• 2043...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be)

  • Black Stars
  • By: Nisi Shawl
  • Narrated by: LeVar Burton
  • Length: 1 hr and 16 mins
  • 3.7 out of 5 stars (217 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

African-descended USians are finally obtaining reparations - underwater. Plunge into the action of a visionary future by the award-winning author of Everfair, with narration by LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Five miles off the South Carolina coast, Darden and Catherina are getting their promised forty acres, all of it undersea. Like every Black “mer,” they’ve been experimentally modified to adapt to their new subaquatic home - and have met with extreme resistance from white supremacists. Darden has an inspired plan for resolution. For both those on land and the webbed bottom-dwellers below, Darden is hoping to change the wave of the future. 

Nisi Shawl’s 2043 . . . (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) is part of Black Stars, a multi-dimensional collection of speculative fiction from Black authors. Each story is a world much like our own. Read or listen to them in a single sitting.

©2021 by Nisi Shawl. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Narrator LeVar Burton starts off this audiobook by delivering the marketing pitch for the human modification that will turn Black Americans into sea creatures, if they so choose…. Burton mostly narrates the thoughts of Darden, a music star who has accepted the offer…. Burton also creates other characters and narrates various texts that illuminate story points with believability and hints of irony.”AudioFile Magazine

“Part of what makes Black Stars so special is the fact that it is showcasing speculative science fiction from Black authors from around the world.”—SYFY Wire 

“With a host of amazing authors, Black Stars is perfect for lovers of Afrofuturism, Caribbean science fiction, and African jujuism. As you read the stories, you’ll start to understand why there are so many different genres in the collection…Black Stars introduces people to so many different frameworks, showing the diversity of stories created when Black authors across the diaspora infuse their unique cultural perspectives into these narratives, creating an abundance of originality that lets readers imagine wildly different worlds, realities, and futures.”—Shondaland 

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What listeners say about 2043...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be)

Average Customer Ratings
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Decide your own ending

Loved the narrator, but the story ending was a bit convoluted. I just didn't get it. Liked the world building, though.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting....

Interesting concept, but I just really couldn't get into it. It was sort of written like a play, so listening to it in my car, it got a little confusing.

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Excellent Start for World Building

First off, the narration is amazing. LeVar Burton is the best. But the story itself fell a bit flat. I would love to hear more about the world being built here, but the characters, dialogue, and arc just wasn't as gripping. Would love to hear more from this author, especially diving deeper (sorry) into this world.

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Very creative

I had a hard time following this complex story but it deserves a second listen. On the other hand it was fun with all the creativity.
LeVar Burton is an outstanding narrator.

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Narrated by Levar Burton!

I didn't enjoy this story as much as I did the last one. While I liked it for the most part, and Levar Burton did a wonderful job narrating, the ending felt. . . odd. Not only was it abrupt, but it was abrupt in a way that was unsatisfying especially as Darden - and us through him - learned something big that made him suspicious after a pretty big story event yet it is never addressed. By the next time we're back with Darden, his attitude has completely changed, but we're not told why or how.

I did really like the comparisons this story made to events of the past such as what occurred with the Tulsa Race Massacre, and other places, as well as certain views that still happen today and the language/propaganda bigots use to try to justify their hate. Using fear-mongering, and concern for people they don't actually care about when things are done to them by people they don't hate, to spin it in a way that doesn't make it obvious they just are jealous of seeing the people they've deemed unworthy succeed in any manner and that they just want to be cruel.

Unfortunately, that ending just. . . I don't know. I didn't feel it.

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weird

this is a unique and somewhat strange novella.
it takes places twenty or so years in the future and I kinda dug it.

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Review

It was a creative concept and an interesting story written by Nisi Shawl.
I loved the narration by LeVar Burton!

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I didn't like it

The story...meh. I might try it again some other time. Just did not like it.

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1983 by Jimi Hendrix?

Sci-fi and mermaids and based on a song? Yes please!!

This is essentially a songfic, for those of you familiar with fanfic, and I'm in love with it. I need a full universe of this world. 😻

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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting

A bit unorganized in the storyline but otherwise decent. This was definitely a different take on what could've been.

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Profile Image for Ash J
  • Ash J
  • 09-04-21

I don't get it

I really don't get this. It's too short to make much sense, reads like a proof of concept rather than a standalone short story.