Saturday, December 02, 2017
This is fantasy but not of the usual sort which always seems to be set in a vaguely medieval type of world. The setting is in every way modern South Africa apart from the fantasy elements in which people who criminal acts become "aposymbiots" and at the same time acquire unusual, magical talents. It's dark, complicated and totally original. I could say it's not a genre I've been into much before - but then, it is not really a "genre" novel at all, bursting out of the confines of both fantasy and noir thriller.
Zoo City won the Arthur C Clarke award in 2011 - an award for the best science fiction novel published in English in the previous year. Which is interesting, since "science" is thin on the ground although perhaps the vaguely stated reasons for the onset of the condition of animal companionship qualify as "science". Be that as it may, the book's quality is certainly deserving of recognition. I'll be looking out for more of this author's work.