Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing


In her edgy, satiric debut collection, award-winning South African journalist and author Lauren Beukes (The Shining Girls, Moxyland) never holds back. Nothing is simple and everything is perilous when humans are involved: corruption, greed, and even love (of a sort).

A permanent corporate branding gives a young woman enhanced physical abilities and a nearly-constant high
Recruits lifted out of poverty find a far worse fate collecting biohazardous plants on an inhospitable world
The only adult survivor of the apocalypse decides he will be the savior of teenagers; the teenagers are not amused.

From Johannesburg to outer space, these previously uncollected tales are a compelling, dark, and slippery ride.

Slipping: Stories, Essays & Other Writing by Lauren Beukes

Publication Date: November 29, 2016 by Tachyon Publications


My Thoughts:

I first discovered Lauren Beukes after picking up a copy of Broken Monsters and immediately became smitten. I found I had a hard time putting into words what the book was about and why I fell in love with it, mainly because Beukes is able to tackle serious real world issues through fiction – fiction that involves science fiction/fantasy elements that don’t ruin the story line or make something terrifyingly real seem silly or impersonal. This is a talent I haven’t found in many other authors and it makes me feel like I’ve found a true treasure in Beukes’ novels.

My love of Broken Monsters and The Shining Girls has yet to waiver so when I saw that Beuekes had released a collection of short stories and essays, I think my heart stopped momentarily.

Slipping is an interesting compilation of stories that tackle topics ranging from the frightening future of technology/social media to issues of extreme poverty and race. While some stories are particularly heavy on the science fiction (“Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs” and “The Green”) others like “Smileys” and “My Insect Skin” are made all the more chilling by their realism.

While each story in this collection is unique, they all have that one piece in common that make me so passionate about her previous novels – there’s a sense of some underlying real world threat in even the most intensely science fiction story lines. Much like Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the reader is left with feelings of unease, that though what you’ve just read is fiction, it still hits too close to home to not make you nervous.

Slipping ends with a brief collection of non-fiction that helped to make her fiction even more meaningful. “Adventures in Journalism” gives an intensely personal description of Beukes career as a journalist in South Africa, while “All the Pretty Corpses” shares insight into how The Shining Girls came to be and why gender issues (sexism, domestic violence, etc.) play such a prevalent role in much of her work. I felt that this glimpse in Beukes’ own life and personal experiences made her fiction even more meaningful.

Thank you, Netgalley and Tachyon Publications, for providing me the opportunity to further my Lauren Beukes obsession!

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