave, because she loves her family, follows her people’s traditions, and holds fast to their values. However, Binti desperately wants to go out and learn, and she knows that she has a lot to offer the larger universe. This is the core struggle throughout her story, but it isn’t the only one. Many don’t understand, and while this young woman puts on a brave face, their subtle racist attitudes do bother her. As an “outsider”, this may be why she is able to listen to, and feel compassion for the misunderstood Meduse, the alien race who attacks her ship. The author is not so much concerned with explaining how everything works, so there is a bit of a fantastical element to events, but everything is so wonderfully described and unique that this is fine. Binti is so short, that there is no excuse not to pick it up, you’ll be done with it before you know it, and you’ll be wanting more.

DBRL_KatSU Jan 08, 2018

There is so much packed into these 90 pages, it's incredible! Without giving too much away, it's about a young woman who leaves home (something her people NEVER do) to study at a university on another planet. Something terrible happens on the ship (which is a sort of living being, by the way), and Binti has to figure out how to survive.

Highly recommended for fans of N.K. Jemisin.

Oct 25, 2017

“Humans only understand violence.”

Thinly-veiled politics, a study of a culture (the Himba are a real people, though here their traditions are projected hundreds of years into the future); unexpected (and sometimes nasty) plot developments; well-written with deep characterization; and, at 90 pages, way WAY too short. This sci-fi novella should be the beginning of a much longer novel (or at the very least, an episode of Star Trek).

JCLGreggW Oct 16, 2017

In this entrancing novella we meet Binti the first of her people to leave for university a galaxy away. During her voyage, her ship is attacked by an alien race, and Binti needs calm, mathematics, and a bit of luck to heal a rift between two races. Altogether different than most other sci-fi.

Aug 13, 2017

Interesting and different. Very short. Almost more of a short story than a novel. (I think it's technically a "novella".) Combines science fiction and cultural relationships in a way that I haven't seen done before. Because of the length, there are a few things left hanging that I'd have loved to see addressed - mostly relating to the history between humans and the Meduse.

Highly recommend.

JCLJoshN May 09, 2017

Gorgeous, intriguing, highly-imaginative SF. Weird in all the best ways. Absolutely stunning. I'm very excited to read the next volume.

Apr 22, 2017

Too peculiar to really be enjoyable.

Feb 18, 2017

There are so many reasons to love this book: math used to harmonize racial hatred, recognition of other's values which leads to reconciliation, external physiological difference prove immaterial to understanding and ultimately friendship all told in a short coming of age story that begins in Africa and ends in a galaxy far, far away.

I recommend reading Binti and Home back to back as there are so many questions answered in the second book. The frustration I felt at the end of Binti dissolved as soon as I got into the groove of Home. It all makes sense.

This is one more example of a genre-defying book. While part of the story does involve space travel, that isn't the crux of the story. Anyone who dismisses this book because it is categorized as science fiction is missing out on the most imaginative writing I've come across in recent memory.

Dec 23, 2016

The world-building in this novella is done so well that you get a sense of place in a short time.

Nov 12, 2016

AMAZING! Kinda see why it won an award too. The writing is awesome and the story is amazing. I loved the science-fiction planetary world building meshed with the tribal aspects of a peoples who are not really technological versus the rest of the universe that is. And it is a great coming of age story wrapped around Binti. Cannot wait for more...

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