Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The City Born Great, by N. K. Jemisin

The City Born Great is N. K. Jemisin's entry in the Hugo short story category, though it's nearly a novella in length.  Our protagonist is a homeless man, first seen ululating at the city of New York.  In general.  Is he a madman, or clued in on its future?  Pretty quickly we find out the latter--he is chosen to bring the city to birth.  This will not be at all easy or safe. 

Along the way we get a take on our current relationship between blacks and cops.  But the intent of the story seems to be to show someone deeply in love with his city, knowing it in a way others do not.  Not the first of these I have read, and New York is often a focus (see James Blish's Cities in Flight series--this story reminded me of these, if only for the setting).  It's enjoyable and a fine entry for the short story award.  3 stars from me.

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