Predict The Kitschies, Win a Tentacle!
Everywhere but here

Stack 'em high

NinevehBeing that I'm addicted to Lotz/Beukes/SL Grey/Something Wicked/Jungle Jim/Etc., I asked Louis Greenberg (half of S.L. Grey!) for some shopping advice on where to go next for South African literature.

Louis rather excitably recommended a billion books, and, after a cursory bit of Googling, all of them sounded good. I gave up on being methodical and ordered ten that had awesome names:
  • Nineveh (Henrietta Rose-Innes)
  • Solace (Andrew Brown)
  • Agency Blue (Alex Smith)
  • Eric the Brave (Johan Volk Louw)
  • The Soldier Who Said No (Chris Marnewick)
  • Six Fang Marks and a Tetanus Shot (Richard de Nooy)
  • Young Blood (Sifiso Mzobe)
  • The Sea of Wise Insects (Terry Westby-Nunn)
  • Men of the South (Zukiswa Wanner)
  • The Great Agony and Pure Laughter of the Gods (Jamala Safari)

I've already finished three (Solace, Eric and The Great Agony) - reviews a-comin'. 

No South African book-muling would be complete without a Lotzy presence, so I also snaffled Death of a Saint (as Lily Herne) and some backup copies of Pompidou Posse

A couple of collectibles:

  • The Lost Art (Simon Morden): A proof! Poor Mr. Morden - we basically did Thy Kingdom Come as part of a sinister scheme to lure him to London purely so he could sign 75 copies of the limited edition... and then another 75 of his books that I'd been collecting (ok, not that many. But close.)
  • Fly By Night (Frances Hardinge): Another proof! [makes goose noises]

That Hideous StrengthAnd the randomness:

  • Hunger (Melvin Burgess): I really like Burgess' stuff. That + I've yet to read one of the new Hammer books = curiosity.
  • Hereditation (James Smythe): Yup. I'm that mean.
  • Floating Dragon (Peter Straub): Not his best. But a first edition for only a few pounds.
  • American Elsewhere (Robert Jackson Bennett): My one American purchase, appropriately enough.
  • Airport (Arthur Hailey): Probably his best. Not a first edition but only a few pounds.
  • Dancing Jax (Robin Jarvis): Freax and Rejex was a Kitschies submission and I really enjoyed it - enough to go back and buy the first book in the series. (Signed, too!)
  • Frankenstein (Mary Shelley): Millipede edition. Millipede might be one of the finest small presses, and their critical editions are both gorgeous and educational. This one comes with Polidari and Byron stories, plus over a half-dozen essays on Frankenstein's legacy.
  • C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy - as sleazy Pan paperbacks - "THEY COULD MAKE MAN IMMORTAL - BUT HUMANITY ITSELF WOULD DIE"
  • A collector's guide to "Sexy pulp fiction paperbacks". So much fun. Now to find a copy of Satan Was My Pimp!...

And the best treasure of all:

  • Something Wicked, Volume One (edited by Vianne Venter and Joe Vaz): an actual physical copy of this amazing anthology from my favourite magazine. My feelings about Something Wicked are pretty well-documented (including earlier on this page), but I'm more than a little excited about this one.

This haul comes from a lot of places, but mostly the Book Lounge (Cape Town), Skoob (London) and Porcupine Books (Essex). Also some airport bookshop in Phoenix and a few random indies that flog through Amazon.