Charlie Human


Charlie Human is a denizen of South Africa’s speculative fiction scene. 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.

His début novel, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW will be published by Century and Random House Struik in the summer of 2013 and features a porn-peddling teenage kingpin, a disturbed military veteran with a weapons fetish, and an ancient mantis exoskeleton with the power to rend dimensions.

Yes, it’s true what they say; the first novel is always autobiographical!

 

titles



Apocalypse Now Now Series:

  1. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW
  2. KILL BAXTER

covers

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  • APOCALYPSE NOW NOW (UK, South Africa English & Afrikaans, Italy, Turkey, USA, Japan, Czech, Germany)
  • KILL BAXTER (UK, South Africa, USA, Germany)
  • APOCALYPSE NOW NOW and KILL BAXTER Audio Edition (Blackstone Audio, 2015)

translations

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Apocalypse Now Now Series:

- KILL BAXTER - Fischer Tor (Germany, 2017 - Kill Baxter: Showdown in Cape Town)
- APOCALYPSE NOW NOW - Fischer Tor (Germany, 2016 - Apocalypse Now Now: Schatten über Cape Town)
- APOCALYPSE NOW NOW - Plus (Czech, 2016 - Apokalypsa na počkání)
- KILL BAXTER - Blackstone Audio (UK & US, 2015)
- KILL BAXTER - Titan Books (US, 2015)
- APOCALYPSE NOW NOW - Blackstone Audio (UK & US, 2015)
- APOCALYPSE NOW NOW - Titan Books (US, 2015)
- APOCALYPSE NOW NOW - 東京創元社 (Japan, 2015 - 鋼鉄の黙示録)
- APOCALYPSE NOW NOW - İthaki Yayınları (Turkey, 2015 - Kıyamet Az Sonra)
- APOCALYPSE NOW NOW - Gargoyle (Italy, 2014)
- KILL BAXTER - Century (UK, 2014)
- APOCALYPSE NOW NOW - Random House Struik (South Africa, 2013, Afrikaans - Bokveld Binnekort)
- APOCALYPSE NOW NOW - Random House Struik (South Africa, 2013)
- APOCALYPSE NOW NOW - Century (UK, 2013)

reviews

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    • APOCALYPSE NOW NOW
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      ‘It’s mad, dark, irreverent and wonderfully twisted in all the right ways.’  —  Lauren Beukes, 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 Kadrey, author of Sandman Slim

      ‘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

      ‘Set against the refreshing backdrop of Cape Town, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is the gloriously twisted novel from writer Charlie Human. 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. It’s a book that wears its influences on its sleeve, literally. Names like Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman and Quentin Tarantino adorn the cover and as the story progresses it is easy to understand why. We are zipped across seedy parallel underworlds with flamboyant characters, jolly gung-ho violence and a perverse sense of humour that would make each of the above quake with delight. In that sense APOCALYPSE NOW NOW reads like a zany mash-up of styles that shouldn’t really come together. 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

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

      ‘A triumph of wit and imagination, Charlie Human’s debut novel will take you on a frightening and hilarious adventure… This novel is irreverent, but not nihilistic; it’s social satire with a firm ethical grounding… The tranquility of middle-class suburbia is shown to belie a writhing underworld of drugs, gangs and mythical monsters. The dark imagery and characters are so well-drawn, the electric dialogue so sharp, it’s a little like watching a Quentin Tarantino movie, while Baxter’s dangerous encounters with mutants and other supernatural creatures in Cape Town’s underbelly resemble a literary episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. An inspired cocktail of Generation Y internet culture, traditional horror devices and futuristic dystopian anxiety, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is poetic, gripping and very funny.’  —  Oprah Magazine, South Africa

      APOCALYPSE NOW NOW (2013) by Charlie Human is pure, unbridled joy… On one hand, [ANN] has your typical urban fantasy plot structure. Baxter is a) something special, b) romantically entangled and c) shocked to discover a world of supernatural creatures that are d) at war. You know the drill. On the other hand, absolutely none of it is paint by numbers. Yes, Baxter’s something special, but it is less “child of prophecy” than “cosmic mish-mash”. His romantic entanglement doesn’t follow the normal route either, and, arguably, the book’s emotional hook is less about his relationship with Esme than the larger question of his relationship with himself. Does Baxter want to be warmor cold (good and evil go flying out the window very, very rapidly in this book)? And as for c (and d), the supernatural creatures are plucked from African, European and pop cultural mythologies, and thoroughly rebuilt according to the author’s mind-boggling specifications. Zombifying spiders, sex sprites, war dwarves, mollusc mecha… all kind of familiar, but with a unique twist… The result is a fever dream of an urban fantasy, something where everything’s been flung against the wall and, against all odds, it sticks. In hindsight, this is because [ANN] has – rather shocking – depth… Mr. Human has built a ridiculously infectious world: a combination of arcade game and Adult Swim series. It is hard not to be swept up by the joy of it all; there’s an energy that stems from all of these magnificently wacky ideas achieving fusion on the page. But, as memorable as all the craziness is, it’s not what makes [ANN] work: Baxter does… Baxter is the teenage everygeek, regardless of gender. He’s a mixture of self-love and self-hate, and he’s trying his awkward best to figure out who (and how) he’ll be as an adult… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW has an emotional underpinning to it that’s possibly even more special than its pan-dimensional octopus fights. That said, it also has pan-dimensional octopus fights, and they’re every bit as awesome as you might think they are. 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

      ‘Human effortlessly mixes Baxter’s psychiatrist’s comments on him with lurid scenes of Cape Town’s supernatural clubland. It’s quick, amusing and widely referenced, and the reader gets no help on which reality to take seriously.’  —  Mail & Guardian

      ‘This is the debut book from 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. From the second third of the book through to the end it is a rollercoaster ride of twists, turns, surprises and revelations. 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… Charlie Human has set the bar very high for himself and he has already got a follow up book in the works. I just hope the next one is as gripping and unique as APOCALYPSE NOW NOW.’  —  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!’  —  Tor.com

      ‘… the dark humour and plot twists… carry the story through to its incendiary conclusion.’  —  Imagine FX (Dec.2013 Issue)

      ‘… Charlie Human’s formidable imagination, which is splattered over every page… Human paints scenes and characters vividly, and with a clear desire to leave an impression on the reader as he boldly thrusts the story of 16 year old pornography peddler Baxter Zevchenko at us… 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

      ‘This is a story of drugs, violence, kinky sex, sprites, zombies and more. I don’t know if it is fantasy or scifi or if deep down it’s really a coming of age love story. All I know is that it is weirdly and gruesomely awesome! …  I laughed (a lot), I got drawn in to the action, I kinda fell in love with Ronin and Bax and even found Esme to be a bit of a babe… Not your run of the mill scifi or fantasy novel and defo not one for the easily offended or feint of heart. However, if you want a book that blurs the genre lines, delves in to 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

      ‘I can see why the comparison has been made between the author and Neil Gaiman. Gaiman’s books are at the far edge of magic realism, where magic realism and fantasy overlap. Both authors have a strain of humour which runs through their books. Charlie Human has some wonderful one-liners: “Magic is S&M without a safe-word” and “His face has the texture of an old loofah”. Like Gaiman and Tarantino, Charlie Human plays with different genres and their cliches: you will find zombies, South African mythic creatures, kung-fu dwarfs, hard-bitten detectives, and giant mechanical beasts in this novel… It is fast-paced, laugh-out-loud funny… Baxter’s voice is brilliant. It rings true as that of a very bright teenage boy, whilst at the same time referencing literary influences. 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

      ‘Baxter’s South Africa definitely isn’t the normal South Africa. Cape Town, the mountain and some of the history is present and seems quite similar. Then 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… So is this book a straight up urban fantasy where the hero is faced with the dilemma of having to rescue someone he loves? No, not even close. Baxter is too strange for that to be the main issue. The world Mr. Human has created is insane. In every way. He’s taken San Bushman and African gods, parallel dimensions, pop culture, some standard fantasy creatures and Afrikaner mythology, blended them together in who knows what and used the resulting mixture as paint to construct a scary, dark absolutely addicting world for his characters to play in. The story goes along at a breakneck pace, especially when the wheels start to come off for Baxter and he’s exposed to the real world he never even imagined existed. It’s stupendous. One of my favourite parts in the middle of the novel is a stutter step in the pacing, done so damn well I still smile thinking of it. 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. As Mr. Human’s first, it’s written beautifully. I can’t wait to read his next. 9/10’  —  Fantasy Opinion

      ‘… will grab you by the hair and drag you headlong into a world you have never seen before…  the exciting, baffling horrifying and hilarious tale of Baxter Zevcenko and his introduction to the paranormal in a style reminiscent of Bram Stoker’s Dracula… A dark story that reaches deep in the paranormal, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is a  gripping read that will keep you on the edge of your seat from page one, and hungry for more by the  end of the novel. In a style similar to that of the first ever novel on vampires (Dracula) Human uses a narrator (Baxter Zevcenko), combined with letters, newspaper articles and at times switches to a narrator with a totally different style. Human also uses moments of humour to prevent the story from becoming  too dark and depressing and are enough to amuse the reader into going on… a well written-book [with] riveting action scenes combined  with wonderful descriptions of the Western Cape of South  Africa.’  —  TheSouthAfrican.com

      ‘Somehow, Charlie Human has managed to write a novel that consistently (and I do mean on every page) shocks, delights, disgusts and amuses every one of the senses… Human’s prose more than stands up to the intensity of the weird on the page. It’s crisp, clear and moves at a pace that mostly keeps the constant barrage of bizarre from growing stale and difficult to picture. He also mixes up his prose techniques and tense styles with cuts to in-world magazine articles, newspaper entries and psychiatrist evaluations. It’s a well-structured novel – something which it needed to be to live up to its manic premise… Madcap, outlandish and surreal – APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is certainly worth a go if you want something that attacks the senses and feels genuinely original.’  —  Wilder’s Book Review

      ‘Read this book, it is insanely good… Overall a highly original tale that will keep you entertained from start to finish.’  —  Bookshelf Butterfly

      ‘You’ve got to admire a newbie who comes flying out of the blocks, balls swinging in the wind, with a great idea and the confidence of a veteran… a book that could do your head in if it hadn’t been so well carried off… If you’ve read Jasper Fforde’s fine works, you’ll already have a feel for Charlie.’  —  The South African & Sunday Sport

      ‘Folks, this is the one book that you do not want to miss. Charlie Human is a fresh voice in South African fiction and he does a damn good job telling his rather twisted and unusual tale… The story is fast-paced and the characters fantastic. Human has created a unique vision of a supernatural Cape Town that still manages to reflect South African culture. I really love that about it… The writing is snappy and full of humor. One would think that Human is a much more accomplished author as this does not read like a debut novel. If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman and Lauren Beukes, this will not disappoint!’  —  Springboeke

      APOCALYPSE NOW NOW grows into an incredibly exciting and fast paced thrill with characters that are a pleasure to read… This is a very unusual tale that likes to shock but also contains plenty of humour and even some touching moments and is overall a really fun read. Some aspects of this story really reminded me of the brilliant Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman…’  —  The Book Bag

      ‘Cruel and unusual as it is, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW‘s setting is pitch perfect for the wicked fun forthcoming…  [A] breakneck pace and mad imagination… make APOCALYPSE NOW NOW such an addictive experience.’  —  Speculative Scotsman

      ‘In this apocalyptic offering, Human ambitiously sketches a South African landscape teetering on the edge of eternal damnation… Perhaps stemming from an engagement with the world of video games and television, Human’s work emerges as an uncontrolled outing in the world of madness and the mad. Placed before the backdrop of Cape Town, the novel playfully pokes at the credibility of old stereotypes, to differing degrees of success but always aware of its own frivolity. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is at the very least an intriguing read and an exciting new venture for South African literature and its growing young readership.’  —  Aerodrome

      ‘Starting off from stories of the almost-forgotten Afrikaans medicine men known as ‘sieners’, Human weaves an entertaining story of comic book violence and paranormal horrors that takes in San mythology, the Boer War and the changing face of Cape Town. Human doesn’t hang around long enough to think about that too much though, and the book’s pace is spectacularly quick. Sometimes, this is great – there are plenty of twists to keep the reader on their feet and lots of humorous vignettes to enjoy along the way. Human is knowing and funny, and while some of the one liners and puns are packed with Roger-Moore-as-James-Bond corn, there’s enough that work to leave the final balance in Human’s favour.’  —  Htxt

      ‘… the harsh, jocular tone of narration is engagingly informal, and it’s obvious Human had a good time writing this (when Lauren Beukes wasn’t ripping him a new one). Riddled with pop culture, bursting with cynicism and maniacal energy, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is something you should buy and read. Do it.’  —  Not Now, Darling…

      ‘[A]s a fan of both Gaiman and Tarantino, I figured it would be my kind of thing and I was right. There are definite strains of both writers in the story and style. We have the deep mythology that Gaiman is so fond of and the witty, snarky characters that are thrown into these bizarre scenarios. But the banter between the characters is so natural and off the cuff that you can understand the Tarantino lean, too. Not to mention the rather elaborate violence at some points (there are some very cringing moments but not too many to detract from the story). But I would also add Brett Easton Ellis to the list. In Bax we have a character similar to American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman. Only, where Bateman was knowingly insane and blood-thirsty, we are treated to Bax wondering if he is going insane and if the supernatural events are all fabrications of his deluded mind or if reality is just stranger than fiction… I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to fans of Neil Gaiman, Supernatural (the TV show but also, I suppose, just the genre itself) and Welcome to Night Vale.’  —  Words to Paint a Thousand Pictures

      ‘Just occasionally, far less often than publishers’ cover blurbs proclaim, a new book comes along that simply takes one’s breath away with its energy and verve. This one does. It is an exceptional debut, a novel that turns on its head any preconception regarding literary genres… while APOCALYPSE NOW NOW draws from science fiction, fantasy and horror, it is far too exuberant to be defined by any of them. Baxter is the fizz in Human’s magic concoction. He is part urban hooligan, part wistful romantic. There is something of JD Salinger’s antihero Holden Caulfield in Baxter, if Caulfield was inclined to having paranoid musings, popping ecstasy and slaying zombie warriors… this one is a zinger.’  —  BD (Business Day) Live

      ‘This is not a book that you can take home to meet your parents. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is a book that makes neither friends nor excuses, ruthless in its satire and gleeful in its descriptions… Overall, it cannot be faulted on the variety of its cast and settings – the book melds local mythology with pop culture in a way that is almost self-consciously awesome… a refreshing read with fantastically sharp humor that takes no prisoners… Ultimately, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is something delicious and different… more interesting than many of the year’s offerings thus far.’  —  Book Armada

      ‘When I spotted the beguiling cover artwork by Joey Hi-Fi, I should have guessed that beneath it beats the darkest literary hearts. Human’s first novel showcases an author who delights in messing with his reader’s heads. He plays around with the ambiguities that exist in Baxter’s life and it makes for an enthralling tale. I was particularly impressed with the way Human has folded elements of South African folklore and horror into the mix. It all fit together seamlessly. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is a story for anyone who has ever felt left out or isolated, for anyone who has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous high school. The writing manages to be funny in one sentence and then horrifically graphic the next. This is highly entertaining and unexpected fiction that delivers on every single promise… It is a truly astounding debut that is well worth your time.’  —  The Eloquent Page

      ‘I loved this book. With a dangerous polarity of personalities, Baxter is the kind of bad boy you can’t help but love. It’s written in first-person present as well, which would normally be a bit of a risk but Human pulls it off seamlessly. I would say that it falls into the YA category — but definitely read this before giving it to your kid, as there’s talk of drugs, vandalism, violence, porn and demonology (all the good stuff) from the first page. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW has been described as “Neil Gaiman meets Tarantino”, but I think it’s more “Chuck Palahniuk meets China Mieville”. You’ve got your asshole male protagonist, cyberpunk backdrop, and ‘unexpected twist’. It’s unpredictable, sexy and violent. An engrossing debut, dark and amusing in equal measures.’  —  Gliterature

      ‘The anxiety of the plot is heightened by Human continually playing with the readers perception of reality, making you unsure if what Baxter is seeing is real or a fantasy from his twisted and lonely mind. What this book guarantees you is an exciting and adrenaline inducing ride along the lines of a Dan Brown novel with questions permeating every page and the answers hiding somewhere in the next chapter… Placing the narrative in the familiar streets of Cape Town will make any reader acquainted with the city feel as if they are part of the narrative, whether it’s Baxter eating on Long Street or driving in Woodstock or the final battle happening right next to Table Mountain. Human’s use of South African myth and folklore also encourage the reader’s connection with the story…  the inclusion of tokoloshes and sprites, which every South African has heard about before and, in some cases, thanks to the Daily Sun, have even seen make news headlines. It makes the reader feel as if this hidden world could exist just around the corner. Human’s first novel does fit perfectly into South Africa’s budding speculative genre right alongside Lauren Beukes’ Time-Travelling serial killer in the Shining Girls and Nerine Dorman’s black arts magician inKhepera Rising. It is dark and twisted and places familiar South African settings within a magical world… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is an excellently entertaining read and will definitely make you chortle at its killer one-liners… a darkly funny and deviant adventure.’  —  Follow the White Rabbit

      ‘…  the central mythology (based on real South African folklore) is solid, and there is plenty of imagination on show throughout. The ingredients are there for a fun, exciting fantasy romp…’  —  The List

      ‘The voice inside Baxter’s head makes for a stimulating read, not to mention the bizarre things that happen. If you’re looking for a book where you can predict what’s going to happen, you’ve come to the wrong place. Points to Chris Human for setting a paranormal book in our very own Cape Town. Notable South African literature is usually reserved for political satire, political biography or political anything-else-you-can-think of… for Charlie though, the only politics are the ones that happen from school yard to supernatural underworld. This book is an easy, humorous and very interesting read.’  —  Fortress of Solitude

      ‘… if you’re looking for something slightly offbeat that fuels weird dreams then Charlie Human’s APOCALYPSE NOW NOW will do the trick… What Human does well is interpose the chapters with various articles and reports. We read some reports on Baxter by his psychologist, and various articles on strange things. Things including mythical creature porn, a sceptical debunking, a look at a dwarven form of martial arts, and something from a South African historical journal. These articles and reports do a great job of having you go back and forth on is this real or are we going to get one of those it was all a dream  – or in this case a psychosis – resolutions. Human has a great mix of various mythologies and creatures making-up the supernatural world Baxter finds himself in. We meet dwarfs, tokoloshe, zombies, osiraii, and one of the more enduring characters a bok-boy, Klipspringer. Klipspringer adds a soft and fluffy edge to the supernatural; something that I found to be just the right touch with all the other hard, scary, ‘monster of the week’ supernatural items in the story. All in all though this book is a great one, and if Human is ever tempted he did leave himself a great way to bring Baxter back into our lives.’  —  Women24

      APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is a fun, manic ride into the underworld of a city with its own very unique burdens to bear, be they legend or fact. Charlie Human takes the raw, vibrant and complicated energy of Cape Town and weaves it into an engaging, strange and highly entertaining first novel that is just as funny and smart as it is dark and striking, with no pause button at all.’  —  Dawn.com

      ‘… a riotous mix of horror, comedy, thrills and spills, all held together by the beautifully twisted mind of Charlie Human… an extremely ambitious novel… Human’s prose is tight and gifted, and manages to maintain an air of reality in the ever increasing insanity that unfolds… a rich novel that will take the reader on a thrilling journey through a wild and wondrous land… not only gives the urban fantasy genre a spring clean it gives it a well need kick up the backside.’  —  Ginger Nuts of Horror

      ‘… an amazing debut… Charlie Human has some brilliant ideas and a fantastic character in Baxter.’  —  Violin in a Void

      ‘A refreshing read with fantastically sharp humor that takes no prisoners… something delicious and different…’  —  Word Wrangler

    • KILL BAXTER
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      ‘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, but so do the porn addict support groups, pretentious fashion shows and possessed nerds. 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

      ‘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

      ‘The real highlight of this story, as before, is the character of Baxter himself.  He remains firmly at the dark shiny heart of the novel. You just can’t beat a character who exhibits genuinely unpredictable behaviour… Charlie Human writes like some sort of demented wordmage/soothsayer, and things often veer off on the most wickedly surreal tangents. There are a plethora of new weird and wonderful characters… KILL BAXTER, like its predecessor, is just plain nuts… I loved every single page… If you enjoy your urban fantasy with a razor sharp edge and a darkly comic heart, then this is undoubtedly the book for you. Mad, bad and more than a little dangerous to know, everyone needs a bit of Baxter Zevcenko in their lives.’  —  The Eloquent Page

      ‘Charlie Human’s second novel to feature South African student Baxter Zevcenko is as ambitious, ludicrous, laugh out loud funny and twisted as its predecessor… starts with some black humour and becomes ever darker… If you’ve always had a desire to find out how squirrels deal with faeries who get in their way (it involves long sticks), or how to build a bond between human and extremely unpleasant Draken (that involves mayhem), then this is definitely the book for you. If you enjoy dark twisted urban fantasy, you won’t want to miss it… A triumphant return to the dark side of South Africa.’  —  Sci-Fi Bulletin

      ‘Charlie Human is still offering something unique, a bit nuts and distinctly South African.’  —  Culture Fly

      ‘The antidote to Harry Potter is back in Charlie Human’s bawdy new novel: a lively elaboration of the mad as pants brand of South African urban fantasy advanced in APOCALYPSE NOW NOW…  everything Human’s debut did well, KILL BAXTER does better… the setting, again, is superlative… the way in which South African folklore figures into the fiction is fantastic—the dreamwalking bits are abundantly brilliant — and KILL BAXTER is a markedly more brutal book… more than a match for Charlie Human’s addictive debut. This, then, is urban fantasy on magical meth. You will want more.’  —  Tor.com

      ‘The sequel to the jubilantly violent APOCALYPSE NOW NOW… Moments of glorious distaste come thicker and faster in KILL BAXTER, with goblin fights and hysterical trips into the protagonist’s warped psyche filling the pages at every turn. The supporting characters are more memorable this time too, from Uzi-wielding conjoined twins, Faith and Chastity, to Baxter’s own personal pet, Gigli, a snake-like dragon who possesses a stubborn attitude to match his conflicted partner. Even after brushing with the apocalypse, this emerging series hasn’t lost its frenzied bite. KILL BAXTER is leaner, meaner and shows an unrestrained zest for dizzying, carnivalesque violence… this is an irresistible ride which has lost all control of the brakes. Either cling to the handrail or be splattered in the dust.’  —  Starburst

      ‘Packed with great scene-setting, memorable characters, KILL BAXTER is a book that is funnier, surreal-er (if that’s a word), more brutal and totally bonkers than its predecessor, especially when Baxter dreamwalks through his own dreams to reveal just how mixed up he is. It is still a case of welcome back Baxter, and here’s to another adventure saving the world from another apocalypse – you wait for ages for an apocalypse to come along and maybe they’ll turn up in threes, just like buses. Fingers crossed.’  —  Concatenation

      ‘A masterpiece for a strange kind of literature which doesn’t hold anything back… In all, a cracker of a book, a fun read and if there is going to be a part 3, Charlie Human can take my money right f*cking now.’  —  Read Books of Die

      ‘Charlie Human takes the idea of witchcraft and wizardry – the sanitised, kiddie-friendly version – and turns it into rock ‘n roll… a high-octane story of magic and violence… At times, KILL BAXTER reads like a graphic novel with kinetic action scenes that hit home with a thump and larger-than-life characters writ large, razor sharp dialogue bringing them life… But the biggest character of all is Baxter. He’s the perfect hero; flawed but likeable and with a lot to lose. And when the bad guys arrive to besiege Hexpoort, Baxter steps up to take up the mantle like all heroes should. This may not be Harry Potter in tone or setting, but it does share on thing in common with J.K. Rowling’s opus: it’s darned hard to put down. Baxter’s ride is a gripping one, and by the end, this zany tale has left an indelible impression on you.’  — 9Lives