Last month, we shared the news that the short film based on Charlie Human‘s debut novel APOCALYPSE NOW NOW had been nominated for the SAFTAS award in the short film category. We’re delighted to report that, this past weekend, the short film won the award! Here’s the announcement, from the SAFTAS Twitter account on the night…
The short film was adapted by XYZ Film. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is the first novel in Human’s critically-acclaimed Baxter Zevcenko duology, which also includes KILL BAXTER. Both novels are out now, published by Arrow in the UK and Titan in the US. Here’s the first book’s synopsis…
I LOVE THE SMELL OF PARALLEL DIMENSIONS IN THE MORNING
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.
The series has been very well received by readers and Charlie’s peers alike. Here’s just a small selection taken from the reviews…
‘It’s mad, dark, irreverent and wonderfully twisted in all the right ways.’ — Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls
‘… a riot — a firebomb of a novel, exploding with sick humour, violence and depravity… it’s never less than very funny, and the ongoing question of Baxter’s sanity adds a degree of mystery. There’s warmth here, too – you’ll likely feel sympathy for Bax by the end.’ — SFX Magazine on APOCALYPSE NOW NOW
‘I don’t even know how to describe reading this book, so just look at my wide eyes and my silently mumbling mouth and take my shell-shock as a good sign that you need to read this book right now.’ — Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds
‘… wonderfully detailed scenarios, it’s fantastic… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is often hilarious and tremendous fun… its target audience will have a blast.’ — SciFi Now
‘… breakneck pace and mad imagination… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW [is] such an addictive experience. As one of an associate of Ronin’s remarks: “There’s no pause button, you understand? … Once it starts you have to see it through.” All too true!’ — Tor.com
‘With a wild imagination and savage glee, Charlie Human throws us into a school yard battle zone that’s part teenage wasteland, part Lovecraft fever dream. Rock and Roll High School meets the apocalypse.’ — Richard Kadrey, author of Sandman Slim
‘Set against the refreshing backdrop of Cape Town, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is the gloriously twisted novel… Imaginative, slightly demented and wonderfully odd, it’s a striking debut that delivers a dark monster-filled tale at a frenetically enjoyable pace… But thankfully, the voice of the main protagonist prevents the madness from taking control. His intelligent quips and cocky smart-arse attitude provides an incredibly entertaining backbone to a story that slowly reveals his heart and his struggles to grasp the world around him… If you want the dark imaginative wonder of Gaiman injected with the reckless, carefree abandon of a Tarantino flick, you’d be a fool not to hitch a ride into the mysterious world of Charlie Human’s South Africa.’ — Starburst
‘The story is full of humour and really made me laugh many times with its absurdity, bad attitude and characters that are just pure gold to read, especially Ronin the big bearded, foul mouthed, recovering alcoholic ninja. This is a brash and ballsy read that doesn’t pull any punches and as such it is for the most part an incredibly fun read but it is the characters and the over the top nature of the story that make it so much fun.’ — The Book Bag on KILL BAXTER
‘Like its predecessor, KILL BAXTER is laugh out loud funny and fiendishly creative. The anti-Hogwarts of Hexpoort gives Human the opportunity to riff more directly on pop culture… The further we delve into the supernatural world and its politics, with its psychotic fairies and violent luckdragons, the more engrossing the book becomes. Baxter himself is as entertaining a companion as ever, struggling with heartbreak and desperately trying to go against his own nature and be a good person, even as he travels through his own psyche with his psychosexual development funk band guides to fulfil his potential… tighter and more focused, and just as gloriously insane. Dark, mad, imaginative, and hilarious; KILL BAXTER is a joy.’ — SciFiNow
‘Just as the author punctures holes in the twee/charming class system of magical boarding schools, Human also goes after many of the other traditions of epic fantasy. The warrior-mages of KILL BAXTER struggle with PTSD. The “rescued” girlfriends don’t feel particularly swoony or appreciative. The quest to master “the power within” involves a funk band. Baxter himself sees himself as the center of the universe (saviour for all, chosen one, etc. etc.) – but is also wise enough to seek out professional therapy for that sensation. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW was a very clever, extremely dark book with an underpinning of real insight into the teenage mind. KILL BAXTER is a step beyond – a viciously sharp adventure that combines explosive entertainment with cutting satire; the best traditions of contemporary fantasy with the truth of what it actually means to be contemporary. The odd book that should appeal to those who love fantasy and those that hate it. And I would heartily recommend it either way.’ — Pornokitsch