As reported previously I've finished reading Lauren Beukes' book Moxyland, a feverish, high paced near future sf book set in - wait for it - Cape Town. In some ways it reminds me of Cory Doctorow's sharp and much lauded YA politico-techno thriller Little Brother. Moxyland is a gradually increasing inter-locking narrative told from the perspective of four main characters - old 'racial' identity markers of the past now swept aside by more fluid online personas and characters. Here, in a Cape Town just ten years hence, a new power differential - an alternative version of apartheid perhaps - is emerging between State-corporations and the individual. Moxyland tracks the tale of the main characters varied responses to this political predicament as they head towards a climactic clash…with resonant echoes of past struggles. The book itself also comes with a music CD and is thus a multi-media book of the future indeed. I have heard it is due to be released internationally this year and will keep you posted about this. For further website information you can visit: http://www.moxyland.com/.
Just a further note to add on Lauren Beukes' book Moxyland, it's due for a UK/Australia release on 26th June and for release in the US on September 1st 2009. The UK publishers are Angry Robot. For more information about the UK release go to http://angryrobotbooks.com.
Another book I've read with the encouragement of my niece is a set-work book in some Cape Town schools, Skyline by Patricia Schonstein Pinnock. This is a more contemporary tale but tracks the varied stories of a number of immigrants and refugees into South Africa and puts the xenophobic attacks of last year within South Africa into a stark and shameful relief.
Finally, I hope to report next month on books by Glynne MacLean and Nisi Shawl. In the meantime, I am also making some headway on my YA book and at least have a title now as the narrative takes shape, namely Lunar Voices, Ancestral Steps. Now all I have to do is finish it properly and find a willing publisher! Until next month.
Nick Wood - Mar 2009.