Brand new editions of Zoo City and Moxyland are out in the USA this week, from my brilliant publisher Mulholland! It was also the perfect excuse to break out the sloth scarf I wore to the Arthur C Clarke Award ceremony five years ago!
I love the playful, toothy rawness of the new Zoo City cover, and the anyperson anonymity / multilayered identity of Moxyland’s new cover.
Zoo City – buy it now
A new paperback edition of Lauren Beukes’s Arthur C Clarke Award–winning novel set in a world where murderers and other criminals acquire magical animals that are mystically bonded to them.
Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419-email scam habit, and a talent for finding lost things. When a little old lady turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, Zinzi’s forced to take on her least favorite kind of job—missing persons.
Being hired by reclusive music producer Odi Huron to find a teenybop pop star should be her ticket out of Zoo City, the festering slum where the criminal underclass and their animal companions live in the shadow of hell’s undertow. Instead, it catapults Zinzi deeper into the maw of a city twisted by crime and magic, where she’ll be forced to confront the dark secrets of former lives—including her own.
Zoo City won the 2010 Arthur C Clarke Award and the 2011 Kitschies Red Tentacle Award. It was long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC Prize and the Sunday Times Prize.
‘Beukes’s energetic noir phantasmagoria…crackles with original ideas…[she] skilfully employs all the twists of first-rate noir…powerful indeed.’ – The New York Times
‘Beukes delivers a thrill ride that gleefully merges narrative styles and tropes, almost single-handedly pulling the “urban fantasy” subgenre back towards its groundbreaking roots.’- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
‘Like [William] Gibson, she brings a secret tenderness and humanity to her off-kilter portrait of the here and now. What her many fans will remember, and value, is deadbeat Zinzi’s personal journey, towards a frail but determined integrity.’ – The Guardian
“If our words are bullets, Lauren Beukes is a marksman in a world of drunken machine-gunners, firing her ideas and images into us with a sly and deadly accuracy, wasting nothing, never missing.” – Bill Willingham, creator of Fables
“Zoo City is a story of mysteries unfolding, and it is a story well told. But it’s the world around the story, and the words that guide us through, that make it something more than simply marvellous. With her subtle, intimate descriptions of the roads we walk in this crazy city; with characters so deeply twisty you could lose a giant squid in their nebulous hidey holes, and with turns of phrase that are as likely to conjure up Rudyard Kipling, Brenda Fassie or Credo Mutwa as they are to invoke Japanese anime, Doctor Who or the crack in Johnny Cash’s voice as he sings of his greatest loss, this canny authoress has brought real magic to everyday life in Jozi, in what I’m afraid I really am going to end off by describing as an act of unadulterated literature.” – Matthew du Plessis, Times Live
“At times the witty and lyrical prose is sheer magic, the story captivating and the characters exotic, cruel and beautiful while the backdrop of Johannesburg seeths with hidden, lurking dangers around every corner, Zoo City is quite simply captivating.” – SciFi & Fantasy Books
“A richly textured venture into a pseudo-fantastical Johannesburg of the future where criminals are magically partnered with animals, and unscrupulous record producers run amok.” —SciFiNow
“A contrast of fragility and extreme imaginative strength, Beukes’s books are going places. She’d better ready herself for one helluva wild ride.” – Mandy De Waal, The Daily Maverick
“Beukes has written a book about something deeply important, but she’s willing to stand back and let us figure it out for ourselves.” – www.pornokitsch.com
“If you don’t read Zoo City, you’re missing out on one of the best modern books in and outside the fantasy genre.” -www.TheRantingDragon.com
“Beukes’s future city is as spiky, distinctive and material a place as any cyberpunkopolis, and quite a bit fresher. The narrative is brisk and well turned, but the great achievement here is tonal: atmospheric, smart and memorable work.” -www.locusmag.com
“Ms. Beukes’ amazing novel takes the genre to exciting new places, is beautifully written and is a bloody good story.” -www.pornokitsch.com, on winning the Red Tentacle Award
“From grimy slums to gang warfare to supernatural horrors, Zoo City is a book of hard edges and nasty surprises. It’s also livened up by stabs of sharp, black humour, and the action is unrelenting.” – Warpcore SF
“Zoo City is pure originality … a book that had me reading it revelling in Beukes’ magical way with words.” – SF Signal
MOXYLAND buy now
A frighteningly persuasive, high-tech fable that follows four narrators living in a dystopian near-future.
Kendra, an art-school dropout, brands herself for a nanotech marketing program. Lerato, an ambitious AIDS baby, plots to defect from her corporate employers. Tendeka, a hot-headed activist, is becoming increasingly rabid. Toby, a roguish blogger, discovers that the video games he plays for cash are much more than they seem.
On a collision course that will rewire their lives, these characters crackle with bold and infectious ideas, connecting a ruthless corporate-apartheid government with video games, biotech attack dogs, slippery online identities, a township soccer school, shocking cell phones, addictive branding, and genetically modified art. Taking hedonistic trends in society to their ultimate conclusions, Lauren Beukes spins a tale of a utopia gone wrong, satirically undermining the idea of progress as society’s white knight.
“A technicolour jazzy rollercoaster ride into a dazzling hell.” – André Brink
“Moxyland does lots of things, masterfully, that lots of sf never even guesses that it *could* be doing. Very, very good.” —William Gibson
“The larval form of a new kind of SF munching its way out of the intestines of the wasp-paralysed caterpillar of cyberpunk.” – Charles Stross
“Sassy, bold, inventive, believable, deeply engaging and overtly, sublimely political’ –Psychologies Magazine
‘Beukes’s stunningly original sci-fi thriller chills and thrills to the last breath.’ Heat
‘Fast-paced, intriguing characters, big ideas, a new lexicon and … serves as a global warning.’ GQ