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Skin Folk
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
13 posts | 6 read | 26 to read
A new collection of short stories from Hopkinson, including "Greedy Choke Puppy," which Africana.com called "a cleverly crafted West Indian story featuring the appearance of both the soucouyant (vampire) & lagahoo (werewolf)," "Ganger (Ball Lightning)," praised by the Washington Post Book World as written in "prose [that] is vivid & immediate," this collection reveals Hopkinson's breadth & accomplishments as a storyteller.
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review
Carolyn11215
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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Mehso-so

This was a strange collection of short stories...sci-fi/fantasy/folklore/horror/erotica.

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Carolyn11215
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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#weeklyforecast Will finish Emily of New Moon and start/finish Skin Folk. I need to ramp up reading for Hugo nomination process so starting Ten Thousand Doors of January and The City in the Middle of the Night this week and hoping to finish at least one of those as well.

review
suzisteffen
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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Pickpick

Finished last night and will talk more about individual stories in the comments! 4.5⭐️ with a heaping dose of 😳😱😮😱 as well.

suzisteffen OK! “A Habit of Waste” is a bit blunt what with the old body reappearing in the early minutes and the woman realizing in the end that she can eat what things she craves and just walk to work, but it does combine commentary on colonialism, racism in Toronto, poverty, capitalism, scavenging, food banks, and so much more. Honestly I thought it was going to end in a terrible or creepy way, but nope. 9mo
suzisteffen “And the Lilies-Them-A-Blow” escaped me a little. Sam needs to figure out a way out of her old life? Maybe needs to kill the old Sam so the new one can emerge? I need to know the song better, and what lilies and cotton (aside from the obvious, as mentioned in the story itself) mean. 9mo
suzisteffen “Whose Upward Flight I Love” was short, cool, and extremely creepy. WHERE IS THAT TREE GOING?? 9mo
suzisteffen But far creepier was “Ganger (Ball Lightning),” especially the part about the cockroaches and the chocolate, not to mention the electrocution issues with the suits. Also, I feel like the story might be re-written differently today because of certain changes in our general understandings about trans folks. 9mo
suzisteffen “Precious” was a bitter but strong way to end, like an espresso after dinner or something. Talk about several meanings of be careful what you wish for! 9mo
20 likes5 comments
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Weaponxgirl
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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The glass bottle trick.
A retelling of blue beards wife! Oh yea, I love this kind of story and it added a dark twist I felt.
I loved the spirits in this one and really wish I knew what happened next!

suzisteffen Right? I WANT TO KNOOOOOOW 9mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen so much! Someone‘s getting murdered but who?! 9mo
Cathythoughts Amazing cover 9mo
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suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl REAL. Fingers crossed it‘s only Samuel and not the wife too. I have some questions about the house cleaner and gardener as well. And let‘s assume only Dude gets eaten. Is the wife going to finish school? How will she act toward her mom? 9mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen I forgot about them! Hell yeah! What do they know? 9mo
ephemeralwaltz This sounds great. 7mo
57 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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suzisteffen
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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OK @Weaponxgirl I know you‘re super busy, so I‘m just gonna go ahead and talk about a few of the stories. The image is Tan-Tan, the Midnight Robber in Nalo Hopkinson‘s extraordinary book by that name, who stars in the short story “Tan-Tan and Dry Bone,” which is also a chapter in the novel and which I LOVE. So much about the endless demands of the always-hungry, never-satisfied patriarchy in this story! Other stories in the comments. ⬇️

suzisteffen 1. Glass Bottle Trick OHHHHH KAAAAY, this might be my fave Blackbeard retelling ever, because it addresses violence against women, colorism, how poverty and internalized (& external) sexism keep young women in virtual chains, and more. Come on, duppies! GET HIM. 9mo
suzisteffen 2. Slow Cold Chick AHHHHHHH I don‘t know what to think about this one. All I could really think of was that nasty Buffy episode with the controller things in the eggs, but it wasn‘t like that - it was about owning your own desires, asking for help, accepting help, and, I think, being bi and/or poly. In other words, sexual desire isn‘t a basilisk. 😂 9mo
suzisteffen 3. Fisherman WELP this one‘s just flat-out a sweet erotic short story that has basically no “Skin Folk” aspects other than the main character perhaps not dressing the way men expect her to. Also it‘s very good about sex workers. 9mo
suzisteffen Also I should say that I‘m gonna try to finish this book by May 31, so I might go a bit ahead, but I‘m happy to talk about all of the stories whenever! Now I want to re-re-read 9mo
Weaponxgirl I‘m the worst buddy reader ever! Next time I‘ll look at my social engagements first! It‘s only recently I made a lot of new friends so I keep forgetting that I don‘t have as much time to read now. Please read on, I will catch up as I‘m loving the book. 9mo
16 likes1 stack add5 comments
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suzisteffen
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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Hey @Weaponxgirl! I think it's my turn, lol. Whew, “Under Glass.“ It was intense. Was it the girl's fault? Maybe, partly. But so was it everyone else's fault ... somehow? For calling in volcanoes and winds that bring tiny pieces of glass to everyone's lungs, eyes, and more. ⬇️

suzisteffen As this says, some of the best worldbuilding - https://www.tor.com/2018/08/13/quiltbag-speculative-classics-nalo-hopkinsons-ski... - that I've read, but also, so sad and hard. If this short story says one thing, it's “Listen to old women,“ which, hell yes. 9mo
Weaponxgirl This story felt so current to me. I couldn‘t stop thinking about climate change whilst reading this even though it didn‘t say anything about it directly. 9mo
Weaponxgirl I think I got a bit lost in what I was following but I adored like you said the world building in the world of glass winds and really wanted to know more about it. The atmosphere in this was was great. 9mo
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suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl yes! I just couldn‘t tell if I was supposed to blame the girl/all of us with cell phones and flying and not concerned enough about global warming, or if something was specific magic within that story - or who the skin folk were/was. 9mo
Weaponxgirl Yes! Was it the mum and some kind of inter dimensional thing? 9mo
suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl I MIGHT HAVE TO REREAD. 9mo
13 likes6 comments
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suzisteffen
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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Snake: AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
I don't tend to enjoy stories of men stalking and murdering women or girls, and this was no different; I hated it. Then things changed.

Trying not to spoil this but ... well. I still don't ever want to read it again, but in this case, the skin folk are not evil; the human is.

suzisteffen If anyone wants to join in, we are reading and discussing the short stories in Skin Folk, by Nalo Hopkinson - which appears to be available in the US and UK on Hoopla! - one each day. We've read ... four? No, five. Next up is “Under Glass.“ 9mo
Weaponxgirl I‘m with you on that, when I realised what was happening I felt sick but I loved the way she changed this around and played with certain tropes. 9mo
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Weaponxgirl Her playing with the snakes POV in that voyeuristic way that I‘ve seen done so many times was brilliant as we actually got to see them scared. With things how they are at the moment I took a great deal of pleasure from their ending I have to say. 9mo
Weaponxgirl I also loved the play on a place that has a supernatural entity in it that‘s known about. Often you get a wicker man thing going on and it‘s bad. But it seemed like the residents probably know about them and here they are protecters. Did you have any thoughts on what birds they might be? For some reason I was getting stork vibes off the lady with the sword and kept wondering about the others? They seemed even more godlike to me than in the other 9mo
Weaponxgirl Stories. 9mo
Weaponxgirl I‘m lost due to time zone differences and my night shifts! I will post my next one in my morning. So sorry for being rubbish at this! I will read at least two stories tonight at work and then I‘ll be back on track! 9mo
suzisteffen You‘re not rubbish and there is no rush! Do your thing! Re birds, I think you‘re right about the stork, but perhaps they‘re all pigeons otherwise? Hm. 9mo
14 likes8 comments
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Weaponxgirl
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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Ok something to hitch meat to. I loved this one, it was so perfectly creepy and the ending wasn‘t what I expected necessarily.
I found it interesting with the spider character being referred to as a trickster as that isn‘t something I‘ve seen in folklore before and now I want to explore Jamaican folklore more!

GingerAntics The spider character is referred to as a trickster in American Gods and it‘s companion, Anansi Boys. I think it comes from African folk lore. 9mo
Weaponxgirl @GingerAntics thanks for the info! It‘s always interesting to me how similar and different folklore is around the world. I‘ve obviously got to do some more research in this area 9mo
GingerAntics I liked the stories, but I‘ve got a serious fear of spiders so I‘ve avoided going into any of the background info on it. I did get into background info on some of the Scandinavian stuff, though. The three sisters and the two brothers that are really a goddess and a god at different parts of the day. That was cool. I love folklore from around the world. 9mo
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Weaponxgirl @GingerAntics that will make looking into it further harder. Have you seen the peacock spider from one of David Attenborough program? They put it to music and it‘s kinda like watching a fancy pants spider version of Gomez Addams trying to seduce a mate. If anything is gonna make a person like them a little bit more that clip will. But obviously I won‘t force it as phobias are real! 9mo
GingerAntics Just thinking of all those creepy little legs is making me squirm. I think me and my phobia will stay over here. Spiders made me cry until I was well into puberty and even the emoji is a creepy to me. I have a serious problem. 9mo
Weaponxgirl @GingerAntics I get it. Sorry for that it was just one instance where I thought it was cute but I completely get why others find them creepy. 9mo
GingerAntics They are the scariest creatures on the planet!!! 9mo
suzisteffen SO MANY THOUGHTS About this one and so curious about Anansi and folktales and legends brought to the US and the Caribbean (and Brazil, one assumes) from the Ashanti and other people enslaved in the Americas. I thought I knew some stuff about Anansi, but I really didn't - here's a Wiki page with more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anansi
In this story, Anansi seems to also have some qualities of Papa Legba, the crossroads loa. ⬇️
9mo
suzisteffen So I have questions about the girl being Anansi's daughter - I have not heard of his daughter before, or is it also just himself? Or is Anansi non-gendered and humans just make him, or her, so?

I have questions about what the main character will do with his ability to change things. WIll it be honored, will he need to hide it, will the power disappear after some undetermined time? I want him to get a better job!

Disappointed in his coworkers. 😡
9mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen I‘ll have to look at the link later as unfortunately I‘m at work tonight. But oh yeah, his coworkers were awful! It would be an interesting gift to have, I imagine it could get very depressing seeing things as they really are. 9mo
45 likes3 stack adds10 comments
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suzisteffen
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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OK @Weaponxgirl , I just finished “Money Thee” & thought I‘d put a pic of the river up. I know it‘s late where you are but if you‘re awake, feel free to say anything about the second story in Nalo Hopkinson‘s Skin Folk!
I‘m thinking about who parents whom, the ways Canada treats Jamaicans, stories about money, not learning from stories, silkies, and the way dry winter sucks life from skin while water seems to give it back. Oh, and grief. Tag!

Weaponxgirl Hello, I didn‘t manage to get to this story today. So sorry! I run a book club and that took up my time today. I‘ll get on both stories tomorrow if that‘s ok with you? 9mo
suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl No worries! Yay book club!! 9mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen thankyou! Once I‘ve caught up with Litsy and put my laundry on the first thing I‘m gonna do is read those stories! 9mo
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suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl super! I read the third one so I‘d be prepared. 😉 9mo
Weaponxgirl Ok, I. Super late now. Night shifts messed me up! 9mo
Weaponxgirl I loved this story, I always think of water as being linked to deep emotions and so the dream scene where she finds her brother was so powerful to me. Floods of emotions her mother trying to teach her to swim and her learning to dive deep and confront what most scares her. Yes the silkies comparison is perfect and goes with the title skinfolk. You aren‘t quite what you think you are. 9mo
11 likes6 comments
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Weaponxgirl
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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Finished the first story today riding the red.
I‘ve read so many interpretations of red riding hood and the wolf where it‘s linked to sexuality and periods.
I liked this, I always like the dark kind of storytelling of fairytales.
I‘m not sure this particular story added more to the interpretations I‘ve already read of this but if it‘s a taste of the feel of stories to come I think I will love it.
What did you think?

suzisteffen I was interested in the way she hinted at the grandmother being the skin folk! That maybe the wolf is the same as the person, that maybe when one rides the red, one has desire, one enjoys sex - one masturbated, perhaps! But what does this wolf/grandmother want with her own granddaughter? (More below) 9mo
suzisteffen Thank you, btw! 9mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen I liked that too, I think as part as a collection it will add up to a great whole. 9mo
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suzisteffen This sentence had my own ears prick up: “Just as well they went home early that time, her and the little one.” Just as well??? BECAUSE? 🐺 9mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen I missed that particular bit! That makes so much sense though. 9mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen or I didn‘t make that connection 9mo
suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl Or maybe I'm just a little too obsessive - I just thought ... WAIT A SECOND. Partly that's because in my copy, the author's note discussion of “Skin folk“ is right at the beginning of “Riding the Red.“ Shoot, the author and I follow each other on Twitter - I MIGHT ASK HER. LOL. 9mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen mine had that too but I thought the wolf was the skin walker and she was, well.....riding him 9mo
suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl yes, but “riding” has several senses here, I think, including (I‘m using pluralism.org here) spirits riding or mounting people, particularly ppl devoted to that spirit. I‘m thinking about Hopkinson‘s other books that I‘ve read - Midnight Robber and Brown Girl in the Ring - that really emphasize that. I love love LOVE 9mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen I haven‘t read anything else by her yet. When you said it I saw it! I obviously only have a dirty mind when left to my own devices. 9mo
suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl oh no, the reading encourages that too! It‘s wonderfully complex for a like 5-page story. 9mo
Bertha_Mason That's one of my favorite horror short story collections! I reread it every October. 9mo
58 likes3 stack adds12 comments
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suzisteffen
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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OK @Weaponxgirl ! Shall we begin? On Monday, May 20, we read “Riding the Red”? (It‘s still the 19th for me, but I can wait!)

Weaponxgirl I‘m in! It‘s only just the 20th here for me and I‘m awake stupidly early 9mo
Weaponxgirl Just downloaded it and I‘m ready to go! 9mo
suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl OK, ugh that you‘re up so early! How about you post and tag me when you‘ve read it & I‘ll jump in? Or shall we do it all on this post? 🤔🤔🤔 9mo
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Weaponxgirl Tbf I went to bed stupidly early as I was kinda sleep deprived for the last few days so only myself to blame. I‘m happy with either, dyo wanna take it in turns to post the stories? 9mo
suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl sure! You first. 😉 9mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen 😆 will do! 9mo
Bibliogeekery Loved this book! 9mo
11 likes7 comments
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Kryckett
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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It has been a slow reading year for me. Happy to hit the goal, with time to spare. Now I can feel like an over-achiever for the next 23 days!

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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
Skin Folk | Nalo Hopkinson
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#Recommendsday! This collection of fantasy / science fiction / fairy tale short stories is one of my all-time favourite books. Nalo Hopkinson has an incredible imagination and amazing versatility. She goes from scary post-apocalyptic to erotic lesbian story set in a brothel to sci fi futures of dangerous sex toys and body swapping without skipping a beat. If you're a fan of Octavia Butler, you must read this! #DiverseBooks

UrsulaMonarch Stacked! 😊 2y
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