Why did I love this book?
Nalo Hopkinson's first novel swept a bunch of awards when it came out in 1999. At the time, there was nothing else like it. The novel puts structural racism and the systemic abandonment of urban Black people in the 20th century front and center, framing them against a struggling, post-collapse future inner city Toronto drenched in West African myth and magic. I think of it as an ur-text of modern solarpunk. This book opened my eyes to the repressed history of environmental injustice in North American cities; it got me started on the research quest that would one day give me the tools to begin to understand Detroit.