Story of the week: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

I've been reading lots of excellent novellas lately and my new story of the week — Binti by Nnedi Okorafor — continues this trend. This futuristic story follows Binti, a sixteen-year-old woman of the Himba people in Namibia, as she leaves Earth to study at a university on a distant planet.

Binti is conflicted about her choice to leave her homeland because leaving is almost taboo among her people. This conflict intensifies when Binti's spaceship is attacked by hostile aliens, an attack that forces her to make decisions which will affect the entire future of not only humanity but countless other alien races.

Binti is an exciting science fiction story set in a future like nothing I've ever read in the SF genre. And to tie in with the comments I made a few days ago about gateway stories for bringing new readers to science fiction, Binti is just such a story. Binti can be read and enjoyed by both people who haven't previously read science fiction and by long-time genre readers.

That's a very difficult feat to pull off, but Nnedi Okorafor succeeds perfectly with Binti.