The compelling, complex SLIPPING is clever and very relevant
HELEN’S BOOKSHELF enjoys Lauren Beukes’ SLIPPING: STORIES, ESSAYS, & OTHER WRITING.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After reading this collection of short stories Lauren Beukes is now firmly on my favourite authors list. Clever and very relevant, the stories are a mix of sci-fi, weirdness, and commentary on modern life.
None of the stories here are very long so it’s easy to dip in and out of. Though saying that, normally I find myself having to stop between stories in short story collections but with this book I couldn’t do that, I had to start the next straight away. I think that was partly because they are short and I knew I wouldn’t have to stop reading half way through one (I hate having to do that), and partly because these stories are just that good I didn’t want to stop reading.
FAT ROBOT praises the book.
I think I’ve read all of Beukes’ novels, that I know of. That alone says something about how I feel about her writing, doesn’t it? “Edgy” isn’t an adjective that often comes to my mind, but I suppose it applies, given that I tend to give her stories, like, 90ies MTV vignettes in my mind.
This is an excellent collection of stories, essays, and tidbits. A couple of these stories blew me away; I wanted them to be something like 800+ page novels rather than ending in just their few measly pages, but of course, that’s a feature, not a bug.
Not all the stories in this collection are speculative in nature, some are near-future enough to be practically now, and some are entirely untouched, but the author’s voice remains the same; Sharp, clear, and with a hint of a dry laugh between the paragraphs.
Non-fiction is gathered at the end of the book. Of these, I especially liked On Beauty: A letter to my five-year old daughter, which is what the title says it is. Once you’ve made it this far through the book, you’ll have a good idea what kind of message is being conveyed.
Definitely one of the strongest story collections of my 2016, and a lot of fun for those of us who liked MOXYLAND and ZOO CITY just as much as THE SHINING GIRLS and BROKEN MONSTERS.
For SCIFINOW, Jonathan Hatfull includes the collection among his 28 Books You Should
Have Read In 2016.
If you, like us, love
Lauren Beukes’ novels MOXYLAND, ZOO CITY, THE SHINING GIRLS and
BROKEN MONSTERS, then you probably don’t need a particularly strong
nudge to go out and buy her collection of short stories and essays.
The format allows the author to dip in and out of genres (horror, SF,
relationship drama) and SLIPPING demonstrates that she can create a
compelling, complex world in just a few pages.
For more information about SLIPPING: STORIES, ESSAYS, & OTHER WRITING, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Clara Bacou
Design by Elizabeth Story