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 convey the message that she is fully deserving of the attention of the reader.
Slipping, as a collective, definitely some of Lauren Beukes’ finest work and, for me, her most entertaining publication to date. She adapts such a variety of voices and vices that it is difficult to explain as singular piece. Dread, action, sexuality, unsexing, fables, skillfully quiet terror, humanities valued and weighed —stories woven together smoother than should be likely given the variety in artistic expulsion.
South African roots rope around the majority of these tales and offer a view into a world not readily available to the North American public. Vivid and colorful, these scenes and stories carry a valuable weight and strength.
Eventually, the fiction ceases and the non-fiction slides in, belonging and befitting. Often the changeover can feel stark or abrasive, off-putting often conveying too much moral or expectations from the reader. Beukes offers moral ideals and notions, but does so with so wildly compliant vehicles that one can’t help but understand, agree and feel.
Slipping is a powerhouse of rich, demanding and surprising short works.