Top Quotes by N. K. Jemisin

Reconciliation is a part of the healing process, but how can there be healing when the wounds are still being inflicted?

N. K. Jemisin

I think most fiction focuses on uncomfortable settings because that’s interesting.

N. K. Jemisin

In the ‘Dreamblood’ books, I’m focusing more on what I like about epic fantasy: the layering and depth of tension; the chance to really delve into the minutia of an alternate society and its politics; a large cast of characters to love and hate.

N. K. Jemisin

It’s the way the human brain works: when enough events occur in a pattern, we stop thinking and go into macro mode.

N. K. Jemisin

If you can imagine something, it will be.

N. K. Jemisin

All people who grew up with science fiction and fantasy and horror went through the whole acculturation process of the genre. We were all told to read the golden age writers. We were all told Heinlein and Asimov and all these straight, white males, although some of them were Jewish.

N. K. Jemisin

Magic is the mysteries into which not everyone is so lucky, or unlucky, as to be initiated. It can be affected by belief, the whims of the unseen, harsh language. And it is not. Supposed. To make. Sense. In fact, I think it’s coolest when it doesn’t.

N. K. Jemisin

As a black woman, I have no particular interest in maintaining the status quo. Why would I? The status quo is harmful; the status quo is significantly racist and sexist and a whole bunch of other things that I think need to change.

N. K. Jemisin

Reconciliations are for after the violence has ended.

N. K. Jemisin

It’s hard out here for a fantasy writer, after all; there’s all these ‘rules’ I’m supposed to follow, or the Fantasy Police might come and make me do hard labor in the Cold Iron Mines.

N. K. Jemisin

I write what feels real. I write things that are informed both by my own experience and by actual history.

N. K. Jemisin

It’s human nature that we come in our own flavours, and it doesn’t make any sense to write a monochromatic or monocultural story unless you’re doing something extremely small – a locked room-style story.

N. K. Jemisin

With epic fantasy, there is a tendency for it to be quintessentially conservative in that its job is to restore what is perceived to be out of whack.

N. K. Jemisin

Within the sphere of steampunk, there seems to be a rapidly growing subsphere of gadgetless ‘neo-Victorian’ novels, most of which attempt to recapture the romance of the era without all the sociopolitical ugliness.

N. K. Jemisin

A fantasy novel set in something other than medieval Europe, featuring an almost entirely black cast, is considered risky.

N. K. Jemisin

I read a lot of history for fun.

N. K. Jemisin

My first series, the ‘Inheritance’ trilogy, in the first book, you were dealing with a woman of color from an impoverished culture, being brought up among wealthy, privileged white people and having to cope and perform in ways that she has not been raised to do, and that was obviously drawn from some personal experiences.

N. K. Jemisin

I am a linear thinker in a lot of ways.

N. K. Jemisin

I don’t really understand why so many fantasy writers choose to focus on worlds that just seem strangely denuded. But to them, I guess it doesn’t seem strange. And I guess that’s their privilege. It isn’t mine.

N. K. Jemisin

Actual Victorian mores and politics were a reaction to a specific series of historical events, technological and scientific developments, and ethical trends in which the commodification of people was de rigueur.

N. K. Jemisin

To some degree, as I move outside of the exclusive genre audience, the exclusive genre issues don’t bother me as much. Maybe that’s just speculation.

N. K. Jemisin

I tend to like writing characters that are not typical heroes.

N. K. Jemisin

I think the people who believe that works can and always should be divorced from the context are people who have the privilege to do so.

N. K. Jemisin

It takes practice to do anything unique within this field, period, in writing, practice doing anything unique in writing.

N. K. Jemisin

This is magic we’re talking about. It’s supposed to go places science can’t, defy logic, wink at technology, fill us all with the sensawunda that comes of gazing upon a fictional world and seeing something truly different from our own.

N. K. Jemisin

Reactionary movements can’t sustain themselves unless they find something new to catch and burn on.

N. K. Jemisin

This is magic we’re talking about. It’s supposed to go places science can’t, defy logic, wink at technology, fill us all with the sensawunda that comes of gazing upon a fictional world and seeing something truly different from our own.

N. K. Jemisin

Reactionary movements can’t sustain themselves unless they find something new to catch and burn on.

N. K. Jemisin

I’ve always believed that as an artist, as a writer, you need a lot of contact with other people to make your art good.

N. K. Jemisin

There’s a tendency in American thought – maybe elsewhere, but that’s the culture I know best – to default to social Darwinism, even though even Darwin noted that’s a misapplication of his ideas.

N. K. Jemisin

When I start a new novel, I often write ‘test chapters’ in different tenses and from different points of view in order to figure out which is best to tell the tale.

N. K. Jemisin

I write for myself – but it is nice when other people like it, too!

N. K. Jemisin

I would love to just write and not have everything I say or do turn into a political battle.

N. K. Jemisin

I was raised to be very wary of the police. I was raised to stay away from them unless you absolutely have to. Because they’re dangerous.

N. K. Jemisin

Readers seem to really like the fact that what I’m writing is not traditional fantasy.

N. K. Jemisin

Knowing about authors’ beliefs helps you understand how those beliefs influence their writing, and things you thought meant one thing, once you’ve got enough information about that writer, you suddenly realize mean an entirely different thing. That makes a difference.

N. K. Jemisin

There’s a thriving field of self-published stuff in, particularly, black fiction. I don’t know that other groups of people of color have that same recourse.

N. K. Jemisin

Any writer kind of who knows what they’re doing goes forth and grabs a copy of an issue of something that they want to be published in, or they skim it online. They read what that market has been doing. They see a particular flavor of fiction.

N. K. Jemisin

I’ve been very happy with Orbit and am thrilled that they’re giving me more chances to explore my creative visions.

N. K. Jemisin