Charlie Human on the Real World Influences for APOCALYPSE NOW NOW

Human-ApocalypseNowNowUS-BlogCharlie Human‘s critically-acclaimed debut novel, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, was recently published in the US by Titan Books. To celebrate, Charlie was invited by Boing Boing to write a piece about the novel, and he chose to write about the real world influences behind the novel…

In South Africa the spam is hand-delivered. Pamphlet-flickers (guys handing out flyers for sidewalk magicians that offer everything from debt-clearing to penis enlargement) try to outmaneuver me on my commute every morning.

Bouncing on their heels they weave from side to side to intercept passers-by with their haphazardly printed offerings. Love spells, exorcisms, magic money purses. Diagon Alley with a bit more aggression, a bit more style, a little less polish.

Make no mistake, there’s an incredibly dark side to it… There’s also a darkly comic side to this urban reality fantasy. Our tabloids are in on the game, spinning an epic serial of monsters and magic in their headlines every morning…

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APOCALYPSE NOW NOW and its sequel, KILL BAXTER are published in the UK by Arrow, and in South Africa by Random Struik/UmuziTitan are also due to publish KILL BAXTER in the US, in November 2015. Here’s the synopsis for the first novel…


Baxter Zevcenko’s life is pretty sweet. As the 16-year-old kingpin of the Spider, his smut-peddling schoolyard syndicate, he’s making a name for himself as an up-and-coming entrepreneur. Profits are on the rise, the other gangs are staying out of his business, and he’s going out with Esme, the girl of his dreams.

But when Esme gets kidnapped, and all the clues point towards strange forces at work, things start to get seriously weird. The only man drunk enough to help is a bearded, booze-soaked, supernatural bounty hunter that goes by the name of Jackson ‘Jackie’ Ronin.

Plunged into the increasingly bizarre landscape of Cape Town’s supernatural underworld, Baxter and Ronin team up to save Esme. On a journey that takes them through the realms of impossibility, they must face every conceivable nightmare to get her back, including the odd brush with the Apocalypse.

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