Book Review – The Space Race


by Alex Latimer (Umuzi) ISBN: 9781415203880

If you enjoyed District 9 and Elysium, you’ll love The Space Race. South Africa seems to be experiencing the birth of a type of science-fiction that has no name. At least not yet. Part science, part possibility, part parody, and mostly truth, this genre promises to take its audience on an entertaining ride.

2013. The world watches South Africa. An unauthorised nuclear blast has taken place at Vastrap, a secret nuclear-testing site in the desert. The world is stunned to learn that a spaceship carrying four Afrikaners has launched into space. It is destined for a distant, habitable moon.

But how did this happen? Journalist, Greg Hall sets out to discover how Charlotte and Lindy, two sisters from Kimberly and two engineers, Eugene and Tertius, became the first humans to colonise space. Pottering around in the wreckage of the blast, Greg discovers a badly burnt man named Stefan. He decides to help him and ends up making a deal with the devil to find out what really happened.

The novel is funny, thrilling and completely South African. The one criticism I have is that I did not empathise with the insipid journalist. After getting to know Charlotte and Lindy, I felt abandoned when they blasted off. Don’t let that put you off, though. The Space Race is a really good read.

Amanda Patterson
3.5/5