Becca and I were chatting about the intersection of literary and science fiction, and she suggested I read “The Closest Thing to Animals,” by Sofia Samatar. It sucked me right in and I thought, this would be great for the MUG published piece! It’s a wonderful example of contemporary science fiction, especially as the lines between all kinds of genres become more and more blurred.
Sofia Samatar is the author of the novels A Stranger in Olondria and The Winged Histories (due out March 2016). She has won the John W. Campbell Award, the Crawford Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the World Fantasy Award.
Questions for Discussion:
- How does Samatar sculpt the voice? How did you feel about the speaker, and did your feelings change over the course of the story?
- What can we learn from the way Samatar explores and blends race, science fiction, and character development?
- How does Samatar achieve a successful exploration of friendship?
- To me, one of the main questions here is: What is essential? How does Samatar answer this?