Posts Tagged: Lily Herne

I seldom felt that this fiction resonated with my experience of South Africa

South African speculative fiction is single-handedly responsible for getting me interested in my own country’s fiction. If you’re from the US or UK you’ve probably never thought of the novels from your country as being largely monolithic or just completely avoided all of them on the assumption that they would be dreary. But that’s exactly how I felt.

Because we were in school after the change in government, many people in my generation seem to have grown up thinking of local fiction as synonymous with the kinds of depressingly tragic political books you were forced to read for class. Books about racism, poverty, apartheid  – that’s how I’ve often heard them described. South African books were grim, weighty things. Important and well-crafted maybe, but they offered no pleasure or entertainment. For the few who liked reading (we don’t have a strong reading culture) all the books you could actually enjoy came from somewhere else. Read More »

As a duo of dual-citizens, we spend a lot of time bounding between the US and UK. Naturally, with every visit, we immediately rush to the bookstore and see what’s changed. The little things always amaze us. When did our neighbourhood Barnes & Noble get such a huge graphic novel section? Why are the Joe Abercrombie covers so different in the US? (And the Daniel Abraham ones so much better in the UK?) Does the American edition Un Lun Dun really have a glossary of British slang?! (It does! And now we have to buy it for the collection…)

Since A Dribble of Ink has a huge American audience, we thought we’d pipe up for a few British talents that might not have been picked up by the US radar… yet.

Osama by Lavie Tidhar

Given that Lavie Tidhar’s breakout hit is called Osama (2011), it is easy to appreciate why it hasn’t stormed USA Today’s bestseller list. But there’s a reason that Mr. Tidhar’s semi-slipstream, semi-meta, all-noir detective-SF-thriller-thing (seriously, that’s the best we can do for a one-line description) has picked up critical attention on both sides of the Atlantic. Osama has been a finalist for the Kitschies, the BSFA and the John W Campbell award, and picked up glowing reviews from damn near everyone.

Osama is currently only available as an eBook in the US – but it is far from being the only worthwhile read from the prolific Mr. Tidhar. Hunting down copies of An Occupation of Angels, HebrewPunk, The Apex Book of World SF (which he edited) or his many, many short stories are all well worth the effort. Read More »