Porcupine Press is about to publish a science-fiction novel written by 17-year-old Johannesburg schoolboy. ‘That’s extraordinarily young to be writing a novel, even a relatively short one of 120 pages,’ says Porcupine’s marketing and distribution manager, Clare-Rose Julius.
The budding novelist is Reneiloe Mabena, and his book is entitled Blaze – the beginning. The subtitle implies that there’ll be a middle and an end. So already there’s at least a trilogy developing in his youthful head.
Reneiloe, widely known to his friends as ‘Nay’, is a Grade 11 learner at St David’s Marist College in Inanda. His mother, Zandile Nzalo, runs her own successful PR company, and his father, Bob Mabena, is the well-known radio presenter from Kaya FM.
The main character in Blaze – the beginning is Thando, a teenage boy who is possessed by a malevolent spirit. Although this spirit threatens to consume his body, it also gives him special powers, which he discovers he needs when planet Earth comes under threat from aliens. Thando faces a big decision. Should he try to free himself from his demons, and risk the destruction of friends and family? Or should he use the demons’ power to save the planet?
The book is available from Porcupine Press's website at R130 excluding postage, and will appear in major bookshops by November.