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Moxyland by Lauren Beukes

Moxyland (2008)

by Lauren Beukes

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    Astradeni by Eugenia Fakinou (Lucy_Skywalker)
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When government and corporate control becomes too great the awful effects are shown via a number of young (or young seeming) characters. Near-future depressing science fiction. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jan 26, 2016 |
I've had this book on my to read list forever and finally got around to it. Boy am I glad I did. The liberal use of argot and shifting perspectives can be annoying for some readers, though I'm not one of those so I really liked that aspect of the book. The story was fast-paced and a new enough take on corporate dystopia that it didn't feel particularly derivative.

There were a few moments of imperfection in the tale that as an editor I would have cut but overall it was a fun, entertaining and thought-provoking read. I'm going to have to find her next book, now. ( )
  darushawehm | Oct 24, 2015 |
'Compared to living in fear, terrorised by criminals, the hijackings and shootings and the tik junkies ready to kill you, shoot you, stab you, for a watch or a camera, I'll take those modified dogs and the whaddayacallit, the cellphone electrocutions, any day. But these people don't understand what they're trying to achieve.'

The story follows four young people over a few days in a near-future South Africa where your phone is everything; your SIM is linked to your ID and without your phone you lose access to buildings, money, your whole life. The police can taser you through your phone, it can be 'defused' (deactivated) temporarily or permanently as a legal punishment and you can get two years in prison for buying an illegal phone that isn't locked to your ID. I have always liked cyberpunk stories and the society in this story seemed worryingly plausible. ( )
1 vote isabelx | Oct 8, 2015 |
"...When I read Neuromancer, I thought that cyberpunk was just way too technical for me. I didn't major in computer science, I'm not a programmer, and you're going to completely lose me with all that sort of jargon. But then I read Snow Crash, and I felt like I "got it." Moxyland is written more along that sort of vein: there's an element of grit and seediness amidst all the shiny future tech, and that is the sort of cyberpunk that I can get on board with.

Beukes's world-building in Moxyland is impressive in how believable a future it seems to be. People today are already reliant on technology for nearly everything, and the way many people treat their phones, you'd think they were natural appendages. Moxyland takes all of that, but one step further...

...Now, while the stories and the world-building held real interest for me, I didn't find myself all that invested in some of the characters...All that being said, I still enjoyed reading Moxyland. Despite not being overly engaged by the characters themselves, their stories were interesting and I appreciated Beukes bringing aspects of actual Cape Town flavor (particularly slang) to her world's youth culture, instead of inventing something completely new for the sake of futuristic world-building. I thought that lent a more authentic sense to the possible reality of her world. If you're interested at all in things like corporate take-over dystopia or cyberpunk in general, I'd recommend giving this a try. It's not a book I really see myself RE-reading, but I'm certainly not sorry I picked it up. There are some interesting twists at the end..."

(For full review, please visit me at Here Be Bookwyrms) ( )
  here.be.bookwyrms | Jun 18, 2015 |
Having read and enjoyed this author's The Shining Girls, I decided to read her others and I'm glad I did.

Told through the viewpoints of four characters, this is a scary story about a near-future world. Set in South Africa, the story focuses on new tech and how it can be used to control people. Disrupters in phones that are controlled by the police. Experimental nanotech that can become part of a person and give them cravings for the products produced by the tech's sponsor. Tech that we've come to depend on can be turned against us in an instant. Kendra, an up-and-coming photographer/artist opts for the new nanotech, hoping it will enhance her artistic expression. Toby, a slacker/gamer, spends his time looking for his next high and the breaking news he can record and broadcast that will make him famous. Tendeka, part of the underclass, wants to end corporate oppression while helping street kids. And Lerato, a corporate programmer, has ambitions of her own.

Toby is the connection to the others: friend to Tendeka, friend and sometimes lover to Lerato, acquaintance of Kendra. As they weave into and out of each other's lives, through Beukes's sure prose, the feeling of tension slowly builds to a chilling climax, sparked by Tendeka's growing involvement in a protest movement, his actions increasing in risk and danger, and pushing at the controlling entities until they push back. This book is almost too close to current reality to be called science fiction. More accurately, it can be considered a cautionary tale, a warning of where society is heading. ( )
  ShellyS | Jan 14, 2015 |
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This debut novel is a breath of fresh air. Beukes dares to look forward instead of backwards and the result is a high-octane, techno-savvy thriller that manages to deliver social commentary in a vehicle that is indubitably hip.

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Average: (3.64)
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2 8
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3 26
3.5 8
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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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2 editions of this book were published by Angry Robot.

Editions: 0857660047, 0857660055

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