Moxyland is the debut title from new genre publisher Angry Robot Books. It's written by a South African author named Lauren Beukes and I believe it's her first novel as well. Amazon promises:
A frighteningly persuasive, high-tech fable, this novel follows the lives of four narrators living in an alternative futuristic Cape Town, South Africa. Kendra, an art-school dropout, brands herself for a nanotech marketing program; Lerato, an ambitious AIDS baby, plots to defect from her corporate employers; Tendeka, a hot-headed activist, is becoming increasingly rabid; and Toby, a roguish blogger, discovers that the video games he plays for cash are much more than they seem. On a collision course that will rewire their lives, this story crackles with bold and infectious ideas, connecting a ruthless corporate-apartheid government with video games, biotech attack dogs, slippery online identities, a township soccer school, shocking cell phones, addictive branding, and genetically modified art. Taking hedonistic trends in society to their ultimate conclusions, this tale paints anything but a forecasted utopia, satirically undermining the reified idea of progress as society's white knight.The blurb has me intriguing and I always love reading about projected futures for non-American cultures. Charles Stross's Halting State (Ace Science Fiction) and Ian McDonald's Brasyl and River of Gods were great reads so it will be interesting to see if Beukes can do the same for her native South Africa. The SF ideas sound like something straight out of a Stross novel. Add in the fact that Beukes is the debut author Angry Robot Books is hanging their hope on
The cover art is attention grabbing and those "image missing" icons get me every time. The neon orange really attracts the eye and the missing faces would probably get me to flip the book over. It's not my favorite cover ever but it certainly gets the job done. I'd give it a B/B+
Moxyland is 304 pages long. I'm not sure when I will be able to post a review because of the upcoming holiday weekend but it will be up in the near future. As always, read along if you can!