We’re so glad to spread the word about new available work by a Jungle Jim contributor! Davina Owombre, the pseudonym for an anonymous Jungle Jim writer, has two new stories out now! in ‘Queer Africa: New & Collected Fiction’, and up on Litro, the latter the awesomely titled ‘Hush Is On the Menu At the River Run Plate’!
Rhodes University’s MA in Creative Writing is open for applications for 2014. You can do the course full time over one year in Grahamstown or part time over two years from wherever you live.
The MA includes 16 weeks of coursework from several teachers followed by a book-length creative work which can be written in English, isiXhosa or Afrikaans. This can be a novel, non-fiction work, playscript, short story collection or poetry collection.
All the teachers on the course are practising writers: Joan Metelerkamp, Mxolisi Nyezwa, Brian Walter, Paul Wessels, Joanne Hichens, Anton Krueger, Ingrid Winterbach, Rian Malan, Godfrey Meintjes, Russell Kaschula, Hazel Crampton, Paul Mason, Eben Venter and Robert Berold. Plus you will get input from writers in residence, who have recently included Lesego Rampolokeng, Kobus Moolman, and Soga Mlandu.
Entry to the course requires a twenty page portfolio of creative work and an honours degree. If you don’t have the necessary formal qualifications, acceptance is still possible with an extensive publication record and/or outstanding potential as a writer.
Deadline for applications is 30 October 2013 but entries are already open. Places are limited. Go to http://www.ru.ac.za/isea/courses/mainwriting/ to find out more.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to join our mailing list and get updates and information.
Great news for African writers of SF and Fantasy!
Wordsmack digital publishers announces a global publishing opportunity for African authors.
It’s the dawn of a brave new world of African sci fi! Wordsmack is excited to announce that it’s accepting submissions from African science fiction and fantasy writers between 17 May and 17 July 2013.
Wordsmack is a South African based digital publishing company that publishes to tablets and Kindle. Accepted submissions will be edited, marketed online and exposed to a global English audience.
We’ll be seeking writing in adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, but particularly novels written in the science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, epic fantasy, dystopia and supernatural genres. Submissions must preferably have strong African themes or content.
Submission guidelines can be found HERE.
“This is the first time a publishing company has been set-up to exclusively focus on science fiction originating on the African content,” says Louise Cosgrave, director at Wordsmack. “We believe that there are some incredible writers here and that the world is starting to wake up to the reality of a future as envisioned by Africa.”
For more info and contact details, see the website www.word-smack.com.
Design mag DEZEEN profiles Afrofuture & Jungle Jim – coming soooooon to La Rinascente, Milan!
Inside the store, visitors will be able to illustrate their own Jungle Jim story as it’s written by a team of African writers in different locations around the world, while a live newsroom will report on China’s increasing influence on Africa.
Oh no! It’s almost Xmas! And you have all these friends who are really into pulp/genre/the unusual/the bizarre/aliens/detectives/assorted oddities! And now you have to get presents for them! What do you do???
Never fear! Here, for your viewing and consuming pleasure is the Jungle Jim XXXmas Wishlist – a compendium of all things pleasantly pulpy and lavishly literary – from around the world!
A SPECTACULAR article in the MAIL & GUARDIAN features Jungle Jim and the history and resurrection of African Pulp! Thank you to Sean O’Toole for the awesome exposure (including the largest print ever of Hannes’s far-out Qaddafi cover) and pulp research – the whole article can be viewed HERE.
Pulp fans of America, the time has come! Jungle Jim is now available in the US for the first time on the wonderful African Lookbook site. They are offering a 3-pack of issues 14, 15 & 16, posted right to your actual house! Hopefully more to come soon!
A ZINE EXTRAVAGANZA right here in CAPE TOWN!
Friday, November 2
at the Book Lounge (cnrs. Roeland and Buitenkant)
WHAT TO EXPECT: comics, photobooks, astronaut trading cards, chimurenganyana, african pulp fiction magazines, poster-books, origami guides, vernacular architecture, a durban agenda, norweigian graffiti without colour, black panther colouring-in books, ‘art’, hypothetical human-object procreation.
Advance copies of JUNGLE JIM 18 will be on sale – come check out the pulp-tastic cover art by the ever-brilliant Jacques Strauss.
If you’re in Cape Town, Jungle Jim illustrator Olivie Keck will be exhibiting work at the SAN REMO GROUP SHOW:
Opening Night is 18th October, 18:00, San Remo Building, Cnr Camp & Krynauw Streets
Olivie is the creator of some of our craziest illustrations – the dragons of FALL OF THE GLASS TOWER (JJ 9), Elvis the Teabagger from SHARKY’S WORLD (JJ 10) and the… erm… illustrations for JAN-JAN & THE FOURTH WINDOW (JJ 11)!
Jungle Jim contributor, Samuel Kolawole short story, MUD IF IT WERE GOLD, can be read in the anthology BEHIND THE SHADOWS – CONTEMPORARY STORIES FROM AFRICA AND ASIA – available now on Amazon Kindle!
“Behind the shadows- contemporary stories from Africa and Asia is now live on Amazon Kindle, priced at 4.99 USD (prices have converted to appropriate currencies in various territories). The anthology is now available in USA, India, UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, and all the territories covered by Amazon.com.”
This workshop focuses on the past and present of pulp and genre writing, incorporating discussion of pulp’s impact in South Africa; case studies from world cinema and graphic novels; and an exploration of ‘Jungle Jim’ as a contemporary literary case study. Jenna Cato Bass will lead readings and discussions around participants’ own writing (samples of which they are encouraged to bring).
Saturday 22 September 10am – 1pm // Cape Town Central Library
RSVP here – space is limited to 20.
The workshop is in collaboration with the Open Book Festival and the Museum for African Art, New York.
Ahoy Writers! Here’s a cool Call for Stories for anyone already thinking in Jungle-Jim-Terms: Dog Horn Publishing’s NO MONSTERS ALLOWED:
“Stories of ‘human horror’, stories that zoom in on the darkness that can surround us every day, filling our newspapers, televisions and radios.”
Thanks to Jungle Jim contributor and all-round-creator, Aryan Kaganof, for sharing this with us!
Thank you x10000 Peter Damien and the Future Fire for this super review!
“It doesn’t feel like other magazines. It reminds me of nothing so much as Alan Moore’s underground magazine ‘Dodgem Logic’… It has a punk-rock atmosphere about it…”
We’ll really have to get onto organising a proper subscription service now!
Great news, Readers of Wonderful African Literature! Pan-African print journal, CHIMURENGA, has released the Chimurenganyana series: serialised pocket literature culled from their most outstanding pages.
As booklets, Chimurenganyanas feature important fictional, factional and theoretical texts and artworks drawn from Chimurenga Magazine’s decade long publishing history. Taking their inspiration from the revolutionary distribution and print strategies employed by African periodicals such as Mfumu’Eto and Hei Voetsek, these publications will be distributed in and around South Africa as well internationally.
Chimurenganyana’s are available at Chimurenga (online), African Look Books (online), The Book Lounge (Cape Town), Clarke’s Books (Cape Town), Blank Books (Cape Town), Keleketla Library (Joburg) & Ikes Books (Durban).
Hello Writers With Manuscripts! African literary network and all-round force of nature, Kwani Trust, have extended their deadline for the Kwani? Manuscript Project to the 17th September 2012.
To celebrate the African novel and its adaptability and resilience, Kwani Trust announces a one-off new literary prize for African writing. The Kwani? Manuscript Project calls for the submission of unpublished fiction manuscripts from African writers across the continent and in the Diaspora. The prize seeks fresh, original work that explores and challenges the possibilities of the novel.
For more, proceed…
We’re very excited to announce that hard copies of Jungle Jim can now be ordered by one and all from outside of Cape Town!
Run on over to the BLANK BOOKS site, where you can by your copies online and have them shipped anywhere in the world!!
Shout out to the CAPE TOWN ZINE PROJECT for finally helping to make this happen.
Capetonians can also pick up copies at the Blank Books shop in Woodstock, right by the Old Biscuit Mill. So, the expansion continues – where will it stop? WHO KNOWS???
Another profile of a fantabulous JJ Illustrator: SINEAD TURNHAM. Check out Sinead’s artwork for THE WITCHES OF GAKWETSI (JJ #9) and APARTMENT 415 (JJ #11) – as well as in the upcoming JUNGLE JIM SOUTH AFRICAN SCI-FI ISSUE – coming soon.
For more of Sinead’s work, mosey along to her blog: right HERE for your viewing convenience…
Are you a library hunter AND a Jungle Jim fan? Then we are pleased to announce that Jungle Jim Magazine can be found at the following university libraries around the world:
Michigan State, USA
Emory University, USA
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Northwestern University, USA
African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
National English Literary Museum, South Africa
Go forth and conquer!
Thank you to Alexander Matthews & Business Day’s Wanted magazine for featuring us in their June issue’s PRINT IS DEAD, LONG LIVE PRINT!
“THE PRINTED PAGE IS GETTING A NEW LEASE OF LIFE AS A WAVE OF NEW, INDEPENDENT MAGAZINES EMERGE. FOUR MARVELOUS TITLES FROM AROUND THE WORLD SHARE THE SECRETS TO THEIR SUCCESS WITH US”
Jungle Jim recently had the privilege of posing some questions to kindred wizards: Djibril al-Ayad (editor of THE FUTURE FIRE, the journal of Social Political & Speculative CyberFiction) and Brazilian SF writer Fábio Fernandes – now both editors of the upcoming WE SEE A DIFFERENT FRONTIER: a collection of colonialism-themed SF. Djibril and Fábio are currently fundraising to turn the magazine into a book-length, full-blown, mind-blowing anthology, that will blow all preconceptions about SF beyond the exosphere. With SIX DAYS TO GO for the fundraiser, we at JJ are immensely excited about this adventure, and you hope will be too, dear readers and writers – especially after reading our exclusive interview: Read on to find out what SF can be, what it can do for you, as well as some awesome SF recommendations for intrepid interweb readers…
Why is SF so important today? Would you say it is even more important than ever before?
Djibril: Insofar as science fiction, or speculative fiction more widely, is the literature of the imaginary, I think it still has tremendous scope to transgress boundaries, to correct injustices, poke at the festering scars of prejudice with more or less satirical content. In this sense, it is as important now as ever, when contacts and conflicts between cultures happen every day, when sexism and homophobia are under the surface but no less a real part of daily lives, when the divide between rich and poor is rising in much of the world, and governments and corporations have unprecedented ability to surveil and control the population. Science fiction has always had a lot to say about all of these issues, ethics and technologies, and I think it’s essential that we carry on pushing these questions as hard as we can.
Fábio: I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I can’t see how SF is NOT important today of all ages. People keep saying: “but we live in the world of the future! We have telepresence surgeries, probe missions to Mars, smartphones!” I agree this is wonderful indeed, and even William Gibson is fond of saying in interviews he isn’t a prophet as many of his fans like to call him, because he didn’t predict the advent of cellphones, so there you have it: we may as well be living in the world of the future… in some parts of the globe. But, right now, not in Greece, not in Syria, not in some places deep in the Amazon basin. People still dream of a better future, people still dream of a future. We will always dream of a future.
Djibril: And people who hark back to a “golden age” of SF usually self-select a subset of science fiction that was conservative even in its day to hold up and say, “Why can’t we keep a sense of wonder like this in our SF?” My answer is, because it’s not a sense of wonder any more; it’s just a game. The real job of speculative fiction is to surprise, to alienate, to discomfort, to confound expectations, to make you squirm in your seat. Today more than ever, it’s important to discomfort people.
Fábio: I love this Kelly Link quote that, I think, describes it all much better than I could ever do it: “I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of fed up with realism. After all, there’s enough reality already; why make more of it? Why not leave realism for the memoirs of drug addicts, the histories of salt, the biographies of porn stars? Why must we continue to read about the travails of divorced people or mildly depressed Canadians when we could be contemplating the shopping habits of zombies, or the difficulties that ensue when living and dead people marry each other? We should be demanding more stories about faery handbags and pyjamas inscribed with the diaries of strange women. We should not rest until someone writes about a television show that features the Free People’s World-Tree Library, with its elaborate waterfalls and Forbidden Books and Pirate-Magicians. We should be pining for a house haunted by rabbits.”
How do you see the relationship between SF and time (future, past and present)?
Fábio: There is no possible way of talking / writing SF or about SF without taking into account the relation with our own history. Quoting Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, “It is impossible to discuss non-western SF without considering the effects of colonialism.” I would stretch this notion to the whole globe and the whole of history. Science fiction is a megatext (Damien Broderick, Darko Suvin), that is, every time you want to write, say, about time travel, you better know this subgenre very well, otherwise you are going to ending up reinventing the wheel. But so far we’ve been doing it vertically in time, from the past to the present, from the precursors (Verne, Wells) to the Golden Age (Campbell, Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein), the cyberpunks (Gibson, Sterling), and the steampunks (Carriger, Priest, Valentine, to name just a few). Note, please, that I mentioned just Anglo-Americans. There is a plethora of authors outside the Anglo-American sphere of influence that started writing scientific romances and short stories in the 19th Century by the same time Verne and Wells were doing it (Machado de Assis and Coelho Neto in Brazil, for example, and Murilo Rubião and José J. Veiga in the 1940s through the 1970s). There are whole parallel SF traditions out there. (Or should I say in here, since I’m speaking from an insider from the POV of my culture, which is not exactly the same culture as the Anglo-Americans, as much as I’ve been influenced by it?)
Personally, I think this relationship should be better explored. The better part of the non-Anglo tradition is virtually unknown outside the USA and Europe, and therefore is ignored. Global SF can only gain with these other traditions; it has nothing to lose.
Djibril: Another way of looking at this question is to be very literalist and say that fiction in the speculative genres is all about time. Many stories are writing about the future, either a scientifically plausible future in the case of mundane and hard science fiction, or a fantastic future in space fantasy, or even a once-possible future that never was in alternate history narratives. But we should never forget that all stories are deeply embedded in the present of their authors: literary scholars know that a 19th century science fiction story tells us more about the attitudes and mores of that era and place than they do about any other period or place or science. We think about it less with regard to 21st century fiction, but it’s equally true. And most importantly of all, as Fábio points out, our appreciation of any literature, including and perhaps even especially the literature of the future, depends heavily on our understanding of the history that it is built on. The history of events that have shaped our cultures, including colonialism, civil and human rights, political history that shapes our understanding of nationhood, of leadership and public office, international conflict. But also the literary history, the classics such as Homer and the Bible, early English and other modern literatures, colonial and postcolonial texts, and all the written and oral literatures of the world contribute to the narratives and imaginations that write and read science fiction. (Even if you think you’re “just reading for pleasure”, you’re using all of this tacit knowledge to inform your reading.)
What is the most surprising vision of the future you have received from THE FUTURE FIRE contributors?
Djibril: In terms of stories that have created a future world so different from our own that it requires a shift in mentality to accept it, I think immediately of stories like Looking Glass Vacation by Sarah Ann Watts, and City of Sand and Knives by A.J. Fitzwater. These sorts of stories used to be called “mind-blowing” science fiction. But you asked about surprising vision, and so I honestly have to answer that the story that has surprised me the most was one that I first read and couldn’t see anything special about at all. In fact I stared at it for a while, thinking, “Have I missed something?” Then I recalibrated my brain somehow and read it again, and realized that it was saying something very important, and it’s one of my favorite stories we’ve ever published in TFF: Ephemeral Love, by Melanie Rees. I don’t want to say why. Read it if you want an idea of the sort of fiction we’ve always hoped to publish.
Do you perceive any trends in the stories you receive, and what does this say to you about how people, writers at least, view the future, where the world is heading and/or how it is today?
Fábio: I can’t say anything in particular for TFF at this point, but, based in my experience as an editor in Brazil, it worries me that many of Brazilian writers (and Latin American writers in general as well, from my experience as a reader of fanzines and anthologies of Hispanic-American SF) write stories in which the main characters are still Anglo-American, and the stories are so full of clichés. And Latin America and Brazil hardly appear at all. So, when I read stories like Paul McAuley’s The Quiet War (where The Greater Brazil is a major world power) and Ian McDonald’s Brasyl (which takes place in Brazil of the past, the present and the near future), I become a bit frustrated, and say to myself, “Damn, a Brazilian writer should have done that.” But I’m tired of thinking this way. I started writing the things I wanted to see, and encouraging people to do the same. This is why I offered to guest edit a special issue of The Future Fire next December, and I proposed post-colonialism as the main theme. WE SEE A DIFFERENT FRONTIER aims to tackle this issue full front. It is an anthology looking for stories from the perspective of people and places that are colonized under regimes not of their choosing (in the past, present or even future). It is not focused on stories about a White Man learning the error of his ways; nor parables about alien contact in which the Humans are white anglos, and the Aliens are an analogue for other races. We want stories told from the viewpoint of colonized peoples. Think District 9, if you will, but grittier and without the clichés. We are doing a crowdfunding initiative via Peerbackers (because Kickstarter is US-only, there you have it), and your readers can know more about the project here: http://peerbackers.com/projects/we-see-a-different-frontier/
Djibril: I’ve been thinking about this while Fábio is talking, and you know I’m not sure I can think of any trends in stories we’ve been sent. It took us quite a long time to build up a reputation for social political SF so that people understood that was what we were looking for, and even now 50% of our slush is real easy to reject because it just doesn’t fill that one requirement. I think I agree with Fábio though that the main trend you see in speculative fiction is the lazy assumption that the reader will be white, male, hetero, able bodied, middle class, anglo… so all the heroes and main characters can be too (with a few exceptions for support, local color, or love interest). Getting away from that assumption on its own leads to a literature much like what I want to see. I want to see writers who know that’s not what everyone looks like, because that’s not what they look like or where they’re grown up. The world is not monochrome now, even if you grow up in the English countryside or a Midwestern American town; let’s not make things even more boring than they really are, shall we?
What has been your favourite expression of SF (in books, film, comics etc)? And why?
Djibril: I would literally answer this question differently asked on any given day, but today I’m going to go with a post-apocalyptic short story by Octavia Butler: ‘Speech Sounds’. This story takes place in a world of collapsed society pretty much like any nuclear fall-out or zombie outbreak story, where people turn against each other and succumb to their worst instincts rather than working together as they need to now more than ever. It’s a story full of fear and loathing and cynicism, but also of hope and beauty and faith in human nature and our ability to heal. And it’s a profoundly political story, because the nature of the collapse that has torn everybody apart is the loss of the ability to communicate, and it is our communication, in all forms, that make us civilized and human. Speaking is so important (and listening); so are writing and reading; and performing and singing and reciting and inventing and lying and riddling and word-playing. Without these society would collapse (or not be worth living in). Octavia shows it so beautifully, as she always does. A work of genius.
Fábio: I have to go with the emotional side and answer Neuromancer. I read it in 1989 and a whole new world opened to me. I was in awe of what Gibson had just done remixing pop culture—a thing my generation was starting to do in search of an expression. There was plenty of style and a hell of substance as well. I still reread it often—it reminds me why I love science fiction. Not that I need to be reminded, but it’s my personal addiction, you know. I’m still a punk at heart.
The attention paid to international SF on your blog is fascinating: Any particular new International (i.e. non-American, non-Anglophone) titles that our readers could watch out for?
Fábio: If I may recommend titles not translated (yet, I hope) to English, I would suggest, from Brazil, Fausto Fawcett’s Santa Clara Poltergeist, a cyberpunk noir romp in near-future Copacabana; from Algeria, Mohammed Dib’s Qui se souvient de la mer, an acclaimed dystopian novel who is much in need of a translation for decades now.
Djibril: I would suggest that the fine people at the Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation Awards have done a lot of research into this, and their nominations list for the 2012 award is a pretty good place to start.
This is of course exactly why we’re raising funds to make the We See a Different Frontier anthology professional and high-paying. As well as publishing an anthology that people will want to read, and raising important issues of colonialism and decolonization and all the rest, I hope this project will bring to the attention of a mainstream (which largely means Anglophone world) SF/F readership several new authors with backgrounds and experiences from colonized countries, rather than the usual suspects. We’re not going to go out and try to buy rights to pre-published classic stories in the colonial genre; we’re very much interested in new names, new stories, new voices to come to us. There’s an extra challenge here, which is to make sure these authors hear about us, and know that it’s them we’re looking for, because it would be too easy to post the CFS in the usual places and then wonder why our slushpile was full of stories by white Americans.
More than anyway, I want to be amazed, discomforted, disturbed and alienated by the stories we get sent. I want stories that I can’t name the genre. Stories that test the limits of the English language. Stories that I’ve never heard before, but didn’t know I’d never heard.
We hope all JJ’s current and prospective contributors will be ready with some surprises when WEE SEE A DIFFERENT FRONTIER posts its call for submissions.
Want to support? Head on over right……. HERE.
(Image by Robin E. Kaplan)
Jungle Jim Magazine and The Boundless Heart Foundation invite all citizens of Cape Town to::: PULP! – a sexy secondhand book sale for a very good cause!
STRANGE! SAVAGE! SUSPENSEFUL! SALACIOUS!
ALL BOOKS R15 OR LESS!
All proceeds go to BOOKS ON THE MOVE (The Boundless Heart Foundation’s mobile library project on the Cape Flats).
DATE: WEDNESDAY 6 JUNE
TIME: 6PM – 8.30PM
VENUE: THE DISTRICT SIX HOMECOMING CENTRE, 15 Buitenkant Street (adjoining the Fugard Theatre, but accessed via Buitenkant Street).
Free wine, courtesy of Esona (Facebook.com/esonawine) will be available on purchase of a R20 entry ticket.
A short reading of a scandalicious Jungle Jim story will be performed at 7pm precisely.
Jungle Jim Magazine will be on sale for R15, R5 from each issue going to Books on the Move.
Use the nearby Harrington Square to park.
Come celebrate all things pulptastic, written and read, with us! BE THERE!
If you have questions (or better still, books to donate) drop a line to Alex (email@example.com) or Jenna (firstname.lastname@example.org).
JUNGLE JIM: www.junglejim.org
BOUNDLESS HEART/BOOKS ON THE MOVE: http://thebhf.tumblr.com/post/19226916027/our-new-project-books-on-the-move
FRIENDS OF JUNGLE JIM, THE TIME HAS COME!!!
All of Jungle Jim’s superlicious back issues, #1-12, are now available on AMAZON KINDLE!
Check them out HERE!
But what if you’re thinking, “OH NO! I don’t have a kindle!!”
You can download a FREE Kindle reader for PC, Mac, iPhone, Blackberry, Android etc, right here.
Happy reading! And if you like, please write us a review on Amazon and SPREAD THE DIVINE WORD!!!
And watch out for all future Jungle Jim issues, to be released hot off the digital press!
Jungle Jim is proud to announce that our very own Constance Myburgh has been shortlisted for the prestigious CAINE PRIZE, Africa’s leading literary award, with JJ’s in-house detective, HUNTER EMMANUEL (Issue 6, 2011).
The news was announced today by Ben Okri, and the 5 shortlisted stories can be read on the Caine Prize’s website. And of course, accompanying Hunter Emmanuel are illustrations by Hannes Bernard!
We at Jungle Jim are always counting our lucky binary stars that we have such a supernaturally talented team of illustrators: How do they do it? Do they use the Dark Arts? The question is as yet unanswered. We’d like to share some more of their work with you – and first up is one of our longest collaborators, the amazing JACQUES STRAUSS!
Jacques’s images have been featured in every JJ issue since No. 3. He’s responsible for Issue 10′s galactic cover, as well as illustrating Samuel Kolawole’s chilling child soldier serial, MULES OF FORTUNE.
I’m a Illustrator living in CT South Africa.
During the day I’m a mild mannered Graphic Artist for a kids clothing label and at night I’m a mild Mannered Pencil for Hire and the Creative half of Noon-Gun Apparel. I love loving, eating, sleeping, Drawing, Skating and Beer. I draw what I want!
There was a knock on the door. Hunter jumped. There was Witbooi, sitting on a pile of old Huisgenoot. The knock came again, louder.
“You, where’ve you been?” Hunter asked as he stumbled to the door. “And aren’t you supposed to bark?” The dog wagged its tail. It obviously agreed with this in theory.
Hunter opened the door, and heard the voice before his eyes could process its owner. It was low. Afrikaans. A hint of desert gravel. And… Sparletta.
“I hear,” the voice said, “you investigate.”
He pointed to the sign:
HUNTER EMMANUEL Esq.
Hunter nodded. He had seen some big people in his life. But the owner of this voice was something else. He took a step back.
“And,” the large man continued, “I hear you might need some help.”
“Where did you hear that?”
It couldn’t be, but Hunter swore there was a look – yes, a ‘look’ – that passed between his dog and this giant – who somehow was already inside, and was now holding out a massive hand in greeting. Hunter took it, more out of wonder than politeness.
“Jurassic Jacques. At your service.”
“Ja. Like T-Rex. You know, Rex. Means ‘king’. King of the Dinosaurs, OK? So. Also, I am a big guy.”
“And you’re old.”
He was at least sixty, with an all-powerful moustache that must have taken at least half his life-span to cultivate. A thing, if not of beauty, then of majesty. With this, and the two-man-tent’s-worth of yellow plaid that made up his shirt, it was easy to miss his eyes. They were grey.
This, if ever, thought Hunter, is a chance to live up to the ‘Esq.’
“What are your qualifications?”
“Special forces, originally. Was recruited into the Recces. Top secret etcetera. Didn’t fit in with the new lot at SANDF. Went into security. I’m a security man.”
“And you need a job?”
“Retirement doesn’t suit me like some fellows. I like to be useful.”
“You must be desperate.”
Jurassic Jacques shrugged his shoulders and sipped on the can of Sparletta that up til now had perched in his shirt pocket.
“What can I say? You look like you need an extra pair of hands.”
“I’m not hiring.”
Jurassic Jacques swished his sip of Sparletta around in his mouth, and his eyes slowly unfocused. Hunter followed the man’s grey gaze to where it now fixed on the computer screen. His unfinished poker game buzzed with the green intensity of a thousand anonymous casino tables. Jurassic Jacques sipped again from his can.
“That guy’s a donkey,” he said, swallowing, eyeing the screen, “Look at his chips. Doesn’t stand a chance.”
“You know something about poker?”
Jurassic Jaques sighed. His sigh went on for a long time – Hunter found himself thinking of dinosaurs – before he spoke:
“Firstly. You want to play with the money, you go to Hungary.”
He was sitting at the computer now, settling himself, and Hunter could only watch as the site was replaced in a flash by a new one: Party Poker Hungary.
“You’ll do this for me?”
“I told for you. I like to be useful.”
By the time Jurassic Jacques was up R13,541, Hunter had offered him a job.
To be continued…
Watch out for the rest of the Jungle Jim detective’s existential exploits, starting again soon -
HUNTER EMMANUEL CASE #2: Slaves & Graves
By Constance Myburgh
“A true story about the impossible”: Check out this great article by Sean O’Toole about Jungle Jim and the Pulp Fiction legacy of Africa!
The future is upon us: Read Jungle Jim contributor, Jonathan Dotse’s article DEVELOPING WORLDS: BEYOND THE FRONTIERS OF SCIENCE FICTION at the Acceler8or blog to discover his personal take on how science, technology and progress are affecting the African continent.
For more about Jonathan, check out his site AFROCYBERPUNK.COM and catch his short sci-fi story, VIRUS!, in JJ Issue 4.
In Jungle Jim Issue 3 we’ll be sharing an extract from South African author, Diale Tlholwe’s new novel, COUNTING THE COFFINS. We love the blend of private-eye plot and democracy-era politics that Diale twists together for Thabang Maje, the novel’s haunted detective, to navigate.
“Instead of my Volvo I took Lesego’s black Jeep to keep it on its toes – or its wheels, if one was to be strict on a day that required absolute truth. That was a dry hope, of course. I expected to be lied to by the very first person I talked to.”
COUNTING THE COFFINS is the sequel to ANCIENT RITES, both published by Kwela Books and now available.
With a beautiful wife and newborn baby daughter, it seems private eye Thabang Maje should be satisfied with life. But while his wife and daughter survived it, a car crash took the life of his unborn son. Thabang knows just who to blame: Sandile Nkosi, ruthless businessman and father to the teenager who caused the fatal car crash, and Thabang won’t stop until Sandile pays. With the help of an old journalist friend Tolo, Thabang starts asking questions about some very powerful men that finally lead him to uncover an underground world of illicit drug dealings and human trafficking.
The exciting second novel by the award-winning author of Ancient Rites.
Exciting news from Jungle Jim contributor Samuel Kolawole: His new collection of short stories, THE BOOK OF M is set for imminent release. As great admirers of Samuel’s dark, imaginative and incredibly detailed writing, we can’t wait to get our hands on more, especially if this is anything to go by:
Sharp, bold and highly disturbing, Samuel’s stories tread forbidden paths. The protagonists in this stunning debut collection are ordinary people turned victims or willful captives of a world torn apart by greed, lust, superstition, rebellion, witchcraft and military tyranny.
For the two school teachers in “My meat was tough, My blood was bitter.” What is meant to be a midnight excursion begins a journey of no return. “Mules of Fortune” concerns a mother, her baby and two children forced to join a group smuggling food to the border in exchange for ammunition for rebels. Surviving a terrible accident they forge an unexpected bond. In another story “Meme” a condemned female convict tries in vain to pay the ultimate price for her crime.
Told with striking confidence, these stories announce the arrival of uniquely gifted voice in fiction.
Watch out for MEME in Jungle Jim No 2, and MULES OF FORTUNE, which will be serialized in upcoming issues!
South Africa has a true cult legend in Richard Stanley, filmmaker, anthropologist and esoteric scholar. The director of HARDWARE, DUST DEVIL and several documentaries, Stanley walks the unexplored territories of myth and the mind: Visit his mind-bending website, TERRA UMBRA, which combines two decades of his extensive research into the Holy Grail, for a glimpse into both.
His novel, SHADOW OF THE GRAIL, is now available on Amazon Kindle.
In the summer of 1992 Stanley travelled to the remote Pyrenean village of Montsegur and scaled the mountain to the enigmatic ruins of the castle perched high on its summit.
There he was trapped by a freak electro-magnetic storm. The ordeal set in motion a spiralling chain of events that led Stanley on a twenty year quest to learn the truth about the castle and its secrets.
Through text and rare photographs this book tells the bizarre story of Otto Rahn, who believed the castle was key to a priceless treasure and was employed by the Nazi SS to find it, or die.
We learn about the mysterious cult of the Cathars, who were massacred there in the 13th Century, and their warrior priestess, Esclarmonde, the ‘Light of the World’, immortal guardian of the Holy Grail.
Untangling a web of clues and coincidences, wonders and terrors, Stanley is caught up in a saga that will shake your beliefs and challenge your concept of reality.
Whether or not you are an initiate into esoteric history, the book makes for a fascinating read: Blending together the ancient world of the Cathars and their last stand, occult secret societies across Europe, fanatical Nazis with uncertain motives, obsession and death with man’s aspiration to the spiritual, Stanley researches and documents them all with his trademark passion and determination. It’s a remarkable journey across time and space, ultimately because Stanley himself is our guide, one with an insatiable curiosity for the myths that drive us, an unshakable humanity which imbues everything we see through his eyes, but most importantly, one who is undoubtedly a consummate storyteller.
Needless to say, we at Jungle Jim are big fans, and we are privileged to be re-presenting Richard’s Voudou Diary: THE WHITE DARKNESS, serialized for your reading pleasure. Catch JJ No 1 for the first part of Richard Stanley’s journey to Haiti, and his initiation into the world of Voudou!
Yes it is! JUNGLE JIM will be launching on the 31st May 5.30PM @ The Book Lounge, Cape Town. Come join us in celebrating all that is pulp, all that is fiction, and all that is awesome about contemporary African writing!
There will be neon shark cookies by the mucking afazing CHARLEY’S BAKERY, I believe there will be wine, and most importantly we will get the chance to listen to some readings of work featured in upcoming Jungle Jim issues, writing by Nikhil Singh, Richard Stanley and more! JJ will then be on sale around Cape Town, soon Johannesburg, and next stop… The Universe!!!
Ghanaian-American author, Kwei Quartey’s new novel, CHILDREN OF THE STREET, will be released in July 2011, and we’ll be featuring an extract in Jungle Jim Issue 1. The follow-up to 2009′s Wife of the Gods, Children of the Street also follows the irrepressible Detective Darko Dawson, as he fights for justice on the streets of Accra…
The call had come in on a Sunday morning in June.
“For this one,” Detective Sergeant Chikata had said, “I think they will need us.”
On his Honda motorbike, Detective Inspector Darko Dawson sped by industrial buildings along Ring Road West. The dead body was near the Korle Lagoon. He made it there in fifteen minutes. Even if Dawson’s eyes had been shut, the pervasive, foul smell of the lagoon would have announced to him that he had arrived.
From the Book: CHILDREN OF THE STREET by Kwei Quartey
Copyright (c) 2011 by Kwei J. Quartey. Published by arrangement with Random House, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
In Jungle Jim Issue 2, we are lucky enough to be featuring an extract from brand new horror novel THE MALL by S L Grey. The book has been garnering tons of hype leading up to its imminent release in June, and is already available as a Kindle edition at Amazon.com.
Dan is an angsty emo-kid who works in a deadly dull shopping mall. He hates his job. Rhoda is a junkie whose babysitting charge ran off while she was scoring cocaine. She hates her life. Rhoda bullies Dan into helping her search, but as they explore the neon-lit corridors behind the mall, disturbing text messages lure them into the bowels of the building, where old mannequins are stored in grave-like piles and raw sewage drips off the ceiling. The only escape is down. Plummeting into the earth in a disused service lift playing head-splitting Musak, Dan and Rhoda enter a sinister underworld that mirrors their worst fears. They finally escape, but something feels different. Why are the shoppers all pumped full of silicone? Why are the shop assistants chained to their counters? And why is a café called McColon’s selling lumps of bleeding meat? Just when they think they’ve made it back to the mall, they realize the nightmare has only just begun…
Bleeding meat? Yes! For more visit:
And of course check out the extract in JJ 2, also available in June 2011!
I’ve just started a pulp fiction magazine with my friend Hannes. It’s called Jungle Jim. After quite some work, we’ve started getting submissions from all over Africa. Awesome! Some great writing. But it seems that no one remembers what was great about pulp, and why one would try take, at least it’s good elements, and publish stories inspired by them. For me, what’s so wonderful about pulp is that they’re STORY STORY STORY DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA. But what about subtley, you cry! What about nuance? It just seems to me that we could all be reminded what makes a story (character x change=story) tick these days. Yes, even you, big blockbuster action films.
And talking about films which are not made with lots of money: I just watched SKELETONS, a UK indie about a pair of dowdy exorcists who help unearth the buried secrets of ordinary people. Flawed, but a lot of fun. And ultimately really understood the themes it dealt with.
Oh, and where have I been since I last posted… Well, I was in Rotterdam for their Producer’s Lab, connected to CineMart. Great experience – I think I may finally getting the hang of this networking thing. Namely, enjoy yourself. And if you’ve had enough, don’t force it. Go see a movie. Actually, got to see far less films than I intended, not all of them good. The highlight was definitely Jan Svankmejer’s SURVIVING LIFE (not to mention getting a glimpse of the old magic man himself – ‘he’s so cute!’ says Alicia, and you know, he actually is) and also getting to see some (if regrettably not all) of ATTENBERG in the film library.
Tok Tokkie travels are not over – I’ll be in New York next month at a financing forum specially for South African films. So watch out USA. Or at least, NYC DVD stores with good Orson Welles collections watch out… I WILL ask for Don Quixote.
PS I’ve been good. I’ve only seen The Social Network twice more since my three day binge. Bring on Black Swan and True Grit…