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Moxyland / Lauren Beukes

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“The larval form of a new kind of SF munching its way out
of the intestines of the wasp-paralysed caterpillar of cyberpunk.” – Charles Stross

“A technicolour jazzy rollercoaster ride into a dazzling hell.” – André Brink

Moxyland does lots of things, masterfully, that lots of sf
never even guesses that it could be doing.” – William Gibson

Moxyland (new-look cover) by Lauren BeukesYou think you know what’s going on?

You think you know who’s really in power?

You have No. Fucking. Idea.

Moxyland is an ultra-smart thriller about technological progress, and the freedoms it removes.

In the near future, four hip young things live in a world where your online identity is at least as important as your physical one. Getting disconnected is a punishment worse than imprisonment, but someone’s got to stand up to government inc., whatever the cost.

A stunning first novel from critically acclaimed South African author Lauren Beukes, Moxyland takes its cues from Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross… and kicks their ass.

Praise and Reviews

“South African Lauren Beukes is in the ‘new wave’ tradition of literary SF, with nods to Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow. It’s the most contemporary of the four novels in terms of tone and content, and the South African setting is a refreshing change from the usual cyberpunk Japan or LA. The characters are as alienating as alienated, but the clever use of language and the multi-viewpoint structure keeps the story whipping along to a predictable, but highly entertaining, conclusion: Rollerball in cyberspace, with an ending reminiscent of James Tiptree Jr.’s disturbing short story ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged In’.”
Death Ray

Moxyland is… bewilderingly fast-paced, slick; a next-generation cyberpunk that gets the heart pounding… A cracking read and one I cannot recommend highly enough.”
– Hub

“Reminiscent at times of Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk classic Snow Crash, its paragraphs dripping alternately with newly-coined street slang and futuristic techno-lingo, Moxyland is funny, gritty, imaginative and, ultimately, deeply disturbing. A politically charged urban speculative thriller that will leave you wanting more.”
– Obrigado

“Think V for Vendetta, but with third world angst, an outrageously narcissistic trust-fund blogger, and a township soccer team with an insurrectionist agenda. Tell your English teacher you want to read Moxyland or you’ll shoot up your school. ”
NAG Online

“[Moxyland] scatters township street slang and Gibsonesque techno jargon across the page. Its heart is absolutely in the right place”
Jon Courtenay Grimwood, SFX

“The world Beukes has invented is both eerily familiar and creepily different.”

“Beukes is a good writer and the flow of her prose is lovely to read. She also experiments with new phrases and concepts for her future world and… they are certainly interesting.”
SciFi Now

“It’s sub-zero cool.”
The Weekend Witness

“Moxyland essentially deals with technical progress and how on it’s current track could quite easily result in complete loss of personal freedom, think a very adult version of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother mixed with Blade Runner, then peppered with V for Vendetta and topped off with cyberpunk classics like Snow Crash and you will begin to grasp the ultra modern novel that is Moxyland… [It] is a highly charged, imaginative and emphatic story that manages to both impress and disturb at the same time. A word of caution though this is clearly an adult only novel, not for the younger readers.”

“With the web now all but ubiquitous and Twitter beginning to crest into something genuinely fascinating, it seems eminently appropriate that one of Angry Robot’s first books is a remarkably tech savvy thriller with a very different perspective. The book is cheerfully pragmatic, the characters all flawed, normal people with the same concerns we have, albeit projected ten years into the future. Finally, there’s the book’s cheerful, maniacal invention, taking in everything from the sponsorbabies to art with genetic structures and sculpted attack dogs. It’s a resolutely normal, resolutely different, fascinating world that Lauren Beukes has incredible fun showing to her readers. As debut books for both the author and the line go, this is as good as it can get.”
Alasdair Stuart

“A startling new voice… Courageous, cool, and refreshingly unsentimental.”
Something Wicked

“This fast-paced sci-fi trip has intriguing characters, big ideas, a new lexicon and… serves as a global warning.”

“You don’t have to be an SF aficionado to love this novel that is fast, brimming with original ideas and deadly serious. It is a striking feather in the cap of new South African fiction.”
Mail & Guardian

“This is a very good, and very polished first novel.”
Not Free SF Reader

“The strength of Beukes is that she writes with such passion and sensibility, a style completely her own, that the novel comes out as fresh and dynamic.”
Bibliophile Stalker

“The society resonates better than Doctorow’s societies for me and the characters have more depth.”
Gill Polack

“Make no mistake; Moxyland is a work of art. 4.5 out of 5″
Stomping on Yeti

“A superlative narrative blending GMOs, ICT, drugs, nanotech, bio-weapons while remaining ultra hip and humane. The dazzling denouement was credible. Topical, topical – the ‘No Service’ message in the novel rang eerily as characters were disconnected in view of the recent three-strike legisltation in New Zealand. I can’t wait to read what Lauren Beukes comes up with next.”

“Reading Moxyland is like being electrocuted with a blend of Philip K Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, George Orwell’s 1984 and Ian McDonald’s Necroville, with a dash of A Clockwork Orange, while enjoying the kind of great characters that writers like Stephen King and George RR Martin come up with. It’s the kind of book that makes you pick up your head, look around and ask, “Just what the fuck, exactly, is going on?” You may look at the world a bit differently; you may just realize that you had a life, once, without a cellphone or connection to the internet, and that, Oh my Goodness, nothing much has changed – except for the fact that we’re all learning how to be good little marketing drones for the money-makers. It is my opinion that this book will end up being one of the greats of contemporary future-fiction, and it can stand proud among the legends that authors such as Philip K Kick and George Orwell have given us.”
Dave Brendon

“I LOVED Moxyland. It is original, fast-paced, and bloody good fun, filled with awesome characters that I really wanted to spend more time reading about, and is full of brilliantly-observed details of a society in the not-too-distant future that is both fantastically different, but worryingly familiar. I couldn’t recommend Moxyland highly enough. It was unlike anything I’ve ever read, and you won’t be disappointed if you give it a go.”
Never Too Serious

“For me the novel most brings to mind Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and while it won’t likely sell as many copies, it is technically better-written, with better-drawn characters – and a far less optimistic conclusion. Beukes programs a unique reality from similar data. She worked twelve years as a journalist, and she has culled Moxyland from the stories around her, remixing post-Apartheid revelations, township interviews, privacy concerns, and covert corporate ad campaigns into a dark vision of the future. If astute readers may see where this is going, Beukes makes the journey worthwhile.”
Everything 2

“In real life, there are no happy endings, the story just continues on, along with the winners and losers. Moxyland is no different… There always seems to be this promise that with more technology, more advancements, more of everything, life will suddenly become a utopia where everyone is equal, has enough to eat, and a little extra money for the newest tech in the stores. Lauren Beukes is here to tell you that you shouldn’t hold your breath.”
SF Site

“Moxyland isn’t the kind of book readers turn to for uplifting messages about the future. Instead, it provides a curious and stylish look at the way four very different people deal with a world that measures their worth by the number of eyeballs they can attract… It’s a strong fast zap to the brain that eschews science fiction’s lingering tendency to chase technological gosh-wow in favour of using its toolkit to vivisect the kids of tomorrow.”
Strange Horizons

Moxyland is a great read, fast-paced, witty, sussed and sexy. It snaps and pops with neologisms and geek-speak, and fizzes and buzzes with gadgetry and techno-toys. On the whole, it is perhaps more enjoyable than scary – but hell, there’s enough out there to scare you. Take a break and read Moxyland.”
Michiel Heyns

“We cut between four characters from different social strata, all of whom are playing the game, and here comes the great unremembered point of cyberpunk, they’re all rather enjoying the dystopia, the Funky Catastrophe, until very bad things happen… I recommend it highly.”
Paul Cornell

“commentators have muttered things like “Post-cyberpunk”… But Beukes has certainly captured the zeitgeist and sharpened it… This is good SF – the extrapolations are all too real, all too obviously deriving their heritage from the world we see around us.”
Exiled from Groggs

“I’d built up this book for myself for a while… Expectations were high, and they were met. It’s a hugely challenging and fun adventure through places both familiar and strange, encapsulated in a rich, coherent world. Highly recommended.”
Extra Book

“I highly recommend this novel for fans of William Gibson and others who are fascinated by a talented new writer with a distinct style.”

“…a chilling, effectively written novel.”
SF Crowsnest

“Lean, sharp, and tightly written, Moxyland keeps raising the stakes, from the opening chapter to the uncompromising finale. And with its electronic panopticon, it gives us a dystopia to rival 1984 or Stand On Zanzibar – a future horrifying for its very plausibility.”
Gareth L Powell

“Moxyland is a wake-up call to a generation of science fiction writers that have been slumbering for far too long: if you want to write about the future then you cannot do so on terms that were set nearly 30 years ago: just as the mainstream of culture has evolved, so too must the ways in which thinkers formulate their opposition to that mainstream.”
The Zone

“I have to say that the future Lauren Beukes envisions excited me, the world bedazzled me and the cyberpunk vibes buzzed my brain like a sour cherry. Beukes’ style is electric and evocative, which instantly puts her on my watch list of authors.”
Temple Library Reviews


Lauren Beukes
Science Fiction
Cover: Joey HiFi

1 July 2009
320pp B-format paperback
£7.99 UK $tbc Aus
ISBN 9780857662705

September 2010
384pp mass-market paperback
$7.99 US $8.99 CAN
ISBN 9780857660046

1 July 2009
ePub ISBN 9780857660053


The following extract is taken from Moxyland. Please note that the formatting will vary from that of the final commercial product. All rights reserved. However, feel free to share this sample chapter with anyone you wish, or to post it on your own site. And if you like this, buy Lauren’s book.

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