Charlie Human on Letting Go of APOCALYPSE NOW NOW

Last week, Charlie Human was interviewed by Channel 24 in South Africa about his novel APOCALYPSE NOW NOW. During the interview, Charlie spoke about writing the novel, the possibility of a screen adaptation…

And also the amusing mix-up that occurred after Charlie Hunnam was selected to star in the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey

APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is published by Century in the UK and Umuzi/Struik in South Africa.


50 Shades of A Simple Typo…

Back in July, Zeno client Charlie Human decided that he was going to go along with the frequent instances of a particular mistaken identity – a lot of people confuse his Twitter account with that of British actor Charlie Hunnam (Sons of AnarchyPacific Rim, etc.). In Zeno Charlie’s own words, he was ‘Kicking off my new strategy of taking credit for everything Charlie Hunnam does. I get enough tweets directed at him.’

Last week, however, Charlie woke up to the following, surprising Tweet…: ‘My dreams are coming true.. @charliehuman will be Christian [G]rey!!!’

This followed the news that Charlie Hunnam had been cast as the lead male character in the movie adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey. Much amusement ensued, and we suggest you head over to South Africa publisher Umuzi’s Books Live, where the exchanges have been collated for your reading pleasure.

Do be sure to pick up Charlie Human‘s APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, which was published last month by Century in the UK, to great (and growing) acclaim.


Photo Credit: Deni Archer

Praise Keeps Pouring in for Charlie Human’s APOCALYPSE NOW NOW!


Charlie Human‘s brilliant debut novel, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, has been out in the UK for a couple of weeks, now, and great reviews just keep flooding in. We shared with you some of the responses from other authors a little while back. Now, we’re happy to share some reviewer comments, just in case you still need convincing to check out the novel (and whet your appetite for it’s forthcoming sequel)…

‘Brilliantly entertaining.’  —  British Fantasy Society

‘… 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

‘… gloriously twisted… Imaginative, slightly demented and wonderfully odd, it’s a striking debut that delivers a dark monster-filled tale at a frenetically enjoyable pace… run[s] rampant with brutal violence, freaky nightmare creatures and African mythology… flamboyant characters, jolly gung-ho violence and a perverse sense of humour… 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

‘Think Lauren Beukes meets Neil Gaiman, with bounty hunters.’  —  Wired (UK)

‘… pure, unbridled joy… absolutely none of it is paint by numbers… a fever dream of an urban fantasy, something where everything’s been flung against the wall and, against all odds, it sticks… Mr. Human has built a ridiculously infectious world… It is hard not to be swept up by the joy of it all… Unbridled, unhinged joy and a bit of thoughtful characterisation? APOCALYPSE NOW NOW may truly signify the end of days.’  —  Pornokitsch

‘… wonderfully detailed scenarios, it’s fantastic… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is often hilarious and tremendous fun… its target audience will have a blast.’  —  SciFi Now

‘Charlie Human, a native South African who has the writing ability of a seasoned pro… From start to finish this just kept getting better and better… The book has everything from giant crows to dwarfs to mind controlling spiders… I would definitely recommend this to all. If you’re a fan of fantasy adventure you are going to love this…’  —  PopBucket

‘Human blends a lot of the staples of the genre together and gives the resultant mix more than a few twists of his own (playing on reader expectations very neatly) to create a story that will appeal to fans of very dark urban fantasy… Not for the weak of stomach, this is hopefully just the first adventure for Baxter and Jackson Ronin… Recommended.’  —  Sci-Fi Bulletin

‘… a bowl of fireworks… It has porn-peddling adolescents, ginger bearded monk ninjas, killer crows and zombie-filled sex dungeons ruled over by parasitic mega-spiders. What’s not to love!?!’  —  J For Jetpack

‘… an extremely strong debut novel, from an author who exhibits a great deal of talent and potential. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is bonkers, twisted, very funny, and utterly engaging… Human’s writing is immediate, addictive, funny, and expertly crafted… original, very well-written, funny, dark, and genre-blending. Charlie is definitely an author to watch.’  —  Civilian Reader

‘… 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!’  —

‘… Charlie Human’s formidable imagination… is splattered over every page…. In much the same way as Paul Cornell did in London Falling, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW shows the supernatural living uneasily in the city shadows. But Cape Town is given a far more jaundiced view through the eyes of this disillusioned South African 21st century Holden Caulfield, and Human’s use of African superstition and his own bizarre creatures makes it a far more exotic and dangerous place… an attention-grabbing debut novel… certainly one you won’t forget reading in a hurry.’  —  Cultbox

‘… weirdly and gruesomely awesome! …  I laughed (a lot), I got drawn in to the action… Not your run of the mill scifi or fantasy novel and defo not one for the easily offended or feint of heart… if you want a book that blurs the genre lines, delves into South African mythology and has a whole heap of weird eroticism in it then this is defo one for you. Go forth and envelop this crazy arsed book!’  —  Book Geek Says

‘Like Gaiman and Tarantino, Charlie Human plays with different genres and their cliches… It is fast-paced, laugh-out-loud funny… Baxter’s voice is brilliant… Baxter’s commentary, with its irony and awareness, also helps keep the book from being overwhelmed by weirdness… This is [Charlie’s] debut novel and a very impressive one at that.’  —  Magic Realism

‘Mr. Human’s insane brain rips the carpet that you think you know from underneath you, rolls you up in it and transports you into a strange, twisted world… It’s stupendous… The supporting cast is written well, with the important players given enough back story and hints of motives to flesh them out. Honestly, read this book… it’s written beautifully. I can’t wait to read his next. 9/10’  —  Fantasy Opinion

Be sure to keep checking Charlie’s author page, which we will update as-and-when new reviews come in. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is published in the UK by Century, and in South Africa by Random House/Struik (in English and Afrikaans – BOKVELD BINNEKORT).

Early Praise for Charlie Human’s APOCALYPSE NOW NOW…

We’ve been talking about it for months, but now that early copies of Charlie Human‘s amazing debut novel, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, have made their way into the hands of a select few readers and reviewers, we’re in the position to say WE TOLD YOU SO!!!!…

‘It’s mad, dark, irreverent and wonderfully twisted in all the right ways.’  —  Lauren Beukes, award-winning author of the Shining Girls

‘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

‘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 KadreyNew York Times bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series

‘Brilliantly entertaining.’  —  British Science Fiction Association

APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is due to be published in August 2013, by Century (UK), and Random House Struik (South Africa).


New Clients, New Deals # 2

Zeno welcomes the super talented South African author Charlie Human as a client with the news of an exciting deal. Charlie’s debut novel APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, plus an untitled follow-up, has sold to Jack Fogg at Century for a very healthy five-figure sum in a deal negotiated by John Berlyne of the Zeno Agency. Century will publish in the UK and Commonwealth (Ex SA) IN SUMMER 2013. South African rights sold in a separate deal to Frederik de Jager at Random House Struik.

A sharp urban fantasy with a uniquely South African twist, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW has been described by fellow SA writer Lauren Beukes (author of the Arthur C. Clarke award winning ZOO CITY) as ‘… mad and dark and irreverent and wonderfully twisted in all the right ways‘. Here’s a taste of what you can expect…

‘Baxter Zevcenko is your average sixteen-year-old-boy — if by average you mean kingpin of a schoolyard porn syndicate and possible serial killer who suffers from surreal  nightmares. Which may very well be what counts as average these days. Baxter is the first to admit that he’s not a nice guy. After all, if the guy below you falls, dragging you down into an icy abyss you have to cut him loose — even in high school.

That is until his girlfriend, Esmé, is kidnapped and Baxter is forced to confront a disturbing fact about himself — that he has a heart, and the damn thing is forcing him to abandon high-school politics and set out on a quest to find her. The clues point to supernatural forces at work and Baxter is must admit that he can’t do it alone. Enter Jackie Ronin, supernatural bounty hunter, Border War veteran, and all-round lunatic, who takes him on a chaotic tour of Cape Town’s sweaty, occult underbelly.

What do glowing men, transsexual African valkyries, and zombie-creating arachnids have to do with Esmé’s disappearance? That’s what Baxter really, really needs to find out.’

John Berlyne said ‘When this one landed in my in-box I knew immediately that it was something special. It’s sly, iconoclastic, off-the-wall and full of the kind of energy that I hunger for in my reading. It’s also extremely well written – the kind of book that reads effortlessly. I’m very pleased indeed that Century – who’ve had such a success with Ernest Cline’s superb READY PLAYER ONE – will be publishing.’

Jack Fogg said ‘APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is one of those rare, generous novels which goes to incredible lengths to entertain the reader. I haven’t laughed so hard or flat out enjoyed a ride more in a very long time. Charlie is a fantastic writer, at the forefront of the nascent speculative fiction scene in South Africa, and I feel incredibly privileged to be publishing his unique novels.’

Charlie Human is a writer from Cape Town, South Africa. His short story, The Immaculate Particle, appeared in Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse, and Land of the Blind was printed in the UK version of ZOO CITY  by Lauren Beukes. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town.

All other rights are with Zeno.