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Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  258 ratings  ·  79 reviews
In her edgy, satiric debut collection, award-winning South African journalist and author Lauren Beukes (The Shining Girls, Moxyland) never holds back. Nothing is simple and everything is perilous when humans are involved: corruption, greed, and even love (of a sort).

A permanent corporate branding gives a young woman enhanced physical abilities and a nearly-constant high
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 29th 2016 by Tachyon Publications
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May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, hey-shorty
this is a collection of previously-published material and like all collections, it's highs and lows, highs and lows, but even more so here since the material was written over the course of ten years of beukes' writerly development. judging by the names of some of the anthologies/journals in which these stories first appeared, her contributions may have been commissioned and specifically tailored to the theme of the collection, and operating within dictated parameters doesn't always produce the b ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars. A collection of twenty-six short stories & essays written by Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls, Broken Monsters, and Zoo City. Why haven't I read any of Lauren Beukes's work before? This book was my favorite kind of strange!

You might think of a city as a map, all knotted up in the bondage of grid lines by town planners. But really, it’s a language—alive, untidy, ungrammatical. The meaning of things rearranges, so the scramble of the docks turns hipster cool while the faded gl
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!

This is my fourth Beukes and I was thrilled to get the ARC, not merely because the author is fantastic with mixing genres, being as solid in hard SF and mystery as she is in wonderfully evocative and detailed and interesting prose set within South Africa.

Not that South Africa is as important to the story as the recurring themes of con games and violence against women. The themes of identity and image and body mods are also extremely prevalent, too.

But she also ev
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Normally I don't read short stories, but as I am a huge fan of fellow South African, Lauren Beukes, I was ecstatic when netgalley approved me for an ARC. The title story is Lauren at her best, and I ended up wishing it was a full-length novel - imagine a very dark and twisted Hunger Games. Although the stories are all very different (some dealing with the harsh reality of living in SA, some sci-fi, some fantasy etc), most of them focuses on the theme of how technology and social media ...more
Althea Ann
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Muse - Brief, poetic and appropriate as an introduction. A dash of the fantastic, a bit of horror - and a comment on the creative process.

Slipping - A re-read (and worth the second look.) "Last year, Beukes' 'Broken Monsters' impressed me... and this story continues to impress. The technology here is beyond today's capabilities - but the behavior of the humans here is all too believable; the situation not just credible but likely.
With most countries banning 'enhanced' sports, the +Games h
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This book is really more short stories with a few essays at the end, so definitely go into it for the fiction and not the non-fiction. I was excited about the idea of reading more non-fiction by Beukes, knowing her background in journalism, but this is majority short fictions - contemporary South Africa, near future, with all the lingo and language play I'm used to from some of her earliest published works.

Still, overall I did not rate this that highly.

One story that is five-stars is the title
I picked this up in the current Storybundle offer - curated by Lavie Tidhar and well worth checking out here:

Having only read Lauren Beukes in the long form before, I went into this hopeful, but not entirely certain what to expect - the ability to write amazing novels doesn't always translate to short fiction, much less to non-fiction. But no need to worry; her voice is strong and comes across in a very familiar way. South Africa features heavily, her only recurring
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
‘You don’t have to name something to understand it.’

In Slipping, Beukes takes the modern world and transforms it into something futuristic and near unrecognizable. The title story, Slipping, is about a girl who, following a severe accident, is transformed through technological advances into a racing machine. Smileys, is a strange story about a soldier attempting to extort a woman who sells cooked sheep heads. Pop Tarts, is a story about a reality star and the realization that it’s all nothin
Michael Hicks
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tachyon Publications sent me an ARC of SLIPPING for a blurb, so no formal review from me on this one.

I will say, though, that I had fun reading this collection of short stories. Beukes has one hell of a voice, and whether she's writing about far-flung future space explorers or creepy ass meter maid stalkers, there's always a supreme authorial command at work. Her non-fiction works, although a much smaller collection than her fictional short stories here, surprised me in all the best ways, parti
Sonja Arlow
3 1/2 stars

Predictable and conforming is not words that can ever describe this author’s work and this eclectic collection of short stories was no exception. As there were quite a lot of stories I wanted to just highlight 3 of my favourites.

Slipping – the title story set in a futuristic world during the kill-or-be-killed Olympic style event. Reading this coincided with me watching Caster Semenya cruise into victory in the 800m Rio Olympics so I think that added to my enjoyment of this story. I ac
Aug 26, 2019 marked it as part-read  ·  review of another edition
I skipped over the darker pieces, but "Branded" (which I've already mentioned here), "Princess," and "Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs" made me squeal with laughter; while "Ghost Girl" also made me warm.

A signature excerpt from "Confirm/Ignore":

These are not my words. But be honest, they’re not yours either. Nothing belongs to anyone anymore. Culture wants to be free. This is not my original thought. But who of us can claim to be truly original? Aren’t we all remixes of every influence we’ve e
David Harris
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm grateful to the publisher for an advance e-copy of this book via NetGalley.

I mostly knew of Beukes as the author of smart, twisted SF or fantasy - though it was clear from The Shining Girls that she was also a committed journalist - and I certainly hadn't read any of her short fiction. So this collection was enlightening in a number of ways.

The book collects 21 short stories, written over a decade or more both before and around Beukes' 4 published novels, and 5 pieces of non-fiction. There i
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
At 2.5 stars, I decided I'd round up to 3 if I could finish the whole book, but would round down if I couldn't. So you can see how that went. I'm DNF'ing at 75%, but I technically read more than that, since I skipped ahead to the non-fiction after the fiction tired me out.

"Slipping" reads like a short story collection written by someone who doesn't actually care about writing short stories, but wants to use this form as a vehicle for her Very Important Thoughts. On the positive side, Beukes' pro
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Holy mother of weirdness. This was my first book by Lauren Beukes, and I really enjoyed it.
This style of writing is totally right up my alley-dark and morbid at times, and just plain weird, all with a twist of reality-illustrating an important aspect about how social media and tech has infiltrated every aspect of life. Some stories were a little hard to get into, or I just didn't understand them at all.
The nonfiction part at the end was so completely different than the beginning it kind of thre
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been keen on Lauren Beukes’ writing ever since I read Zoo City on a whim a few years ago, and my opinion that she’s an author worth following was confirmed when I read Broken Monsters. Her career started with the gritty South African SF novels Moxyland and Zoo City, and while she’s moved on to do comics (Fairest) and into more horror/thriller territory (Shining Girls, Broken Monsters), all of her work has been excellent. Needless to say, I was eager to dive into her first collection, Slippi ...more
Lisa Dobra
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This collection of short stories and essays by Lauren Beukes was full of the delightfully weird, deliciously dark, and incredibly imaginative. I genuinely enjoyed all the stories in this collection; they were all highly original and thought-provoking. The non-fiction essays at the end were also really interesting and informative. Highly recommended for fans of Sci-Fi - you won't be disappointed.
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading this collection of short stories Lauren Beukes is now firmly on my favourite authors list. Clever and very relevant, the stories are a mix of sci-fi, weirdness, and commentary on modern life.

None of the stories here are very long so it's easy to dip in and out of. Though saying that, normally I find myself having to stop between stories in short story collections but with this book I couldn't do that, I had to start the next straight away. I think that was partly because they are
Jessica Sullivan
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm a big fan of Lauren Beukes' horror novels Broken Monsters and The Shining Girls, so I was interested in reading her short stories.

Disclaimer: It's rare that I love a short story collection. I much prefer full-length novels. So take what follows with a grain of salt.

While there were a few stories in this collection that I genuinely enjoyed, I had a difficult time getting into most of them. I wanted more horror. I wanted more gore. I wanted more surrealism. All of that is present in this colle
Benoit Lelièvre
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an interesting case.

Short story collections often have this problem where they go in every direction and don't contain much of what you like about a certain author. I loved Lauren Beukes' BROKEN MONSTERS but it knew what it was: a supernatural crime thriller where the city of Detroit was an important character. There's very little of that in SLIPPING.

That's the thing: there's a little bit of everything in there. Pieces written over close to a decade. There's some interesting material i
Jennifer Jamieson
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Slipping is a collection of previously published short stories and essays by Beukes. Her worlds are always rich and interesting, and her quirkily populated, future South Africa is always a fascinating backdrop for her stories about how technology and social media warp humanity's sense of self.

Slick and stylish, Beukes' visions of the future both entertain and alarm in the way that great science fiction should. I really love most everything I've read from her, and Slipping is no exception. A grea
John Defrog
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ve enjoyed Lauren Beukes’ novels, so I was keen to read this, which is her first collection of short stories, essays and non-fiction, although the fiction section accounts for about 70% of the book. The stories are strikingly diverse, although firmly within Beukes’ usual beat – extreme cybernetics, alien biohorror, ghosts, stalkers, serial killers, 419 scams, South African youth subculture, and so on. While most are top-loaded with amazing ideas – a Japanese punk Lolita vs giant monster story ...more
Tyson Adams
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Could zombies be a viable replacement for slave labour? Asking for a certain electronics company. And most clothing manufacturers.

Slipping is an interesting collection of writing from the brain of Lauren Beukes. From enhanced athletes to bored ghosts, these stories display Lauren's spec-fic interests. There are also a few essays at the end of the collection, one of which explains the personal inspiration behind The Shining Girls; an essay well worth reading.

I met Lauren at a writers' festival wh
Seyi Onabanjo
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Ideal for filling dead time at the dentist / mechanic / insert waiting room related chore here. Probably more deserving of "Golden" reading time (sitting in the "throne room" / just before falling asleep / Sunday after lunch / insert preferred reading time here).

"Ghost girl" is epic and I hope gets fuller treatment soon. "My Insect skin" really shook me as did the essay "Inner City". Many other memorable characters / scenarios in this collection and favorites will vary.

These are mine

Enjoy them
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I first discovered Lauren Beukes after picking up a copy of Broken Monsters and immediately became smitten. I found I had a hard time putting into words what the book was about and why I fell in love with it, mainly because Beukes is able to tackle serious real world issues through fiction - fiction that involves science fiction/fantasy elements that don't ruin the story line or make something terrifyingly real seem silly or impersonal. This is a talent I haven't found in other authors and it ma ...more
Aug 17, 2017 added it
I had quite a time getting my hands on this book! Was it worth it? I'm honestly not sure. Is this book worth it? I think so, but as always, I have Some Thoughts.

First I want to say that Lauren Beukes is a new favorite author of mine. I loved Zoo City, and the Shining Girls put me in that fan-category of instantly pre-ordering anything she wrote from then on. Broken Monsters is similarly good, but I kind of prefer the Shining Girls for its specific focus on violence against women.

Second, a story
Eddie Generous
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Unnerving Magazine Review
Distinctly Lauren Beukes, Slipping is a collection that ranges from the far reaches of otherworldly science fiction to straight literary and off toward a world mashed of fixtures between the two. Mostly dark and often grim, this is a full-bodied experience of the vast talents.
Crisp writing and concise plots rein the stories leaning toward muted disaster. Beukes touches on many subjects familiar to her longer stories, but does so with flash bolts that seem to glimmer and
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
This is, as the by-line says, a collection of stories, essays and other writing (such as poems). We start off with a poem titled Muse, about fishhooks in the fingers of gloves that embed themselves a little more with every keystroke, and it's beautiful.

From there we have the first short story, about a girl who, instead of the lower half of her legs, has neurocircuitry. She's come to Pakistan as one of the runners (as the taxi driver oh so cleverly works out), in a futuristic version of the Paral
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing by Lauren Beukes is a highly recommended collection of 26 previously published pieces. The majority are fiction, with five nonfiction essays at the end of the collection. As with any compilation, some of the works appealed to me and felt more successful than others, but there is no selected work included that doesn't belong. There are several selections that could easily be the start of a novel. My absolute top favorites were Slipping, Smileys, The Gree ...more
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lauren Beukes continues her string of knock-them-out-of-the-park hits with Slipping. Beukes' creativity explodes with so many interesting story concepts within the pages of this book. Characters and situations that haunt you long after you finish. It is definitely a must-read.
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Lauren Beukes is an award-winning, best-selling novelist who also writes screenplays, TV shows, comics and journalism. Her books have been translated into 26 languages and have been optioned for film and TV.

Her awards include the Arthur C Clarke Award, the prestigious University of Johannesburg prize, the August Derleth Prize, the Strand Critics Choice Award and the RT Thriller of the Year. She’s

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