Photo of Cape Town by Gnuboss used under a Creative Commons license.
Lauren Beukes, Moxyland (Jacana Media, 2008).
A thriller which follows four main characters through a dystopian Cape Town of the not-too-distant future, a world not all that different from our own, only moreso in some significant and disturbing respects.
Here is a little about Beukes; also, she has a blog (careful: spoilers), and tweets as @laurenbeukes. Here’s an excerpt (but don’t mind the page numbers — this is from the middle). Google Books lets you take a look. There’s a soundtrack! Download it on iTunes. Jonathan McCalmont calls it a viciously cynical read. McCalmont also says it could be set anywhere, but Andreas Spath finds much to recognize in its Cape Town. Miranda Sherry calls it courageous, cool, and refreshingly unsentimental. Rebekah Kendal says it’s a high-octane, techno-savvy, indubitably hip thriller. Timeshredder compares Beukes to William Gibson and Cory Doctorow. Bonnie L. Norman says the inclusion of so many narrators gives its storyscape a rounded feel. Janet van Eeden calls it fast-paced, smart and sassy. The Mad Hatter was lukewarm at best. Gareth L Powell says it’s lean, sharp, and tightly written. James Trimarco says it breathes new life into its genre, while Paul Raven calls it a strong fast zap to the brain. Dark Fiction Review calls it tightly-written, beautifully edited and nigh-on flawless. Alex named it South African novel of the year. Karina Magdalena Sczurek says it will knock you off your feet before you know what’s coming. Says Antony, it impresses and disturbs. Patrick Hudson sees it as a tragedy in the classical sense. Jonathan Cowie says it’s a real treat if you like that sort of thing. Dave Brendon says reading it is like being electrocuted with a blend of Philip K Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, George Orwell’s 1984 and Ian McDonald’s Necroville, with a dash of A Clockwork Orange. But Judith Du Toit didn’t finish it. Jon Nichols hasn’t read it yet. James calls it fresh and funky and spiky. Basil likes the first sentence. Tiah Beautement noted aspects of South African life. But Martin Jenner says its South Africa is denaturalized. Anna says it’s what South African fiction should be. Harry Markov says Beukes can bring cities to life. In an interviewed with Mandy J Watson, Beukes says it’s very much an apartheid novel. Nerine Dorman interviewed her too. And here’s the book’s trailer.