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View Diary: Sci-Fi Fantasy Club: Which Ugly SF/Fantasy Ducklings became Literary Swans? (140 comments)

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  •  Mieville, definitely! (6+ / 0-)

    I just finished Embassytown which is initially challenging but wonderful with very alien aliens and language as a big part of the plot.

    His first novel King Rat was one of those "pssst, read me" books I picked up at the library and it made a big impression.

    •  'Embassytown' is imaginative and ambitious, even (7+ / 0-)

      for Miéville. It made my brain effervesce, but (I thought) reached for more than it grasped.

      I liked The City & The City, because it was so lean and effective; and Perdido Street Station, the first of several I've read, for the shock of discovering his twisted brilliance.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:22:06 PM PDT

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      •  agree about those other two books (4+ / 0-)

        Interesting that both PDS and Embassytown have the idea of a mutilated wing.

        I'm still thinking about the latter. For one thing I wish I knew more about language as a subject. Also it was such a complex world to try to grasp as a reader. OTOH one of the things I like about Mieville is that he allows considerable room for the reader to fill in the sketch on their own.  

        I think I'll try Kraken next. Who can resist a giant squid?

        •  'Kraken' worked for me. Miéville has a rare fault (4+ / 0-)

          he is too original. Well, that may be impossible, to my taste. He reaches in too many creative directions at once. Kraken felt like it had more shape, fit together into a more coherent story than, say, The Scar.

          I'm thrilled by Miéville's constant questing, and he's learning and improving as he goes. Stephenson did this too - it took him awhile to get the whole-novel thing sorted out.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 10:33:48 AM PDT

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        •  I loved the first 2/3 or so of Kraken (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, lunacat, RiveroftheWest

          but the latter part of the book I found tiresome.  Mieville had created a bunch of compelling characters at the start and in the latter part of the book they lost all identity as they were whisked from one situation to another.  I did love its insane humor and incredible imagination but definitely felt that the characterization suffered as a result.

          "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

          by matching mole on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 01:06:40 PM PDT

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