Monday, August 29, 2016

6 Books with Lauren Beukes

Photo Credit: Ulrich Knoblauch
Lauren Beukes is most famous in the science fiction and fantasy world as the author of four novels, including Shining Girls and Broken Monsters. But did you know that she has also written for comics, most famously in her outstanding run on Bill Willingham's Fables spinoff: Fairest AND she that has written for television and directed an award winning documentary (Glitterboys & Ganglands)? Beukes is currently adapting her novel Zoo City into a screenplay. She can do it all, folks.

Today she shares her 6 books with us...

1. What book are you currently reading?
I’m late to it, but Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings is just remarkable. It’s a turbulent period of history I (shamefully) didn’t really know about Jamaica that breathes through its huge cast of characters. His skill with voice makes me really envious, you disappear into every perspective.

2. What upcoming book are you really excited about?
I can’t wait for Laurie Penny’s novella, Everything Belongs to the Future. I’m a huge fan of her switchblade-sharp journalism and non-fiction - you might have already read her terrifying gonzo behind-the-scenes at the Republican GOP party. With her insight into social issues and activism, I can’t wait to see what she does with speculative fiction!

3. Is there a book you're currently itching to re-read?
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, about a troublesome teen girl shapechanger who apprentices herself to a not-quite-evil villain. I’ve read it to my seven year old about six times now, but it’s such a pleasure to go back to.

4. How about a book you've changed your mind about - either positively or negatively?
I’ve had to recontextualize the way I feel about HP Lovecraft, knowing that the creeping dread of the other was informed by his grotesque-even-for-his-time racism. Ditto Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card who has revealed himself as a bigot and a homophobe. I’d love to be able to separate the art from the artist, but you can’t. It’s there, in the words.

5. What's one book, which you read as a child or a young adult, that has had a lasting influence on your writing?
The Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson. I read it in installments in 2000AD Monthly when I was 15, this wild, gritty, high adventure, fun and also often devastatingly bleak science fiction about a slum girl who wants to “go out”, be more than she is. I love V for Vendetta, Watchmen is perfect storytelling, but Halo Jones is my true love.

6. And speaking of that, what's *your* latest book, and why is it awesome?
This is a tough one! My first two novels, Zoo City and Moxyland have just been reissued by Mulholland with gorgeous new covers, so that’s technically my latest? I also have collection coming out this year, Slipping: Stories, Essays & Other Writing and the trade paperback (or graphic novel) of Survivors’ Club, the horror comic I co-wrote with Dale Halvorsen, with art by Ryan Kelly is out in time for Halloween. But what I’ve been working on is a new novel called Motherland, about a world where most of the male population have died, and a mom is trying to get her teenage son to a place of safety where he can be a human being rather than a sex object or a reproductive resource or lab rat. My last two novels dealt with serial killers and I felt like I’ve said all I want to say, for the moment, about murderous psychos, and I was tired of killing people. So, I solved it by killing 3.5 billion men instead! Motherland will be out next year.

POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Writer / Editor at Adventures in Reading since 2004. Nerds of a Feather contributor since 2015, editor since 2016. Minnesotan.