Midnight Robber

by

Author: Nalo Hopkinson

Title: Midnight Robber

Genre: Multicultural, LGBTQ Science Fiction

Publication Date: 2000

Number of Pages: 330

Geographical Setting: The Caribbean colonized mirror planets of Toussaint and Half-Way Tree

Time Period: Sometime in the far future

Plot Summary: On the Caribbean-colonized planet of Toussaint, the artificial intelligence of the master computer, called Granny Nanny, watches out for the citizens by recording everything that happens and talking to everyone through nanotechnology in earpieces implanted in everyone at birth. When Mayor Antonio kills the rival for his wife Ione, he escapes prosecution by “climbing the Half-Way Tree” through another dimension to the mirror planet of Half-Way Tree and out of the jurisdiction of Granny Nanny. Antonio tricks his daughter Tan-Tan to come with him, but he soon begins forcing himself on Tan-Tan, saying she looks just like Ione. Tan-Tan finally kills Antonio and escapes to the home of the bird-like douen people, who live far out in the bush. Antonio’s second wife Janisette pursues Tan-Tan, who is also pregnant with Antonio’s child. Tan-Tan assuages her own guilt for killing her father by playing the part of the mythic Robber Queen (a character like Robin Hood based in the Caribbean Carnival tradition), and a whole mythology builds up around this character. For more on Carnival characters, visit this link.

Subject Headings: Caribbean Area, Caribbean Novel And Short Story In English, Multicultural, Jamaican, Canadian, LGBTQ, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Appeal: densely written, leisurely paced, vivid and detailed characterizations, intriguing secondary characters, character centered, layered plot, complex episodic storyline, explicit violence, literary references, mythic, open-ended, sexually explicit, incest, thought-provoking, tragic; detailed setting, exotic, gritty, hard edged; homespun conversational style with a lot of unusual jargon.

3 Terms that best describes this book: Exotic, complex and mythic

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Fiction Works

Prospero’s Daughter by Elizabeth Nunez (a scientist raises his daughter in isolation in the Caribbean until love develops between her and a boy of mixed race)

Dark Matter: Reading the Bones, edited by Sheree R. Thomas (a collection of science fiction and fantasy stories by African-Americans)

The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (Ejii witnesses her father’s murder, sets off to find her father’s killer and awakens her own mystical powers)

3 Non-fiction Works

Talking Taino: Essays on Caribbean Natural History from a Native Perspective by William F. Keegan (A look at the Taino people, natives of the Caribbean before Columbus, and their perspectives on the natural history of the islands)

Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean by Gerard Aching (A look at masks in the traditions of the Caribbean as a “socially significant practice.”)

Toussaint Louverture: A Biography by Madison Smartt Bell (Biography of a key figure in the Haitian revolution)

Name: Christine E.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: