I read the Broken Earth books and thoroughly enjoyed them (especially the first). I found Jemisin's worldbuilding and protagonists writing to be very compelling.
I strongly recommend to read at least the Fifth Season to see if her writings are to your taste.
The fact that some would object that she is a Sci-fi writer seems... rather reductive to me at the least. Sure Jemisin does not write "hard" SF, and the Broken Earth has some strong fantasy tropes. But so did Frank Herbert and Ursula Le Guin, two among the most revered writers of the genre.
[EDIT] I should not even say that she does not write hard SF, since I did not read her other books (yet). I should have kept it at "The Broken Earth trilogy is not hard SF"
I’ve got a deep and abiding love for authors who build unique “systems” for magic / “powers” and so on, and Jemisin’s are really unique and pretty well thought out without becoming tedious.
I find Iain M Banks' (RIP) books quite a bit more entertaining though, as far as the genre goes.
Ancillary Justice also didn't blow my mind like The Diamond Age, which I thought was extraordinary.
Do people argue that it doesn't count as sci-fi? Just because the core scientific premises revolve around the (supposedly) unsexy field of geology rather than space travel or cyberpunk adjacent (robotics, AI, etc.) stuff?
I say that if Star Wars counts as Sci-Fi I don't see why Fifth Season wouldn't. Jemisin clearly has a stronger grasp on the underlying science behind what she's talking about than Asimov did about either nuclear power or statistics/sociology when he wrote the Foundation series.
Saying that I did enjoy the books
The fifth season definitely is a series that makes you feel uncomfortable, but I suppose not all stories can (or should) be comfortable.
Apple podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1081584611?ct=podlink&m...
It's not uncommon for series to win like that (getting a Hugo award for the first book means people will start the series, and since the awards are popular voting having people read your book is half the struggle).
I think the first two books (The Fifth Season and the Stone Sky) were great, but I didn't love the final book. I think Ann Leckie's Provenance should have won that year - it's in the (Hugo award winning!) Ancillary Justice universe, and deals with lots of issues around AI that I think many at HN would enjoy.
And as for the dead comments complaining that her winning is some kind of conspiracy because it's not hard SF: Fantasy has long won Hugo awards.
Also: (a) go read it - it's got a system of magic that is as hard as any magical faster than light technology in a space opera, and (b) Gaiman won with American Gods and The Graveyard Book. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union won in 2008. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire won.
The 2018 Hugo novel field was REALLY good. There wasn't a klunker in the group. My favorite was Kim Stanley Robinson's "New York 2140" but it was a very hard call.
Jemisin provided what I was looking for: second-person narratives, magic systems that are defined and have (loose) roots in science, plot twists, and great character development. It's also chock full of moral ambiguity. Her books are also short. After reading MBotF, I felt like I ran a reading marathon with books general being 1000+ pages. I wanted someone who could say more with less.
Jemisin listed Octavia Butler as a strong influence. So, I read the Parable books and am now reading Fledgling. The influence is clear. Butler's books are brilliant and so different for their time. Her name is really not mentioned enough.
I have to mention Joe Abercrombie as another author who is moving Fantasy away from magic-driven plots. Brilliant author.
[EDIT: first-person should have been second-person]
I will also shared this, since it's the sort of thing I like to hear (when it's true) about writers and artists: She's super nice in person. My wife and I got to meet her on the JoCo Cruise several years ago.
It is a moderately decent fantasy series, but the writing is kind of clunky.
Looking at the 2017 Hugo, I'd say Cixian Liu's "Death's End" was a much better novel than "The Obelisk Gate", and would have given it to that book.
For the 2016 Hugo I've read 3 of the finalist("Fifth Season", "Ancillary Mercy", "Seveneves"), but I don't think
any of them were all that great... guess just a weak year.
And anyway, if it was an erotic novel and the point was getting readers aroused, I would understand your warning, as it wouldn't work for most heterosexual people. That not being the case, I don't see any need for a warning.
I am not a fan of any sex in Sci-Fi or Fantasy (straight or not) so it was a valuable warning.
Do not be deterred by the intolerant mob.
I must say, I didn't find it particularly noteworthy in Jemisin's books, to the point where I don't remember it at all (whereas some unfortunate sci-fi sex scenes will stay with me forever...)
I think probably initially because it just seemed kind of irrelevant; if this was the 1950s “there’s sex in this sci-fi!” would be notable, but it’s really very standard now, and Jemesin’s depictions aren’t notably graphic, violent, or just plain comically stupid (a common problem). You could put “warning, there’s sex in this” into most discussions of sci-fi novels.
For why THIS comment is downvoted, well, you guessed yourself; obviously it’s the systemic bias against the straights!
I find it dangerous for my health that you find it funny and normal.
Moreover, even my comments where I say that I'm glad I've helped someone, was downvoted. If that's not bias, I don't know what it is.
By the way, as for irrelevance; someone has disliked the book for being too "melodramatic", and it had no replies. But when someone dislikes the book because it has graphic gay sex scenes, the whole HN hive-mind unleashes its fury. How's that for irrelevance?
I think that you're a part of the group I was talking about, that they don't even understand why they're downvoting.
Also, disliking a book that covers LGBT issues is fine, you dont have to like any book. But, disliking a book because it covers LGBT issues is indicative of a certain level of bigotry.
on the bright side, the discomfort will be brief - deng will come through and quietly tuck this thread on a back shelf and we can all go on as if it never happened : )
Same as what is pornographic or not, or obscene or not - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howl#1957_obscenity_trial
As food for thought, I’ll also throw into the mix the classic critique of American culture that it’s easier to show someone getting shot in the face on TV or in a PG-13 film than it is to show a woman’s breasts. That America is much more comfortable with violence than it is with sex (between any set of genders).
Your warning was pure homophobia, nothing to do with people being non-gay.
I much more likely to not recommend it for that.
Moreover, I told two gay friends about the potential of two penises being rubbed together in a highly-popular Hugo award-winning SF series. While neither has read SF OR fantasy before, they are most definitely embarking on this journey now.
Although a bunch of people clearly feel they won some moral victory by downvoting me. Bravo, HN. Just stellar.
As to your... tone.
I did quite a bit of volunteer work for a nonprofit for five years. I gave them, as it turned out when I did the math later, about 10% of my free time, worked with thousands of other people in that time (pretty good for an introvert). We raised around a quarter million, not counting the value of public resources and tens of thousands of volunteer hours we relied upon.
I’m fine walking through the gate you just erected. How ‘bout you?