On "The Age of Planetary Revolution"
To the Editor:
Carl Abbott’s “The Age of Planetary Revolution” (December 2022) reminded me of “Scorched Supper on New Niger,” a short story by Suzy McKee Charnas. Though the story is a conventional one about trade wars and fancy rockets flitting about space between trade ports, much of the action takes place on New Niger, a planet founded by Nigerian market women, who were the only people with enough cash to get started in space travel following a major economic failure in Old Nigeria on Earth. They bought ships, named them with African proverbs, and continued their successful trading practices. The main character is Dee, a female pilot who was rescued by Helen, a Nigerian trader on New Niger. Helen claimed her role as a strong woman leader by invoking a well-known Nigerian event, the Aba Women’s War of 1929. There is also a reference to the punitive practice of “sitting on a man,” in the context of thwarting a non-African man who was trying to take over Dee’s ship and business; the title of the story refers to a deliberately burned meal offered to that man. I appreciated this story that imagined the continued role of African women in the future, fully aware of their past history.
Santa Monica, California
Tags: Letters to the Editor
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Attribution must provide author name, article title, Perspectives on History, date of publication, and a link to this page. This license applies only to the article, not to text or images used here by permission.
Please read our commenting and letters policy before submitting.