South African Postcolonial Science Fiction? Miscegenation in Apocalypse Now Now, by Charlie Human

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The novel Apocalypse Now Now, written by the South African author Charlie Human, tells the story of Baxter Zevcenko, a teenager whose girlfriend has
gone missing. While trying to fi nd her, Baxter discovers that he is the great-greatgrandchild of an evil English magistrate with the ability to time travel (Kobus “Mirth” Basson) and of a destitute Afrikaner housemaid with supernatural abilities (Ester van Rensburg). Baxter additionally learns that, to travel through time, Mirth uses one of two exoskeletons, which are simultaneously the cages and the vehicles of two alien brothers, shaped as a mantis and an octopus. Clearly a science fi ctional novel, although it also employs the supernatural, Apocalypse Now Now could be characterized as a postcolonial novel, given its presentation of silenced voices. Nevertheless, the novel also focuses on some of the same racist concerns that characterized colonialism, specifi cally miscegenation. Therefore, this article will argue that, despite displaying
a postcolonial dimension, Apocalypse Now Now additionally possesses what could be considered a neocolonial character – hence the question posed in the title of this article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • science fiction
  • postcolonialism
  • South Africa
  • Second Anglo-Boer War
  • miscegenation


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