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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works • View topic - What shall we do with China Miéville?

What shall we do with China Miéville?

discussions not about particular authors or books

What shall we do with China Miéville?

Postby ArnoKA on Saturday, 28 September 2013, 10:23 am

It pains me to admit: In my opinion China Miéville is the finest author of SF&F in this century.

It pains me because I don't like his politics or opinions. According to Wikipedia, he has called Tolkien "the wen on the arse
of fantasy literature" (though that fits well enough many a Tolkien-pastiche).

I read first the SF novel Embassytown (2010) and found it an ingenious and well written (though towards the end
rather long-winded) book. Thus encouraged, I purchased the praised and prized fantasy novel Perdido Street Station
(2000).

I hated it. The poor protagonists (for once this snobbish term fits perfectly!) were constantly and literally wading through
filth and shit towards the finale of no hope and despair. Many times I wanted to stop -- but could not. The book was so
magnificently written.

Opinions, anybody, please!
ArnoKA
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Friday, 04 January 2013, 7:08 am

Re: What shall we do with China Miéville?

Postby DavidTate on Tuesday, 01 October 2013, 7:02 pm

I have to admit, I haven't read any Miéville. My reasons aren't especially good -- mostly, the reviews (both positive and negative) that I've seen lead to me to suspect that I would be angered by his works, and my time is too precious to waste on fiction that will anger me. He may be a fabulous writer, in terms of craft, but that's not enough for me. (His opinion of Tolkien, which I had heard before, indicates that he either doesn't get it or can't abide what it stands for. Or both. That's a strong indication that I won't be able to abide what his works stand for.)

Rightly or wrongly, I think of Miéville and Philip Pullman as being in the same category. A lot of people think His Dark Materials is one of the finest fantasy works of the last century. I'll probably never take the time to see how much or little I agree with that.
David Tate
Professor of Story Problems, emeritus
Rationalist with sombrero
Baseballogist
DavidTate
 
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Re: What shall we do with China Miéville?

Postby ArnoKA on Wednesday, 02 October 2013, 6:06 am

David Tate wrote:

"[T]he reviews (both positive and negative) that I've seen lead to me to suspect that I would be angered by his works, and my time is too precious to waste on fiction that will anger me. He may be a fabulous writer, in terms of craft, but that's not enough for me. (His opinion of Tolkien, which I had heard before, indicates that he either doesn't get it or can't abide what it stands for. Or both. That's a strong indication that I won't be able to abide what his works stand for.)"

I agree completely. The problem for me is that I normally try to choose my books browsing in a bookshop. And, as I have no new wonder gizmos with internet
connection, I must either trust what the blurbs say or return home empty handed to surf in the net seeking reviews. And there is the risk that, if the book is
any good, it is meanwhile sold out of the limited stock Finnish bookstores use to keep of English SF&F.

Perhaps we should have a new Forum: Authors to avoid.
ArnoKA
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Friday, 04 January 2013, 7:08 am


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