Tag: china mieville

Linky linky

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-A rather lovely review of Servant of the Underworld by Keith Harvey, discussing its relation to the cozy mystery (anything that compares Brother Cadfael with Acatl is awesome, check it out!)

-The evolution of Vietnamese clothing, via lilsuika and Jhameia (amazing to see all the different styles together like this).

China Miéville on racism and the Belgian decision to publish Tintin in Congo without acknowledging its racist clichés. For the record, Tintin was also a part of my childhood. I have very fond memories of some of the BDs in the series (mainly the later ones), but I don’t think they’re books I could enjoy today, and I’m not really sure they’re books I’d hand to my children. Every single nationality around the globe basically got skewered in a racist fashion (including but not limited to Africans, Arabs, Asians, Gypsies–you name it, he skewered it), and it’s very much boys’ adventures–wimmen need not apply. There are other BDs from my childhood that are far, far better than those.
Also, this quote?

there is a distinction between having the legal right to say something & having the moral right not to be held accountable for what you say

Smartest quote about freedom of speech, ever.

The New York Times on Explaining Londoners. Definitely worth a laugh. I would like to point out that although the French do greet each other by kissing cheeks, we only do the one-on-each-cheek in Paris (every area of France basically has its own idea of how many kisses you should give)

-Fellow VDer Stephen Gaskell has started a new blog, Creepy Treehouse, aimed at educating the young-ish crowd better than dry school lectures. He’s running a series of posts on how to survive the apocalypse that are rather fab.

State of the reading

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Mostly digging my way out of the Nebula nominees…

-Christopher Barzak: The Love We Share Without Knowing: a mosaic novel of alienated young people in Japan–whether in Japan or in America. It’s beautifully written, and gets down so many things about relationships, loneliness and the threads that bind us together (or keep us apart). There is very little genre: it feels more like magical realism than a full-blown fantasy novel, but it’s a really awesome one. All in all, definitely a book well worth reading, with awesome set-pieces and a mastery of beautiful language and subtlety I can only aspire to.
-China Mieville, The City & the City: the cities of Bes’zel and UI Qoma have lain side by side–literally-for centuries, but are carefully kept apart: citizens from one city learn to ignore the reality of the other city as they grow up–lest they face the terrible powers of Breach. All would be well and good, if a murder hadn’t happened on Inspector Borlu’s doorstep; a case that grows more and more complicated as time passes, and which seems to involve evidence from both cities…
You have to unplug your logic filters for this–there is no way in Hell this setup is ever going to be plausible whichever way you turn it–but it’s a very good read once you’re in the proper set of mind. Mieville explores the Kafka-esque ramifications of the premise, and merges it in a pseudo-noir mystery that starts slowly but quickly ramps up in tension until you have to keep turning the pages. The protagonist is a bit of a blank slate; but to be fair there is so much going on that you hardly notice.