The Fifth Season

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This month Novel Ideas discusses The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. This is a recently published fantasy novel, released this summer, so those of you who are inclined to worry about spoilers: There will be spoilers. In this episode we talk about interesting narrative structure, justifiable anger, cast diversity, and slavery parallels. We also mention that Atlantis is not a thing, pirates with ambiguous sexuality, systematic oppression (and why it is bad), and why one shouldn’t ignore a floating amethyst Washington Monument outside of their window.

The music bump is “Lava Lands” by Jeff Lorber, created by his brain, but not violent enough to sunder a continent. Kinda funky though.

99 – The Fifth Season – Brain Volcanoes

Our rating: We were in agreement that this might be the best thing we’ve read this year and not just limiting that to books read for the podcast.

Ben: 10/10. Great world building with deep and complex characters. Not to mention a heavy dose of badass.

Gabs: 9/10 Rings. Lots of unanswered mysteries, but cast diversity is greatly appreciated.

3 thoughts on “The Fifth Season

    2016 Hugo Awards Postmortem - Minerva Mag said:
    August 25, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    […] This is an epic fantasy story that takes place in a geologically hyperactive world, revolving around people who can magically control tectonics. The universe building is fantastic, featuring an unusual landscape, amazing and diverse characters, a healthy dose of badassery, and a unique magical system. Much of the emotion of the story is drawn from fantastic racism against orogenes, those with the ability to control the earth. There are multiple characters who struggle against oppression and unfair circumstances, including, but not limited to, the end of the world. I think this book is a perfect example of how diversity can be included in storytelling. Characters are of various races and genders, even setting aside non-human creatures, but that diversity comes from the setting rather than through conscious casting. It was very easy for me to step inside the character of a middle aged black woman mourning the death of her son, and I am way, way not a middle aged black mother. You can hear my long-form thoughts about this on the Novel Ideas podcast. […]

    The Obelisk Gate « Novel Ideas said:
    November 2, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    […] return with a new episode on N.K. Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate. This novel is the sequel to The Fifth Season, the Hugo award winner and a Novel Ideas favorite. We should warn you going in, since this is a […]

    Claire S said:
    September 4, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Just finished reading The Fifth Season and wanted someone to “talk to” about it so I found your podcast in iTunes. I don’t have anything profound to add here, I wanted to say thanks for creating your podcast, it was a fun listen! And the book was dope too! I happened to have recently listened to the “Afro-Futurism” episode of This American Life, which also fits in nicely with the context and convo about this book , I suggest you check it out if you haven’t already! Cheers 🙂

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