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sologdin

china mieville

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The Last Days of New Paris is available in audio format from my library.  I was unaware I missed it.  Anyone know Ralph Listor and his worth as a narrator?  I guess with only 6 hours of length I will check it out.

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Perdido Street Station wastes a brilliant setting on an average plot, and Miéville's fantastical critters are all-too often just stand-ins for real-world people. Oh, and the much-hyped Crisis Engine is just straight Dialectical Materialism in a box.

I will get around to reading some more of his stuff, but I'm not in a massive rush to get to it.

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PSS has The Weaver and Slate Moths.  Objectively The Scar is a better book but I have a soft spot for PSS and have read it three times.

Outside of Bas Lag I have only read The City and The City which I feel fits the description you gave PSS; amazing setting but a plot that didn't sell me.

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6 hours ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

Perdido Street Station wastes a brilliant setting on an average plot, and Miéville's fantastical critters are all-too often just stand-ins for real-world people. Oh, and the much-hyped Crisis Engine is just straight Dialectical Materialism in a box.

I will get around to reading some more of his stuff, but I'm not in a massive rush to get to it.

The Scar is vastly superior: just as interesting and weird a setting, but coupled to a more interesting plot and characters. Iron Council, The City and The City, Embassytown, Railsea and Un Lun Dun are all very fine, Kraken is a bit more average but fun. King Rat might be his weakest novel, but it's also his first so understandable.

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Oh nice. I am still (bas) lagging behind (hah) and was planning on catching up with Embassytown later in the year, but I might have to skip ahead to New Paris then.

The Scar and The City & The City are among my favourite books ever. They hit the perfect balance between bleakness, weirdness and some vague hope for some sort of future despite it all. Railsea lands in this category as well. Also The Scar's ending is all sorts of strange and badass.

While I liked PSS and Iron Council, they are pretty depressing novels, aren't they? Regardless of the themes and everything, they build up all this ranting, justified rage, only to rip out the rug from underneath your righteous crusade and leave everything as bleak, if not bleaker, than before.

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I even liked Perdido! (For the first few hundred pages I was completely awed, in fact.) The plant-based lifeforms (Cactacae?) were a bit underdeveloped in the plot, perhaps. 

Iron Council was great as well. And the bleakness and depression is just fine, thank you. I usually confuse that atmosphere with intellectual maturity, so the books flatter me.

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The Scar is an all-time fave.  Haven't actually read much else, although there are four other mieville books in the top twenty of my to read pile.  

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I'm mostly up to date on Mieville, but I do need to read Three Moments of An Explosion, King Rat and the two new ones.

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It occurs to me that I may have read The City and the City, but I can't remember anything about it. :) I guess that's indicative of how much I liked it. I haven't gotten to his latest stuff, but I did get to Un Lun Dun and The Kraken. The Scar is probably my favorite. I felt it had some of his strongest characters. 

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11 hours ago, Happy Ent said:

I even liked Perdido! (For the first few hundred pages I was completely awed, in fact.) The plant-based lifeforms (Cactacae?) were a bit underdeveloped in the plot, perhaps. 

 

Same. I remember being "not as awed" for the later stages of Perdido, but I still enjoyed it. Since this was a long while ago, I may have to try a re-read.

I've got Embassytown on my list to read in a bit.

Edit: would anyone recommend The Scar over Embassytown? I liked the jacket description of Embassytown, but wouldn't mind hearing from others.

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Embassytown is worth reading but The Scar is a masterpiece.


I haven't read Last Days in New Paris because I pre-ordered Cencus Taker, online, at a fairly steep price before it being a not-very-long novella was mentioned in the blurb (and when I read it I discovered that it was anyway less a novella than a prologue with no story to go with it) so now I'm a bit leery of doing it again- is New Paris a proper length?

Oddly, it was previously available to me on Kobo but now it isn't till February anyway.

The description interests me though. It reminds me of some of the sections of Hal Duncan's Book of All Hours, and also of Kraken.
 

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I don't think The Last Days of New Paris is coming out in the UK until February.  Would be happy to learn otherwise though... 

I didn't really get This Census Taker, and I've (deliberately) not read King Rat, but I've read and enjoyed every other Mieville book; and a few I've liked a great deal.  Iron Council is my favourite of the Bas Lag books while The City & The City is currently my favourite of the others.

 

1 hour ago, redjako said:

Edit: would anyone recommend The Scar over Embassytown? I liked the jacket description of Embassytown, but wouldn't mind hearing from others.

I'd recommend The Scar over Embassytown, yeah.  As other people have said, The Scar is one of Mieville's best, while I found Embassytown a bit weaker.  (That said, I've only read Embassytown once and might try rereading it soon.)

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I loved the first two Bas-Lag books.  Iron Council was slightly sloggish, feeling like he moved a bit too far from his once stated thing about readers of his books being able to concentrate more so on the cool monsters than the politics if they wish.  The City and The City was pretty cool.  Haven't read anything of his since, but I wouldn't hesitate if he released a new Bas-Lag book.  Which probably is a reason why he hasn't released one.  :P 

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6 hours ago, polishgenius said:

haven't read Last Days in New Paris because I pre-ordered Cencus Taker, online, at a fairly steep price before it being a not-very-long novella was mentioned in the blurb (and when I read it I discovered that it was anyway less a novella than a prologue with no story to go with it) so now I'm a bit leery of doing it again- is New Paris a proper length?

LDNP is similar in length to TCT, though it moves much faster.  

i read TCT as post-robot apocalypse, though the setting details are oblique because of the juvenile protagonist.  similar to tehanu and dreamsnake in this latter regard.  narrative is subtle, surely.  sorcerer father is super creepy.

LDNP is just plain kickass.  premise is that someone

Spoiler

dropped an S-Bomb in paris during WWII, releasing surrealism into the real as against the fascists

 

On 10/6/2016 at 9:30 PM, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

 and the much-hyped Crisis Engine is just straight Dialectical Materialism in a box.

that's my reading, too.  am thinking that uther doul's fancy sword is an answer thereto, postmodernism in a box.

TCT has a nifty conceptual firearm, too.  not sure how it fits, however. (am still liking the non-fantasy firearm in the vorrh better, though--that's just because of its narrative resonance.)

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Banks' Lazy Guns are the best guns.


And fuck that, if LDNP is as short as TCT there's no way I'm paying a tenner for it (the current pre-order price for the e-book on Kobo). I love Mieville's work but that's his publishers taking the piss.

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5 hours ago, polishgenius said:

And fuck that, if LDNP is as short as TCT there's no way I'm paying a tenner for it (the current pre-order price for the e-book on Kobo). I love Mieville's work but that's his publishers taking the piss.

The Last Days of New Paris is listed at 220 pages, or 60 pages longer than This Census-Taker.

I wouldn't be surprised to see them combined into one volume by Macmillan for a future release in the same style as his other novels.

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