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sologdin

china mieville

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58 minutes ago, Werthead said:

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.

Are they related works? Only asking because was planning to pick up LDNP based on this thread but not TCT. 

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20 hours ago, unJon said:

Are they related works? Only asking because was planning to pick up LDNP based on this thread but not TCT. 

doubtful.  TCT's setting is entirely speculative, as far as i can tell, whereas LDNP is a sort of crosshatch or low fantasy.

 

19 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

King Rat was...not so great. Not 1 star not so great, but very bland.

it almost requires one to be involved with the genre of music that's featured in the story.  it has some cool moments, nifty descriptions of urbanity, and occurs in a narrative space that "melted into the interstices of the city."

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4 hours ago, sologdin said:

 

 

it almost requires one to be involved with the genre of music that's featured in the story.  it has some cool moments, nifty descriptions of urbanity, and occurs in a narrative space that "melted into the interstices of the city."

Maybe! To someone who doesn't get that genre of music it just felt like a hipsters final assignment for creative writing class.

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I finished The City and The City quite recently. I'd tried to read it years ago but couldn't get into it. I forget what made me pick it up again but this time it grabbed me. I really enjoyed how early in the story it seemed like there was something supernatural about the two cities' separation, and the realisation that there was nothing magical and it was all in the citizens' heads. Really interesting premise.

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Read The Kraken recently - King Rat was the only other of his I've read thought i've got the City and the City kicking about. I enjoyed them both but Kraken really hit it's stride in the last third and was thoroughly enjoyable, then again I'm a fan of the kind of weird urban fantasy world Mieville cooks up.

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Glad to hear Solo liked this new book. I'd been disappointed enough with Mieville's recent offerings that I hadn't been following new releases. 

I didn't care for Embassytown, Railsea, or This Census Taker. None of them were terrible, but if they were the first things I'd read of Mieville, I'd have shrugged and said "ok, that was entertaining enough" and never sought him out again. The Scar is one of my favorite books, but Iron Council has grown on me a lot. I can't think of many fantasy books where the ending was more perfectly set up.

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I got to meet him on his book tour for The Scar, and we ended up having omelettes in the wee hours of the morning at a Portland dive-bar.  From our conversation that night, it really seemed to me that his whole purpose for writing wasn't to make art, but was purely reactionary against all of those things that the general public regards as art, that he doesn't like.  For better or worse, that's colored all of his work for me.  My copy of Perdido Street Station was stolen from a parked car unfortunately, and I've never felt the inclination to revisit it. 

I also have to add that I appreciate that he champions writers like Peake and particularly someone who is largely underappreciated, M. John Harrison. 

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I'm steering clear of Harrison because of the stupidity of his worldbuilding essay...

Every moment of a science fiction story must represent the triumph of writing over worldbuilding.

Worldbuilding is dull. Worldbuilding literalises the urge to invent. Worldbuilding gives an unneccessary permission for acts of writing (indeed, for acts of reading). Worldbuilding numbs the reader’s ability to fulfil their part of the bargain, because it believes that it has to do everything around here if anything is going to get done.

Above all, worldbuilding is not technically neccessary. It is the great clomping foot of nerdism. It is the attempt to exhaustively survey a place that isn’t there. A good writer would never try to do that, even with a place that is there. It isn’t possible, & if it was the results wouldn’t be readable: they would constitute not a book but the biggest library ever built, a hallowed place of dedication & lifelong study. This gives us a clue to the psychological type of the worldbuilder & the worldbuilder’s victim, & makes us very afraid.

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Well, I don't want to derail to much, but let's say I don't think Harrison is quite as good as say Goodkind or Paolini.

For those who do not get forum humor, I think he's awful. Light is probably one of the worst pieces of shit I've ever read. It made me want to not read.

Edit: Oh God, that essay, i forgot, thanks RBPL. :P

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Light wasn't very interesting, and that essay (I'd forgotten it) was silly (interesting that Mieville champions him when he's a dedicated world-builder), but like I say, Viriconium is brilliant.

Also: he was a huge influence on Iain M. Banks (through The Centauri Device mostly, I believe)...

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Like Eponine, I've been somewhat disappointed my Mieville's most recent stuff.  Three Moments and Census-Taker were both meh.  And while Railsea was good, but I just couldn't wrap my brain around the idea of the railsea or I would have rated it higher.  Still not sure about New Paris, but if Solo says it's good, I'll get to it sooner rather than later. 

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I've only read one Viriconium novel (titled The Floating Gods on my old copy), and I liked it for the dreamlike world and atmosphere.  I agree about Light being very disappointing (talk about gimmicks), but Nova Swing was better.  Overall I'd say MJH is pretty decent, but for me certainly didn't live up to the legendary status he has among the literary weird crowd. 

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I'm way behind on Mieville (still on Embassytown) but might give New Paris a shot soon. Wasn't aware he had a new (short) novel out. The Census Taker to be honest looked underwhelming, though I am a fan of censii and believe their literary potential had gone little-mined. 

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