Binti (novel)

Last updated
Binti - book cover.jpg
Paperback edition
Author Nnedi Okorafor
CountryUnited States
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Tor Books
ISBN 978-0-7653-8525-3
Followed by Binti: Home  

Binti is a science fiction novella written by Nnedi Okorafor. [1] The novella was published in 2015 by Binti is the first novella in Okorafor's Binti novella series. [2]

Nnedi Okorafor Nigerian-American writer of fantasy and science fiction

Nnedimma Nkemdili "Nnedi" Okorafor is a Nigerian-American writer of fantasy and science fiction for both children and adults. She is best known for Binti, Who Fears Death, Zahrah the Windseeker, and Akata Witch. In 2015, Brittle Paper named her the African Literary Person of the Year. is an online science fiction and fantasy magazine published by Tor Books, as well as an imprint of Tor Books.


Binti won multiple prominent literary awards, including the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novella and the 2015 Nebula Award for the same category. [1] [3]

Hugo Award Literary awards for science fiction or fantasy

The Hugo Awards are a set of literary awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories. Organized and overseen by the World Science Fiction Society, the awards are given each year at the annual World Science Fiction Convention as the central focus of the event. They were first given in 1953 at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention, and have been awarded every year since 1955. Over the years that the award has been given, the categories presented have changed; currently the award is given in more than a dozen categories and includes both written and dramatic works of various types. The Hugos are widely considered the premier award in science fiction.

Nebula Award literature prize for science fiction and fantasy works from the United States

The Nebula Awards annually recognize the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in the United States. The awards are organized and awarded by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), a nonprofit association of professional science fiction and fantasy writers. They were first given in 1966 at a ceremony created for the awards, and are given in four categories for different lengths of literary works. A fifth category for film and television episode scripts was given 1974–78 and 2000–09, and a sixth category for video game writing was begun in 2018. The rules governing the Nebula Awards have changed several times during the awards' history, most recently in 2010. The SFWA Nebula Conference, at which the awards are announced and presented, is held each spring in the United States. Locations vary from year to year.


A young woman named Binti is the first member of the Himba ethnic group on Earth (closely modeled on the Himba people) [4] to be accepted into the prestigious intergalactic university, Oomza Uni. Upon being notified of her acceptance, Binti runs away from home and boards a transport ship to Oomza Uni. While in transit, the ship is hijacked by the Meduse, a jellyfish-like alien species that have previously been at war with the Khoush, another human ethnic group. After the Meduse murder all other inhabitants of the ship, Binti retreats into her private living quarters. She subsequently discovers that a piece of ancient technology she had brought with her from Earth, referred to as her edan, enables direct communication with the Meduse, and that her otjize , a type of mixed clay made from the soil of her homeland, has healing properties when applied to the tentacles of the Meduse. She makes a friend in one of the younger, more hot-headed Meduse, named Okwu, and subsequently brokers a tentative truce between herself and the hijackers. Upon arrival at the University, she is able to negotiate a lasting peace between the Meduse and the human race, after which she begins her studies at Oomza Uni in earnest. [5]

Himba people Ethnic group of people in Namibia

The Himba are indigenous peoples with an estimated population of about 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene Region and on the other side of the Kunene River in Angola. There are also a few groups left of the OvaTwa, who are also OvaHimba, but are hunter-gatherers, but OvaHimba do not like to be associated with OvaTwa. The OvaHimba are a semi-nomadic, pastoralist people, culturally distinguishable from the Herero people in northern Namibia and southern Angola, and speak OtjiHimba, a variety of Herero, which belongs to the Bantu family within Niger–Congo.

Jellyfish soft-bodied, aquatic invertebrates

Jellyfish and sea jellies are the informal common names given to the medusa-phase of certain gelatinous members of the subphylum Medusozoa, a major part of the phylum Cnidaria. Jellyfish are mainly free-swimming marine animals with umbrella-shaped bells and trailing tentacles, although a few are not mobile, being anchored to the seabed by stalks. The bell can pulsate to provide propulsion and highly efficient locomotion. The tentacles are armed with stinging cells and may be used to capture prey and defend against predators. Jellyfish have a complex life cycle; the medusa is normally the sexual phase, the planula larva can disperse widely and is followed by a sedentary polyp phase.

Otjize mixture of butterfat and ochre pigment used by the Himba people of Namibia to protect themselves from the harsh desert climate

Otjize is a mixture of butterfat and ochre pigment used by the Himba people of Namibia to protect themselves from the harsh desert climate. The paste is often perfumed with the aromatic resin of Commiphora multijuga (omuzumba). The mixture lends the skin a deep orange or reddish tinge. This symbolises earth's rich red color, and blood, the essence of life, and is the Himba ideal of beauty. The Himba use otjize in their hair as well, which is long and plaited into intricate designs.

Awards and nominations

The BSFA Awards are literary awards presented annually since 1970 by the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) to honour works in the genre of science fiction. Nominees and winners are chosen based on a vote of BSFA members. More recently, members of the Eastercon convention have also been eligible to vote.

The British Fantasy Awards are awarded annually by the British Fantasy Society (BFS), first in 1976. Prior to that they were known as The August Derleth Fantasy Awards. First awarded in 1972 only for novels, the number of award categories increased and in 1976 the BFS renamed them collectively the British Fantasy Awards. The current award categories are Best Fantasy Novel, Best Horror Novel, Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Independent Press, Best Artist, Best Anthology, Best Collection, Best Comic/Graphic Novel, Best Non-Fiction, and Best Newcomer, while the Karl Edward Wagner Award for "important contribution to the genre or the Society" is given at the discretion of the BFS committee. The membership of the BFS vote to determine the shortlists of the awards, the winners being decided by juries.

The Locus Awards are an annual set of literary awards by the science fiction and fantasy magazine Locus, a monthly based in Oakland, California, United States. The award winners are selected by polling magazine readers.


The novella has two sequels. [2] The first, Binti: Home , was released on January 31, 2017. [11] The third and final installment, Binti: The Night Masquerade, was released in January 2018, and is nominated for the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Novella. [12] [13]

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Binti: Home is a science fiction novella written by Nnedi Okorafor. The novella was published in 2017 by Binti: Home is the sequel to Okorafor's Binti from 2015, and is followed by Binti: The Night Masquerade, published in 2018.

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  1. 1 2 Barnett, David (21 August 2016). "Hugo awards see off rightwing protests to celebrate diverse authors". The Guardian .
  2. 1 2 Harris, Lee (27 April 2016). "Nnedi Okorafor Pens Two More Binti Tales". Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  3. 1 2 "Nebula Award Winners Announced". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. 2016.
  4. "On that Rabid Puppies thing and my Hugo Award-winning novella Binti" . Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  5. Okorafor, Nnedi (2015). Binti. ISBN   978-0765385253. Excerpt available at
  6. "2016 Hugo Awards Announced". The Hugo Awards. 2016-08-21. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  7. "BooktubeSFF Awards". Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  8. "BSFA Awards 2015 Shortlist announced". BSFA - The official website of the British Science Fiction Association. 2016-02-08. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  9. "Announcing the 2016 British Fantasy Award Winners". 2016-09-26. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  10. Publications, Locus. "Locus Online News » 2016 Locus Awards Finalists". Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  11. "Binti: Home". 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  12. "Binti: The Night Masquerade | Nnedi Okorafor | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  13. "Hugo Finalists for 2019" . Retrieved 2 April 2019.