gillpolack (gillpolack) wrote,

Lauren Beukes, Moxyland

I meant to blog about Moxyland last week, when it came out. I'm doing this a lot recently, saying I'll do something, doing all the hard yakka then stuff getting in the way and the final bit is unfinished. I call this the oops-I-forgot-to-email syndrome.

When I read Moxyland ( Lauren Beukes, one of the four first books for Angry Robot) I kept on wanting to pile adjective on adjective and make a tumbling, hurried list. Maybe it's just as well that last week was not so good, because I can read serious reviews of it and, guess what – more than one of them piles adjective on adjective. The review that gets quoted all over the place is by Charles Stross*, so I'll refer you to his if you want that tumbled feel that captures the soul of the novel as I first read it.

I didn't want to like Moxyland for the first fifty pages. This isn't because it was bad. It's a good novel, especially if you like a fast pace, lots of hi-tech and a social conscience. I didn't want to like it because my brain said "Not more Doctorow." The society resonates better than Doctorow's societies for me and the characters have more depth. If I were putting a shelf together of a certain type of future dystopia, then it would start with Gibson, some Stross (since not all his work is of this kind), Doctorow and Beukes. Add Simon Brown's Winter and there's a nice week's reading: not cheerful, but definitely quality.

What I like most about Beukes is that the society she uses as her base is not the US, not the UK, not Canada. My world grew in a number of ways. I had to question a lot of the assumptions I carry to books of this sort.

I like the start Angry Robot has made to their imprint. Both of the first two books are keepers. Next week I'll talk about the second two books. I have to finish more on my oops-I-forgot-to-email list before then.

*I still want to re-read Biggles when I think of him. It's because he's the only person I know who talks using words like 'spiffing' with any degree of comfort.
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