I’ve seen a number of books by Lauren Beukes in the stores. I’m currently reading another one of her novels and I have one or two others in my ARC queue. I know that Ms. Beukes’ books have gotten some favorable attention and now I’m discovering why that is it.
Slipping is a collection of short pieces – fiction, essays, letters and even tweets. It is a varied work of incredible imagination.
Early on, while reading the collection of short fiction, I was often mentally comparing these works to the early speculative fiction work of Harlan Ellison. It is unique – a style all its own – and it speaks to the reader in so many ways. It is the sort of work that I often find myself agreeing with, nodding my head ‘yes’ to even though it isn’t asking a question, but because it is providing answers, or at least insight.
It’s a little bit difficult to pick favorites out of this really remarkable assortment but I did make simple notes of “fun story” and “good” and wonderful piece” directly into my Kindle edition of the book.
The “fun story” was “Princess” which might best be described as an erotic fairy tale. It made me chuckle and the story-telling itself was so good.
The “wonderful piece” refers to Beukes’ “On Beauty: A Letter to My Five-Year-Old Daughter.” This is just breath-taking and every parent, especially a parent of a daughter will understand this. I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a common letter for parents to put away in a daughter’s keepsake book.
The third noted piece was called “Litmash” which is a collection of tweets written by Beukes as part of the Twitter fiction festival (I didn’t know there was such a thing). If there aren’t already entire books of twitter fiction, I suspect there will be soon. But reading through Beukes’ tweets shows us precisely why she’s such a popular writer. She knows how to deliver a literary punch decisively and efficiently with just a few words.
Saying that I have a few favorites does not mean that I disliked the other pieces. In fact all the works here are strong and I could just as easily be listing “My Insect Skin” or “Smileys” or “Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs” or “Tanka-Karoo” or “Ghost Girl” as favorites. I just happened to notate the other three while reading the book.
Slipping is a nice sampler assortment and shows that Beukes can write non-fiction just as wonderfully as her fiction. I can’t wait to dig into some of these novels sitting in my Kindle!
This collection includes the following works:
“My Insect Skin”
“Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs”
“Riding with the Dream Patrol”
“Adventures in Journalism”
“All the Pretty Corpses”
“On Beauty: A Letter to My Five-Year-Old Daughter”
Looking for a good book? Slipping is a collection of fiction, essays, and other writings by Lauren Beukes and is a powerful introduction to her writing abilities. Fans of speculative fiction won’t want to miss this.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing
author: Lauren Beukes
publisher: Tachyon Publications
paperback, 288 pages
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