Brad K. Horner on his eponymous site praises both Lauren Beukes and her debut collection SLIPPING: STORIES, ESSAYS, & OTHER WRITING.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is my fourth Beukes and I was thrilled to get the ARC, not merely because the author is fantastic with mixing genres, being as solid in hard SF and mystery as she is in wonderfully evocative and detailed and interesting prose set within South Africa.
But she also evokes wonderful and interesting flavors for her settings, too, bringing out some of the most interesting and sharp details like all of the best writers I’ve ever read. She is completely conscious of the issues of South Africa, but she’s just as evocative about the alien worlds featuring the problem of slime molds, the kind of world that makes cyborgs, or even a meme’d out inner-world. 🙂
She’s weird, and I love weird. Everyone should be reading this author and start tracking her wonderful talent with characters. That’s where she shines the most. 🙂
At LIT REACTOR, Keith Lawson asks the important question, Why The F*ck Aren’t You Reading Lauren Beukes?
Well, as I mentioned in the introduction, Beukes just doesn’t give shit. She’s going to write the kind of story she wants to write and the publishing marketers be damned.
She absolutely will not be classified into a single genre. Of her four novels she’s written an urban fantasy, a high tech thriller, a serial killer thriller, and a horror novel. But here’s the thing, her urban fantasy, ZOO CITY, is also a mystery novel coupled with social satire. Her serial killer novel, The Shining Girls, is also a time travel epic. And her horror novel, Broken Monsters, well, that shit’s a straight up horror novel. But it’s got a great police procedural and coming-of-age story mixed in there to boot. (Plus, for all of you Stranger Thingsjunkies, the Duffer Brothers seemed to have pulled a huge part of their major plot point out of
More or less, these are intense, read in one sitting novels that have a little something for everyone. Beukes’ voice is compelling and conversational, as if when you’re reading her, she’s sitting right in front of you telling you these intense, thrilling, and incredibly fucked up stories, and no matter how horrified you are, you can’t stop listening to her. You won’t stop, because you absolutely have to know what’s going to happen next.
But if you’re a See’s Sampler kind of reader, Beukes has her first mixed collection (short stories and essays), SLIPPING, coming out from Tachyon Publishing in November. And even though I’m just starting to make my way through it, from what I’ve read so far, it’s pretty damn good.
The Spanish-language DONDE
ACABA EL INFINITO reviews SLIPPING.
The order of the
stories (I have the habit of reading anthologies in order, I will
never break anything), is particularly well thought out , it creates
a very interesting speech, in addition to the narrative, as the book
proceeds, is improving. If something has always surprised me Beukes,
it is its ability to play different genres and themes, and transmute
them into his own style. Science fiction, horror, thriller, fantasy.
Hybridization of genres is something I have always stressed this
South African author. And so, an anthology of his stories, I think it
is the best way to start with his work. Another point in favor of
Lauren Beukes, is that almost all the protagonists are women and tend
to the development of an internal problem not usually read on male
characters. That is, the focus character focuses on other problems or
personal identity. The stories deal with issues such as government
corporations, the effects of television and social networks in
culture, and especially domestic violence or gender. Adding this to
his stories often occur in South Africa (others in Japan or
Pakistan), these elements make it an extremely interesting author.
In general, the stories have a dark tone, decadent, showing that we have already known universe with THE SHINING GIRLS or BROKEN MONSTERS. Characters who survive, broken characters, broken worlds. As for the part of non – fiction, I recognize that it was prejudiced, but has surprised me a lot to find really interesting pieces, such as how the author began working as a journalist. Especially the text entitled All the Pretty Corpses, where it ’s a tough to media criticism and expose his way to murder victims (especially women) and how this was the seed of his famous The bright. In short, I think Lauren Beukes knows of what he speaks. They are current social issues that affect us all, regardless of the country where they live. Both fiction and non-fiction, Beukes proves to be a committed author with society. Something I start to miss in current science fiction.
(Translated from Spanish by Google)
For more information about SLIPPING: STORIES, ESSAYS, & OTHER WRITING, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Clara Bacou
Design by Elizabeth Story