Reviews of Mindscape

“[A] dazzling work of science fiction…an intoxicating, almost hallucinogenic journey into a vision of Earth’s future…Those familiar with Hairston’s plays will recognize her style here: sweeping and poetic, multi-dimensional, tackling complex issues of race, gender and politics…It’s an enormous vision that Hairston offers to us, and a beautiful one. The book is a complicated message of redemption and hope for humanity.”

The Women’s Times (Northampton, MA), February 2006

“African American playwright Hairston’s first novel blends speculative science with socially aware fiction to create a panoramic story that is at once personally relevant and philosophically significant. The author’s lush prose and multicultural background make this a strong addition to most sf collections.”

Library Journal, March 15, 2006

“[We] engage with an ensemble cast of sufficient originality and variety to please a whole range of SFados from hard sf to queer feminist postcolonial…These folk are enmeshed in a plotline of great complexity and great swaths of originality, presented through a headlong and ferociously vivid mise-en-scene.”New York Review of Science Fiction, October 2006

“The novel effectively represents a world forever changed by a mysterious force, yet also reflects some contemporary issues, including poverty, violence, unemployment, as well as the need for reforms in the education system. With a strong storyline and unique vision, Mindscape is an engaging novel that simultaneously explores the future and questions the present.” (read the whole review)

Langston Hughes Colloquy, Volume 7, 2006

Mindscape traverses the author’s prodigious imagination and touches on all the themes that have filled her multidisciplinary, cross-cultural plays for three decades. The book, published last week by Aqueduct Press, is her first novel—yet another instrument in the repertoire of this prolific poet-playwright-actor-director-percussionist-scholar.” (read the whole review)

Valley Advocate, March 9, 2006

“Wide screen, big questions, bigger answers and characters who have to literally save the world from an alien force as large as the world.”(read the whole review)

The Agony Column, January 25, 2006

“Andrea Hairston’s Mindscape starts with a vision of the way things ought to be and then takes us along on the amazing journey that must be undertaken to make that vision a reality. Her ability to fully imagine an alternate reality without sacrificing the familiar words and rhythms that provide outsiders a way into the story make this a book not just for true believers, but for those who still think they ‘don’t like science fiction.’ After Mindscape, my guess is they’ll see how meaningless such categories are. In the presence of a visionary author like Andrea Hairston, all you have to like is good writing!”

—Pearl Cleage, What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day and Baby Brother’s Blues

“What rich and provocative territory this amazingly written first novel explores, what memorable characters it compels us to confront—renegade gene scientists and ethnic throwbacks, slippery politicos and ‘expendable’ Extras, ghost dancers and double consciousness diviners conjuring through an enigmatic veil—each struggling in complex circumstances to navigate survival, identity, and self in a world thrown off its course, each speaking in distinct voices that stay with you long after you’ve left their unforgettable stories. Science fiction at its best, Andrea Hairston’s MINDSCAPE makes you want to cuss AND shout for joy—its vision, raw humanity, and ultimate hopefulness are exhilarating. What a pleasure it is to be invited into a world so large and muscular, so sensual and rooted in global history, a world in which not only the future but the past is at stake.”

—Sheree Renée Thomas, Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones, winner of the 2001 and 2005 World Fantasy Awards