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书写未来非洲的科幻故事

发布者: 五毒 | 发布时间: 2022-7-30 06:00| 查看数: 105| 评论数: 0|



What if an African girl from a traditional family in a part of future Africa is accepted into the finest university in the galaxy, planets away? What if she decides to go? This is an excerpt from my "Binti" novella trilogy: I powered up the transporter and said a silent prayer. I had no idea what I was going to do if it didn't work. My transporter was cheap, so even a droplet of moisture or, more likely, a grain of sand, would cause it to short.

如果一个来自传统家庭的非洲女孩,作为非洲的未来的一部分被一所公认为银河系最好的大学录取了?在几个星球之外?如果她决定去怎么办?这是我从《宾蒂》中篇小说三部曲的摘录:我打开运输机,默默地祈祷。如果它不好使了,我不知道该怎么办。我的运输机很便宜,所以即使是一滴水气,或者更有可能是一粒沙子,都会导致它短路。

It was faulty, and most of the time I had to restart it over and over before it worked. "Please not now, please not now," I thought. The transporter shivered in the sand and I held my breath. Tiny, flat and black as a prayer stone, it buzzed softly and then slowly rose from the sand. Finally, it produced the baggage-lifting force. I grinned. Now I could make it to the shuttle on time.

它有些故障,大多数情况下,我不得不一遍又一遍地重新启动它,才能正常工作。“请不要在这会儿出问题,不要在这会儿,”我想。运输机颤抖着扎进了沙子,我不由得屏住呼吸。黑色的飞船又小又平,像是块幸运石,它发出轻轻的嗡嗡声,又缓缓从沙堆中升空。最后,它产生了提升行李的力。我咧嘴笑了。现在我可以让飞船按时到达了。

I swiped otjize from my forehead with my index finger and knelt down, then I touched the finger to the sand, grounding the sweet-smelling red clay into it. "Thank you," I whispered. It was a half-mile walk along the dark desert road. With the transporter working I would make it there on time. Straightening up, I paused and shut my eyes. Now, the weight of my entire life was pressing on my shoulders.

我用食指把红泥从我的额头拂下,跪下,然后我用手指触摸着沙子,把散发着甜味的红色泥土按进去。“谢谢你,”我低声说。沿着漆黑的沙漠公路走了半英里。有了运输机,我就能准时到达那里了。直起身来,我停顿了一下,闭上了眼睛。现在,我的整个生命的重量压在我的肩膀上。

I was defying the most traditional part of myself for the first time in my entire life. I was leaving in the dead of night, and they had no clue. My nine siblings, all older than me except for my younger sister and brother, would never see this coming. My parents would never imagine I'd do such a thing in a million years. By the time they all realized what I'd done and where I was going, I'd have left the planet.

这是我有生以来第一次挑战自己最传统的一面。我在深夜离开,他们毫不知情。我的九个兄弟姐妹都比我大,除了我的妹妹和弟弟,从来没想到这会发生。我父母永远都不会想到我会干这种事。当他们都意识到我做了什么,我要去哪里的时候,我已经离开这个星球了。

In my absence, my parents would growl to each other that I was never to set foot in their home again. My four aunties and two uncles who lived down the road would shout and gossip amongst themselves about how I had scandalized the entire bloodline. I was going to be a pariah. "Go," I softly whispered to the transporter, stamping my foot. The thin metal rings I wore around each ankle jingled noisily, but I stamped my foot again.

在我不在的时候,我的父母会互相咆哮,说我再也不要踏进他们的家了。住在这条路上的四个阿姨和两个叔叔会大喊大叫,互相议论我如何使整个家族蒙羞。我将会成为一个贱民。“走吧,”我轻声对运输机说,跺着我的脚。我穿的薄金属环围绕每个踝叮当响,但我又跺脚了。

Once on, the transporter worked best when I didn't touch it. "Go," I said again, sweat forming on my brow. When nothing moved, I chanced giving the two large suitcases sitting atop the force field a shove. They moved smoothly, and I breathed another sigh of relief. At least some luck was on my side. So, in a distant future part of Africa, Binti is a mathematical genius of the Himba ethnic group. She's been accepted into a university on another planet, and she's decided to go.

一旦启动,运输机在我不碰它时工作得最好。“走,”我又说,汗水在我的额头上形成。什么动静都没有,我冒险把两个大箱子放在原力场顶上。它们走得很顺利,我又松了一口气。至少我还有点运气。所以,在非洲遥远的未来,宾蒂是辛巴族的数学天才。她被另一个行星的一所大学录取了,而且她决定去。

Carrying the blood of her people in her veins, adorned with the teachings, ways, even the land on her very skin, Binti leaves the earth. As the story progresses, she becomes not other, but more. This idea of leaving but bringing and then becoming more is at one of the hearts of Afrofuturism, or you can simply call it a different type of science fiction. I can best explain the difference between classic science fiction and Afrofuturism if I used the octopus analogy.

她的血管里流淌着她的族人的鲜血,她的皮肤上装饰着教义、道路,甚至大地,宾蒂离开了地球。随着故事的进行,她不再是另一个人,而是更多。这种离开但带来并变得更多的想法是非洲未来主义的核心之一,或者你可以简单地称之为一种不同类型的科幻小说。如果我用章鱼作类比,我可以很好地解释经典的科幻小说和未来派主义之间的差异。

Like humans, octopuses are some of the most intelligent creatures on earth. However, octopus intelligence evolved from a different evolutionary line, separate from that of human beings, so the foundation is different. The same can be said about the foundations of various forms of science fiction. So much of science fiction speculates about technologies, societies, social issues, what's beyond our planet, what's within our planet. Science fiction is one of the greatest and most effective forms of political writing.

像人类一样,章鱼也是地球上最聪明的动物之一。然而,与人类的进化路线不同,章鱼的智能是从不同的进化路线进化而来的,所以从基础上就不同。各种形式的科幻小说的基础也可以这么说。科幻小说中有那么多推测关于技术、社会和社会问题,在我们的星球之外有什么,我们的星球里有什么。科幻小说是政治写作中最伟大和最有效的形式之一。

It's all about the question, "What if?" Still, not all science fiction has the same ancestral bloodline, that line being Western-rooted science fiction, which is mostly white and male. We're talking Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Robert Heinlein, etc. So what if a Nigerian-American wrote science fiction? Growing up, I didn't read much science fiction. I couldn't relate to these stories preoccupied with xenophobia, colonization and seeing aliens as others.

这些都是关于一个问题的,“如果呢?”不过,并不是所有的科幻小说都有相同的来路,这条线是西方科幻小说,大部分是白人和男性。我们在谈论艾萨克·阿西莫夫,儒勒·凡尔纳,H.G.威尔斯,乔治·奥威尔,罗伯特·海因莱因等。那么,如果一个尼日利亚裔美国人写科幻小说呢?从小到大,我都不怎么读科幻小说。我无法理解这些充斥着排外主义、殖民主义和外星人的故事。

And I saw no reflection of anyone who looked like me in those narratives. In the "Binti" novella trilogy, Binti leaves the planet to seek education from extraterrestrials. She goes out as she is, looking the way she looks, carrying her cultures, being who she is. I was inspired to write this story not because I was following a line of classic space opera narratives, but because of blood that runs deep, family, cultural conflict and the need to see an African girl leave the planet on her own terms.

在那些叙述中,没有任何像我的人。在《宾蒂》中篇小说三部曲中,宾蒂离开地球去寻求外星人的教育。她就这样出去了,她的外貌就是那样,承载她的文化,做她自己。我写这个故事的灵感并不是因为我遵循了一系列经典的太空歌剧叙事,而是因为血脉的牵绊那样深,家庭、文化冲突,我需要看到一个非洲女孩按照自己的方式离开这个星球。

My science fiction had different ancestors, African ones. So I'm Nigerian-American. I was born to two Nigerian immigrant parents and raised in the United States, one of the birthplaces of classic science fiction. However, it was my Nigerian heritage that led me to write science fiction. Specifically I cite those family trips to Nigeria in the late '90s. I'd been taking trips back to Nigeria with my family since I was very young. These early trips inspired me.

我的科幻小说有不同的祖先,非洲的祖先。所以我是尼日利亚裔美国人。我出生在两个尼日利亚移民家庭,在美国长大,一个经典的科幻小说的发源地。然而,正是我的尼日利亚传统促使写了科幻小说。具体来说,我引用了90年代末去尼日利亚的家庭旅行。从很小的时候起,我就和家人一起回尼日利亚旅行。这些早期的旅行给了我灵感。

Hence the first story that I ever even wrote took place in Nigeria. I wrote mainly magical realism and fantasy inspired by my love of Igbo and other West African traditional cosmologies and spiritualities. However, in the late '90s, I started noticing the role of technology in Nigeria: cable TV and cell phones in the village, 419 scammers occupying the cybercafes, the small generator connected to my cousin's desktop computer because the power was always going on and off.

因此,我曾经写过的第一个故事发生在尼日利亚。我写的主要是魔幻现实主义和幻想,灵感来自我对伊博和其他西非传统宇宙观和灵性的热爱。然而,在90年代后期,我开始注意到技术在尼日利亚的作用:村里的有线电视和手机,419名骗子占领了网吧,小发电机连接到我表弟的台式电脑,因为电力总是时好时坏。

And my Americanness othered me enough to be intrigued by these things that most Nigerians saw as normal. My intrigue eventually gave birth to stories. I started opening strange doors. What if aliens came to Lagos, Nigeria? This is an excerpt from my novel, "Lagoon." Everybody saw it, all over the world. That was a real introduction to the great mess happening in Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa, Africa, here.

我的美国差异使我对这些大多数尼日利亚人看起来很正常的事感到好奇,这让我烦恼。我的兴趣最终产生了故事。我开始打开陌生的门。如果外星人来到尼日利亚的拉各斯会发生什么呢?这是我的小说《Lagoon》的节选。每个人都看到了,全世界。那是对发生在拉各斯、尼日利亚、西非、非洲、和这里的巨大混乱的真正介绍。

Because so many people in Lagos had portable, chargeable, glowing, vibrating, chirping, tweeting, communicating, connected devices, practically everything was recorded and posted online in some way, somehow, quickly. The modern human world is connected like a spider's web. The world was watching. It watched in fascinated horror for information, but mostly for entertainment. Footage of what was happening dominated every international news source, video-sharing website, social network, circle, pyramid and trapezoid.

因为在拉各斯有这么多人有手提式的,收费的,发光的,振动,啁啾,嗡嗡的,沟通的连接设备,几乎所有的东西都以某种方式记录和发布在网上,迅速地,用各种方式。现代人的世界就像蜘蛛网一样相连。全世界都在观望。它惊恐地注视着,为了信息,但主要是为了娱乐。所发生的一切都是国际新闻来源的素材,视频共享网站,社交网络,圆形,金字塔和梯形。

But the story goes deeper. It is in the mud, the dirt, the earth, in the fond memory of the soily cosmos. It is in the always mingling past, present and future. It is in the water. It is in the powerful spirits and ancestors who dwelled in Lagos. It is in the hearts and minds of the people of Lagos. Change begets change. The alien Ayodele knew it. All her people know it. So, this is a voice of Udide, the supreme spider artist, who is older than dirt and lives in the dirt beneath the city of Lagos, listening and commenting and weaving the story of extraterrestrials coming to Lagos.

但故事更深入。它在泥里,污垢里,土壤里,在沾泥的宇宙的美好的记忆。它总是将过去、现在和将来交织在一起。它在水里。它是居住在拉各斯的强大的精神和祖先。它在拉各斯人民的心中。改变会带来改变。外星人阿约德尔知道这一点。她身边所有人都知道。这是乌迪德的声音,它是最棒的蜘蛛艺术家,比泥土还要常住在拉各斯城下面的泥土里,倾听和评论,编织着外星人来到拉各斯的故事。

In the end, the great spider who was the size of a house and responsible for weaving the past, present and future decides to come forth and be a part of the story. Like Udide, the spider artist, African science fiction's blood runs deep and it's old, and it's ready to come forth, and when it does, imagine the new technologies, ideas and sociopolitical changes it'll inspire. For Africans, homegrown science fiction can be a will to power. What if? It's a powerful question.

最后,一只大得像一个大房子的,负责编织过去、现在和未来的蜘蛛决定出来,成为故事的一部分。就像蜘蛛艺术家乌迪德一样,非洲科幻小说的血脉很深远,羁绊古老,它已经准备好了,而当它出来的时候,想象它会激发怎么样的新的技术、理念和社会政治的变化。对非洲人来说,国产科幻小说是一种权力意志。如果呢?这是一个强有力的问题。

Thank you.

谢谢。


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