Broken Places & Outer Spaces

Broken Places & Outer Spaces


Nnedi Okorafor was never supposed to be paralyzed. A college track star and budding entomologist, Nnedi's lifelong battle with scoliosis was just a bump in her plan - something a simple surgery would easily correct.

But when Nnedi wakes from the surgery to find she can't move her legs, her entire sense of who she is begins to waver. Confined to a hospital bed for months, unusual things begin to happen. Psychedelic bugs crawl her hospital walls; strange dreams visit her nightly. She begins to feel as if she's turning into a cyborg. Unsure if she'll ever walk again, Nnedi begins to put these experiences into writing, conjuring up strange, fantastical stories.
What Nnedi discovers during her confinement would prove to be the key to her life as a successful science fiction writer: In science fiction, when something breaks, something greater often emerges from the cracks. While she may be bedridden, instead of stopping her journey Nnedi's paralysis opens up new windows in her mind, kindles her creativity and ultimately leads her to become more alive than she ever could have imagined.

Nnedi takes the reader on a journey from her hospital bed deep into her memories, from her painful first experiences with racism as a child in Chicago to her powerful visits to her parents' hometown in Nigeria, where she got her first inkling that science fiction has roots beyond the West. This was not the Africa that Nnedi knew from Western literature - an Africa that she always read was a place left behind. The role of technology in Nigeria opened her eyes to future-looking Africa: cable TV and cell phones in the village, 419 scammers occupying the cybercafes, the small generator connected to her cousin's desktop computer, everyone quickly adapting to portable tech devices due to unreliable power sources. Nnedi could see that Africa was far from broken, as she'd been taught, and her experience there planted the early seeds of sci-fi - a genre that speculates about technologies, societies, and social issues - from an entirely new lens.

In Broken Places & Outer Spaces, Nnedi uses her own experience as a jumping off point to follow the phenomenon of creativity born from hardship. From Frida Kahlo to Mary Shelly, she examines great artists and writers who have pushed through their limitations, using hardship to fuel their work. Through these compelling stories and her own, Nnedi reveals a universal truth: What we perceive as limitations have the potential to become our greatest strengths - far greater than when we were unbroken.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 0349011397
ISBN 13: 9780349011394

04 Jul 2019
Eleanor Morgan

ISBN 10: 1611856310
ISBN 13: 9781611856316

01 Jul 2019
Mark Bowden

ISBN 10: 1529374863
ISBN 13: 9781529374865

18 Jul 2019
Sam Kean

ISBN 10: 1787331768
ISBN 13: 9781787331761

04 Jul 2019
Mark Cocker

ISBN 10: 1788160371
ISBN 13: 9781788160377

04 Jul 2019
William Miller

ISBN 10: 1788700619
ISBN 13: 9781788700610

11 Jul 2019
Patricia Wiltshire

ISBN 10: 0241364817
ISBN 13: 9780241364819

11 Jul 2019
Kate Moore

ISBN 10: 1786494507
ISBN 13: 9781786494504

04 Jul 2019
Mark Austin

ISBN 10: 1471132714
ISBN 13: 9781471132711

11 Jul 2019
Sean O'Connor

ISBN 10: 1787472701
ISBN 13: 9781787472709

11 Jul 2019
Axel Lindén

ISBN 10: 0753552981
ISBN 13: 9780753552988

11 Jul 2019
Ziauddin Yousafzai

ISBN 10: 1785037633
ISBN 13: 9781785037634

26 Nov 2019
Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter