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Moxyland by Lauren Beukes

Moxyland (2008)

by Lauren Beukes

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3822828,205 (3.64)87
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    Astradeni by Eugenia Fakinou (Lucy_Skywalker)
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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
"...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 |
Lauren Beukes just writes such wonderful characters. Only one of the POV characters in this is really likeable, but my god I'm fascinated by every single one of them. Also, everyone who thought that cyberpunk was dead? I'm happy to say you're completely wrong. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Nov 25, 2014 |

I got this after tremendously enjoying Zoo City when it was nominated for the BSFA Award a few years ago. I'm afraid this left me rather colder; on the whole I enjoy urban fantasy (which Zoo City is) and I don't much enjoy cyberpunk (which Moxyland is), so I guess it's the specifics of the subgenre. There's deft interweaving of four different narrative strands with on-line gaming and the digital divide, all set in the near future of 2018; people with more of an affinity for Neuromancer than I have will enjoy this more than I did. ( )
  nwhyte | Oct 5, 2014 |
Still wish Goodreads allowed half-stars in ratings--would have given this one a 3.5.

Almost a 4: good cast of characters, interesting and pertinent issues/ideas, plenty of action, all that good stuff, besides which I guess I have a soft spot for nanotechnology and that sorta thing in books. Definitely enjoyed reading it.

Down to 3.5/3 because I felt the ending was kinda abrupt--trying not to mention anything too spoiler-ish, but for the most part everything comes crashing down around the characters' ears. Which was happening all along, plenty of smaller-scale glitches for them, and obviously escalating towards the finale--so no real surprise. But you know how even the not-so-happy endings, when well executed, can be just perfect, and for that particular a better fit than an all's-well-that-ends-well. The direction events were going--basically "to hell in a hand-basket"--definitely pointed towards some final misfortune(s), which was just fine for the tone/ambiance/whatever going here. But it lacked the right kind of artistry, symmetry...that 'something' that makes even tragic/unhappy endings, though still saddening/affecting, somehow satisfying. I can't say I expect that from every book, but it's still disappointing when the ending's not quite right.

So. There's my exhaustive, probably exhausting to read (if read by anyone at all), explanation of why it's 3(.5) stars rather than the 4 I wanted to give it. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
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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)
1.5 1
2 8
2.5 2
3 25
3.5 7
4 38
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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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