Social commentary on the commercialisation of Christmas does not come better than this! In fact, the political satire of commercialism, exploitation and even capitalism does not come better than this and it does it in a way that only a socialist with a dark sense of humour like Miéville can.
It starts out typically of our first-person narrator discussing his and others’ enjoyment of the festive season. Hell, it got me in the spirit! But it all comes crashing down just a couple of paragraphs in when he refers to not being able to hold a party because he couldn’t afford the EULA fee. Continue reading →
Random thoughts for a random book. I know he is the master of weird-fi but I never expected this much weirdness. My previous dabbling with Miéville is the novelette Tis the Season (which I will read again and review closer to Christmas) so I had an idea of what to expect.
The weirdness and the fact that it throws you in at the deep end from very early on is very reminiscent of Paulo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl. However, unlike that book, the writing style is very easy on the eye – much easier than you might have expected after reading the first couple of chapters. Continue reading →
So, David slew Goliath at this year’s World Fantasy awards, gushes The Guardian when the small-published, genre boundary challenging novel Osama by Lavie Tidhar went up against and defeated a whole host of big names.
Congratulations. I understand it is a well-received book that is seen as quite the work of art; not everybody’s cup of tea but a book that seems to be widely appreciated. Continue reading →
Author China Mieville.
image from guardian.co.uk
The Arthur C. Clarke Awards take place next week. China Miéville stands as the only man who has won the award more than twice and he hopes that 2012 will mark a fourth such award having been shortlisted for Embassytown. The novel has also bee nominated for a Hugo Award this year so it seems that his star is on the rise.
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Congratulations to Christopher Priest, who has won this year’s BSFA for best novel for The Islanders.
The book’s blurb is described at Amazon:
A tale of murder, artistic rivalry and literary trickery; a chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you. The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. The Islanders serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands, an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator. It shows Christopher Priest at the height of his powers and illustrates why he has remained one of the country’s most prized novelists.
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On my way to work this morning, I was listening to Radio 4 (as you do) and Simon Ings, the editor of the new magazine Arc was on to discuss the publication. Despite that he did not say anything I hadn’t heard / read before I made a mental note to give it a serious think.
When I got home from work I noticed that my hit rate on this blog for the last few days has been higher than in recent weeks and the Google search terms that brought people here were overwhelmingly about arc 1.1. Encouraged by this I decided to bite the bullet and purchase it. Continue reading →
Another interesting article in The Guardian’s Books section or if you prefer to view the mobile site click here.
Mieville seems like an intelligent guy and I’ve heard a lot of good about his work. I’ve not read any of yet but I do have one on my “to read” list.
Is he right? Is the true reason that liter-ar-y awards ignore sci fi is because it is actually a genre award that looks for quality prose on the familiar? If so, as the article comments, you just wish they were honest about it.
Its an intriguing idea and one I might like to explore in future once I’ve swotted up on Booker nominees and winners over the years.