Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Moxyland Moxyland
by Lauren Beukes
Angry Robot Books

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Moxyland is Lauren Beukes first novel, and the first release by Angry Robot Books and as such is an interesting harbinger of the intentions of this company. The novel is also the first overtly South African SF novel I have read.

Moxyland is set in Capetown, South Africa in the not too distant future. The country has millions of disease orphans (from AIDS and newer diseases) and economic migrants – orphans whose education makes then indentured, if on occasion highly paid, workers for the companies who train them; and migrants who need a visa to stay or a deported to poverty trap countries north of South Africa. The novel doesn’t dwell on the grim reality of this sort of life, but on those who are trying to subvert the corporate welfare lifestyle this creates: either by encouraging greater self-sufficiency for the migrants, performing industrial espionage to get a new job and not pay off the previous employer, live as an independent artist, or as a party animal. The Capetown of this book is a fascinating, sprawling, vibrant city that is attracting millions to work there. Life in this city is good.

The book is very tongue in cheek as the subversives get subverted and industrial experiments go awry.

I enjoyed this book and its stick poking attitudes. I will note that this book was read by a book group I am involved with, where the book’s reception was mixed with some liking it and others not. Not great literature, but a fun read nonetheless.

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