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Moxyland Paperback – May 28, 2013
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"Moxyland does lots of things, masterfully, that lots of sf never even guesses that it *could* be doing." - William Gibson, author of Neuromancer
"The world Beukes has invented is both eerily familiar and creepily different." - Cosmopolitan
"This fast-paced sci-fi trip has intriguing characters, big ideas, a new lexicon and... serves as a global warning." - GQ
"You don't have to be an SF aficionado to love this novel that is fast, brimming with original ideas and deadly serious." - Mail & Guardian
"George Orwell's 1984 meets Bladerunner. Lauren Beukes breaks new literary ground with effortless hipness." --Margie Orford, author of Like Clockwork
"...full of unselfconscious spiky originality, the larval form of a new kind of SF munching its way out of the intestines of the wasp-paralysed caterpillar of cyberpunk." - Charles Stross
"A technicolor jazzy rollercoaster ride into a dazzling hell." - Andre Brink
"Beukes's stunningly original sci-fi thriller chills and thrills to the last breath" - Heat Magazine, South Africa (July 2008)
"Lauren Beukes bleeds her characters of color as effectively as the smear masks they wear for anonymity, not for simple provocation, but to warn of the self-replicating nature of segregation." - Brendan Byrne, The Brooklyn Rail
"[Moxyland] is recommended for what might very well be the emergence of a major new science-fiction author. -Alan Cranis, www.bookgasm.com
"After the first hundred pages, I would have to say that reading Moxyland is like riding backward very fast in a convertible." - J. Robert King
"Go and read Zoo City and Moxyland by Lauren Beukes – someone took cyberpunk from the toy box, dusted it up and spanked it to shape for the new millennium." -Janos Honkonen, Vornasblogi
About the Author
Lauren Beukes is a writer, TV scriptwriter and recovering journalist (although she occasionally falls off the wagon).
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. For the sake of a story, she's jumped out of planes and into shark-infested waters and got to hang out with teen vampires, township vigilantes, AIDS activists and homeless sex workers among other interesting folk.
When she's not tutoring her baby daughter (aka the queen of eeeeeeevil) in practical ways to take over the world, she also writes books, short stories, magazine articles and TV scripts various.
Her non-fiction book, Maverick was nominated for the Sunday Times 2006 Alan Paton Non-Fiction Book of the Year competition. The author lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
Top customer reviews
I love dissecting stories and seeing what worked and what didn’t, so I hopped into Moxy Land after rustling it up for next to zero money’s on Amazon. Cheap is good. I like cheap.
As I suspected the writing for Moxy Land was fantastic. Beukes took an incredibly difficult narrative style (alternating first person points of view every other chapter) and made it work pretty darn well. It’s rare to see alternating first person points of view because what tends to happen is that the characters all become a blur. They all start sounding alike and acting alike. Bad news where compelling narrative is involved.
But Lauren somehow makes it work. Each of her 4 point of view characters is distinct enough to remain engaging. That alone is impressive and speaks to her impressive writing chops.
Moxy Land doesn’t rest on the strength of the writing, however. The world building is superb. It’s gritty and multi-layered with a depth that shows Beukes really knows what she’s talking about.
What I’m about to say next might upset some people ‘ cause I’m sure I won’t word it correctly and it’ll bring a shit-storm of hate in its wake. I’m prepared for that, but I’ll tread carefully.
The best Science Fiction/Fantasy women authors recently have been garnering a lot of attention for their unique and progressive takes on gender roles and sexual orientations and the cultural effects of those two dynamics on future societies: think Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire, or Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice.
Don’t get me wrong, these are very important ideas with much fertile soil to be tilled. I think the genre as a whole is only strengthened by these types of works. But, my problem with these plot devices is that they become the entire plot. Sure, there is a story taking place underneath it all, but it’s being blurred over.
When people talk about Mirror Empire they talk about the unique matriarchal societies. When people talk about Ancillary Justice, they talk about the fact that Leckie only uses the feminine pronoun. What gets lost in all the hullaballoo is the story itself.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I tend to be a story guy. (Which, let me point out for those wondering, both of those books have great stories, but nobody ever talks about them. Only the gender issues.)
Now, back to Moxy Land and Lauren Beukes, who is one of new favorite sci-fi women authors precisely because she doesn’t let her story get bogged down by those facets of modern Sci-Fi which are quickly becoming tropes. There are compelling sexual orientations throughout the story, but they are flavoring which add a touch of realism, and not the point of the story itself.
The problem with Moxy Land, however, is that the story moves really slowly. Things are happening, but with so many point of view characters, it’s hard getting a feeling of urgency or forward progress. So the story kind of limps along until finishing with an anti-climatic fizzle. Oh, well. I chalk that up to Beukes being a newer author at the time of Moxy Land’s writing. I suspect she’s improved drastically in this area in her newer books which I’m eagerly looking forward too.
Pick up something by Lauren Beukes, I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Original review available on OneLazyRobotBlog.com
The characters are real people. Flawed, petty, idealistic but foolish, selfish, caring, and genuine. They each try to find their own way of loving in a cruel world where freedom isn't a right, it's a stingily handed out privilege.
The book tells the story of a world we should all want to avoid, but seems more and more inevitable.
Moxyland wasn't as strong as Zoo City, but it built an interesting world nonetheless. Most of the characters were a bit unpleasant, but that's what made them realistic. I understood why they took the paths they did even when I disagreed with them, which I think is a mark of good writing. Their backgrounds were vivid and colorful. They had bad habits and did bad things to other people and made the wrong decisions, but all those things enabled the plot to go where it eventually did. I was impressed by how everything came together to bring some of the characters full circle.
I'd love to read more books in this universe, and I'd probably pick up anything else written by Lauren Beukes without hesitation. I hope she keeps writing in this vein.
The main strength of this novel is in its world building and dystopian vision that is only too believable. The plot goes slowly but steadily. I enjoyed it enough that I will give other books by this author a try.