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SA Spotlight: The Mall, Deadlands & BFSA Nominations

25 Jan

Hey guys and girls, I thought that I would point your attention to two distinctly South African genre books that’ll be hitting the shelves soon – and in a BIG way! 🙂

I’ve spoken about The Mall before, but since I’ll be diving into it soon (hehehe the perks, you know, of being a reviewer!), and since you’ll be able to pre-order your copies here in SA soon, too, it’s time for another spotlight. It’s written by two South African authors (Louis Greenberg and Sarah Lotz) under the pseudonym S.L. Grey, and will be coming from Corvus Books in June – SA release-date to be announced as soon as I get the info.

Here’s some info about the book, just to, you know, make you pound the desk (or your lap) in excitement and / or dread:

Dan works at a bookstore in a deadly dull shopping mall where nothing ever happens. He’s an angsty emo-kid who sells mid-list books to mid-list people for the minimum wage. He hates his job.

Rhoda has dragged her babysitting charge to the mall so she can meet her dealer and score some coke. Now the kid’s run off, and she has two hours to find him. She hates her life.

Rhoda bullies Dan into helping her search, but as they explore the neon-lit corridors behind the mall, disturbing text messages lure them into the bowels of the building, where old mannequins are stored in grave-like piles and raw sewage drips off the ceiling. The only escape is down, and before long Dan and Rhoda are trapped in a service lift listening to head-splitting musak. Worst of all, the lift’s not stopping at the bottom floor.

Plummeting into the earth, Dan and Rhoda enter a sinister underworld that mirrors their worst fears. Forced to complete a series of twisted tasks to find their way out, they finally emerge into the brightly lit food court, sick with relief at the banal sight of people shopping and eating. But something feels different. Why are the shoppers all pumped full of silicone? Why are the shop assistants chained to their counters? And why is McDonald’s selling lumps of bleeding meat?

Just when they think they’ve made it back to the mall, they realise their nightmare has only just begun…

Sounds utterly creepy and cool, and the descriptions of the environments put me in mind of the incredible stuff that Clive Barker comes up with – really looking forward to being grossed out, creeped out and shocked to hell with this book! 🙂

You can pre-order your copies here (Amazon UK), and as soon as it’s listed at Exclusive Books I’ll let you know. (If you don’t want to wait -and who the hell would- you can get your Kindle-edition right now!)

Next up, a zombie-apocalypse tale for YA fans set in Cape Town – yep, after you read this book you’ll probably never see the Mother City in the same way again! I present to you – Deadlands:

I’ve already been to a cool as hell and incredibly cutting-edge Cape Town in Lauren Beukes’ Moxyland, so I’m really looking forward to getting my paws on this one – zombies South African style? Hell yes! 🙂 (And that’s not all…!)

Deadlands is written by Lily Herne and will be coming to us from Penguin Books SA on the 1st of March; here’s another small blurb to whet your appetite even more:

Ten years after Cape Town was destroyed in the War with the living dead, zombies ramble free in Cape Town’s suburbs (known as the Deadlands), and the remaining living are either in fenced in on farms or in urban shantytowns.

The living are watched over by the mysteriously robed Guardians, a race of humanoid figures who appeared at the end of the War and who keep the living dead at bay, albeit for a steep price. Every year the Guardians stage a human Lottery and select five aspiring teenagers to be whisked out of the enclave for a secret purpose. To be one of the chosen five is a highly sought after and prestigious accolade.

No one (yet) knows why it is that the Guardians prize teenage bodies so highly, how they control the zombies or what they look like under the robes that cover their bodies…

Two very cool books on the way! 🙂

Finally, and this is the coolest news I’ve heard in a *very* long time, Lauren Beukes‘ Zoo City has been nominated (twice) for a BFSA award! For those who don’t know, the BFSA is the British Science Fiction Association, a highly respected organization that trumpets what they consider to be the best.

Zoo City was nominated for the Best Novel and the guy who did (and does) Lauren’s SA & UK covers, Joey HiFi, was nominated as Best Artist. 🙂 Awesome news! I’m really damned happy that a homegrown, completely South African novel has hit this level – not only is it a massive compliment for Lauren and Joey, but it’s also a WAKE UP CALL to all the writers out here: write your books already! 🙂

Here’s that crazy-cool (yet chilling) artwork:

Congrats to both Lauren and Joey – let’s bend our thoughts on them winning those awards! 🙂

 

Be EPIC!

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Posted by on January 25, 2011 in Announcements

 

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M.D. Thalmann / Satire and Sci-fi

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