South African writer (and World SF Blog contributor) Charlie Human has been sitting on this news for a while (and so have we!) but, well, here’s the official announcement:
Charlie’s debut novel APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, plus an untitled follow-up, has sold to Jack Fogg at Century for a very healthy five-figure sum in a deal negotiated by John Berlyne of the Zeno Agency. Century will publish in the UK and Commonwealth (Ex SA) IN SUMMER 2013. South African rights sold in a separate deal to Frederik de Jager at Random House Struik.
A sharp urban fantasy with a uniquely South African twist, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW has been described by fellow SA writer Lauren Beukes (author of the Arthur C. Clarke award winning ZOO CITY) as ‘… mad and dark and irreverent and wonderfully twisted in all the right ways‘. Here’s a taste of what you can expect…
‘Baxter Zevcenko is your average sixteen-year-old-boy — if by average you mean kingpin of a schoolyard porn syndicate and possible serial killer who suffers from surreal nightmares. Which may very well be what counts as average these days. Baxter is the first to admit that he’s not a nice guy. After all, if the guy below you falls, dragging you down into an icy abyss you have to cut him loose — even in high school.
That is until his girlfriend, Esmé, is kidnapped and Baxter is forced to confront a disturbing fact about himself — that he has a heart, and the damn thing is forcing him to abandon high-school politics and set out on a quest to find her. The clues point to supernatural forces at work and Baxter is must admit that he can’t do it alone. Enter Jackie Ronin, supernatural bounty hunter, Border War veteran, and all-round lunatic, who takes him on a chaotic tour of Cape Town’s sweaty, occult underbelly.
What do glowing men, transsexual African valkyries, and zombie-creating arachnids have to do with Esmé’s disappearance? That’s what Baxter really, really needs to find out.’
John Berlyne said ‘When this one landed in my in-box I knew immediately that it was something special. It’s sly, iconoclastic, off-the-wall and full of the kind of energy that I hunger for in my reading. It’s also extremely well written – the kind of book that reads effortlessly. I’m very pleased indeed that Century – who’ve had such a success with Ernest Cline’s superb READY PLAYER ONE – will be publishing.’
Jack Fogg said ‘APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is one of those rare, generous novels which goes to incredible lengths to entertain the reader. I haven’t laughed so hard or flat out enjoyed a ride more in a very long time. Charlie is a fantastic writer, at the forefront of the nascent speculative fiction scene in South Africa, and I feel incredibly privileged to be publishing his unique novels.’
Charlie Human is a writer from Cape Town, South Africa. His short story, The Immaculate Particle, appeared in Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse, and Land of the Blind was printed in the UK version of ZOO CITY by Lauren Beukes. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town.
Charlie’s story, Dance Dance Revolution, was published on the World SF Blog in 2011.