What is this about?: A collection of short stories from an accomplished South African author.
What else?: Just that!
Blurb: 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.
I’m still trying to figure out short stories. With some I can completely immerse myself in them and with others, not so much. And still others are a mix of both. I am not entirely sure where I stand with this collection yet.
There’s a distance between me and the fiction in this, something that prevents me from completely immersing myself in the stories. Is it the sci-fi genre? The brutal baldness of her writing, or the way that some stories left me wanting more and no way to get it?
The weird thing is, I was more interested in her short collection of non-fiction stories at the end of the book – about life in South Africa, the tragedy and the harshness of it. It made me miss home. It made me grateful I had a chance to leave. But, if I was there, the stories of death and violence would be par for the course.
As you can see from this short, contemplative review, this book gave me a lot to think about – just not in the way I expected.