The Girl In The Road

Africa is the new India, after India became the new America, after America became the new Britain, after Britain became the new Rome, after Rome became the new Egypt, after Egypt became the new Punt, and so on and so fourth. Now we're back to Punt.

That's how Monica Byrne describes the movement of cultural centers throughout history in her novel "The Girl in the Road."

I had never heard of Punt before. It was an ancient kingdom, which at some point was contemporary to Egypt. It's part of the bits of history that just don't get taught, I guess. Clearly it's important, but I'm pretty sure I've never even heard it referred to.

This is one of my favorite things about science fiction -- learning new bits of information that are minimally emphasized, if at all, in the narratives of 21st century America, but which could be drastically more important in another context. And, in particular, reading SF about perspectives that are marginalized in 21st century America. "The Girl in the Road" follows the stories of two women, one Indian and one from northwest Africa, both travelling through a world that thoroughly does not revolve around Europe or the United States of America.