Saturday, June 26, 2010

50 Science Fiction Fantasy novels for socialists from China Mieville.

I just stumbled across this. It's a couple years old now. The link is to a list of fifty science fiction and fantasy works for socialists compiled by China Mieville. It was a refreshing find after spending the day in the splendor of selling Glenn Beck's latest literary abortion.

For those of you not in the know. China Mieville is an incredibly brilliant and innovative science fiction and fantasy writer. His work can best be categorized in the sub genera deemed by Jeff Vandermeer "the new weird," and contains elements of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. I highly recommend checking out his books, The Scar, and The City and The City. I know a lot of people liked King Rat as well, but I couldn't find any drum and bass mixes to read it to.

One of the thing, I like about Mieville is his politics, and how, while they inform his writings, he isn't heavy handed about it. Rather Mieville seemingly keeps them at arms length, slowly seeping in and tinging his worlds in their sepia tones. So, while his Baslag novels are shaded with all of the human tragedies imposed by a corrupt republic, in the name of mercantilism capitalism, there is always something twice as sinister threatening the city state. His heroes are also invested in that city and its culture even as they flee from, rebel against, or try to save its decedent and exploitative soul.

oh, and Mieville?!? The dude has a Ph.D in international law from the London School of Economics! How bad ass is that? Plus I think he'd beat most SF authors in an fight any day of the week.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Major Karnage Chapter 1. and other matters.

I was looking at the publisher Chizine's website, and found this. I haven't watched it yet, so it may be terrible, but felt obligated to post something on here. So...

I'm reading A Book Of Tongues right now, by Gemma Files, also out on Chizine. It is pretty good, despite bordering on gay erotica. When I picked it up I knew it featured a homosexual relationship, but it goes father than that. It's not the gay sex that's been problematic for me, its the presence of graphic sex as a major part of the narrative. If you have a kid under 18 it may not be appropriate. I probably would have put the book down if it was hetero sex, But my liberal sensibilities haven't let me act on any possible bias. I', glad I listened to them because the book has just gotten interesting again.

So far the book has been enjoyable, the weird west style is tight, the magic is dirty, multicultural, and dark. I see some problems with the end of the second act, but I'll save my judgment until I finish the book. I may or may not write a review, although given all I've read and not written about, I doubt this will be the book to change anything.