The book Afterland by Lauren Beukes is held up in a sky and the book dissolves into the sky

Petra Mayer at NPR caught up with me to talk about Afterland back in 2020. Mayer asked some great questions! Exploring a world where women are free of patriarchy, the complex character relationships in the book, the different factions in Afterland and the important subjects that are always present in my writing.

“It allowed me to explore a landscape where women are the heroes and the villains, the enforcers and the greedy corporate bosses, the pilots and the plumbers and truck drivers and satellite technicians and gang lords and violent criminals and human traffickers and communal gardeners and anarchists trying to build a better world.”


Here’s an extract:

Mayer: Why do you think the idea of wiping out all the men is so compelling? This isn’t the first no-men post-apocalyptic story I’ve read, but I don’t think I’ve seen any where women get wiped out.

I’ll be the first to cop to a world without men hardly being an original idea, from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1915 somewhat-prim women’s utopia, Herland, on up through Joanna Russ’ The Female Man in 1975 and, more recently, the hugely popular comics series Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, which gets a subtle nod in Afterland.

It’s an appealing idea because it allows us to explore how women could be without the centuries of oppression and misogyny (including the internalized kind), without the constant threat of violence and rape. It’s the joy of imagining a world where we could be safe walking at night (without having to be a man-killing vampire, as in the wonderful Iranian film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.)

Love this image of Afterland made by Athena at @bnmetro