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Lauren Beukes’ “Slipping” Included in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (Plus: Excerpt)

 The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Eight nullnullnullnullnullnullnull

Broken MonstersThe Shining GirlsZoo City (SA edition)Moxyland

Lauren Beukes’ short story “Slipping” has been included in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Vol. 9.

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year is an annual anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan of The Coode Street Press. “Slipping” first appeared in the MIT Technology Review science fiction anthology Twelve Tomorrows, which also featured stories by Pat Cadigan, Cory Doctorow, Warren Ellis and William Gibson.

Appearing alongside Beukes in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Vol 9 are sci-fi luminaries such as Joe Abercrombie, Eleanor Arnason, Paolo Bacigalupi and Elizabeth Bear, among others.

Strahan announced the list on Twitter:

Read an excerpt from “Slipping”:

The heat presses against the cab, trying to find a way in past the sealed windows and the rattling air-conditioning. Narrow apartment blocks swoop past on either side of the dual carriageway, occasionally broken up by a warehouse megastore. It could be Cape Town, Pearl thinks. It could be anywhere. Twenty-three hours’ travel so far. She has never been on a plane before.

“So what’s the best part about Karachi?” Tomislav says, trying to break the oppressive silence in the back—the three of them dazed by the journey, the girl, her promoter, and the surgeon, who has not looked up from his phone since they got in the car, because he is trying to get a meeting.

The driver thinks about it, tugging at the little hairs of his beard. “One thing is that this is a really good road. Sharah e Faisal. There’s hardly ever a traffic jam and if it rains, the road never drowns.”

“Excellent.” Tomislav leans back, defeated. He gives Pearl an encouraging smile, but she is not encouraged. She watched the World Cup and the Olympics on TV; she knows how it is supposed to be. She stares out the window, refusing to blink in case the tears come.

The road narrows into the city and the traffic thickens, hooting trucks and bakkies and rickshaws covered in reflecting stickers like disco balls, twinkling in the sun. They pass through the old city, with its big crumbling buildings from long ago, and into the warren of Saddar’s slums, with concrete lean-tos muscling in on each other. Kachi abaadi, the driver tells them, and Pearl sounds it out under her breath. At least the shacks are not tin and that’s one difference.

Tomislav points out the loops of graffiti in another alphabet and taps her plastic knee. “Gang signs. Just like the Cape Flats.”

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