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Lauren Beukes

Lauren BeukesLauren Beukes is a writer, TV scriptwriter, and recovering journalist. She has an MA in Creative Writing, but she got her real education in ten years of freelance journalism, learning really useful skills like how to pole-dance and make traditional sorghum beer. Learn more at Lauren Beukes’ website.
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Moxyland: Miserable but successful

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Moxyland by Lauren Beukes

Every  once in a while a novel comes along that’s touted as new, exciting, daring, meaningful, poignant, fresh, full of big ideas, etc. That’s what I’ve heard, so that’s what I was expecting and hoping for in Lauren Beukes’ novel Moxyland  — especially since it has a nice blurb from William Gibson and has been compared to Neuromancer.

Moxyland takes place in a futuristic (2018) Cape Town, South Africa. The Cape Town setting is unique, and I was hoping to explore it a bit, but Beukes did not make use of her setting — Moxyland could have taken place anywhere. This Cape Town of the not-too-distant future is a police state run by big corporations where the police control pe... Read More

Zoo City: Lovable heroine, unique setting

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Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

The main character of Lauren Beukes’s Zoo City is a former freelance journalist named Zinzi December. Zinzi is cool, intelligent and carries some big mental baggage. Despite her flaws, you will love her almost immediately. Zinzi lives in Zoo City, which is essentially a slum in Johannesburg for people who have been burdened with animals. In the world of Zoo City, people are magically attached to animals after they’ve done something particularly awful. People with animals are the outcasts of society, and the more conspicuous the animal the harder it is to lead a normal life. Zinzi carries a sloth, which isn’t the easiest critter to conceal.

Since Zinzi is not able to work a real job due to her fuzzy companion, she makes ends meet by using her natural ability to find lost things for people.... Read More

The Shining Girls: Scary in all the right ways

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The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

A serial killer is at a serious advantage when they can jump through time at will, as Harper Curtis of Lauren Beukes The Shining Girls can. This does not bode well for Kirby Mazrachi, intended victim of said serial killer who should’ve died after Harper sliced open her stomach and slit her throat. But Kirby miraculously survived the attack and is determined to find the man that derailed her life.

The problems with trying to find a time-travelling serial killer, however, are obvious. Harper Curtis jumps between 1929 and 1993, killing his ‘shining girls.’ Quite why they shine is never explicitly explained, but they all have the potential to change the world in some way. Harper is able to time travel through the House (note the ca... Read More

Broken Monsters: A study of a collapsing city and its inhabitants

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Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

South African writer Lauren Beukes had a hit with last year’s The Shining Girls, the story of a serial killer who could travel through time. Readers of both time travel novels and serial killer thrillers loved the way Beukes melded the two genres. Beukes has again given us a genre-bender with Broken Monsters. Both a horror novel and a police procedural, Broken Monsters is even better than The Shining Girls.

Broken Monsters is set in Detroit — today’s Detroit, bankrupt yet defiant, down on its luck but searching luck out wherever it can be found. The arts community seems to be especially thriving in this down-at-the-heels city, and it is a desire to make art that is the foundation of all the problems that are visited upon the victims of an especial... Read More

Magazine Monday: Forever Magazine, Issues 1-3

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Forever Magazine is a new venture by Neil Clarke, editor of the esteemed Clarkesworld. He explains in the introduction to the first issue of the magazine that it is a monthly publication focused on previously published works, mostly from this (still new) century. Clarke is the entire staff of the magazine. The Kindle subscription price is currently $1.99 per month.

The first issue opens extremely well, with a novelette by Ken Liu, “The Regular,” about a serial killer who targets high-end prostitutes. Ruth is a f... Read More