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China Mieville
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Lexis Nexus
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Picture of St.CountZero
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I'm sure there's an old thread about him somewhere, but frankly I can't be bothered.

I'm reading "Looking for Jake" right now, his collection of short stories. It's pretty good so far, darker than his New Crobuzon novels (although I haven't read "Iron Council" yet) and a bit disturbing at times.

Anyone else?


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Adept of the Burning Chrome
 
Posts: 16373 | Registered: December 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Elah Adonijai
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Darker and more disturbing than New Crobuzon? Wow, I thought those books were twisted. I don't have the collection yet, only read a short story from another anthology: Reports of Certain Events from London. Interesting, but probably not one of the dark and disturbing stories you're referring to.

How's the Jack Half-A-Prayer story? I was always hoping Mieville would do a novel centering on that character. Iron Council kind of talked about him and his story, but not to the extent I'd hoped. (On the whole, I didn't like Iron Council anywhere near as much as his other New Crobuzon stuff.)

Can't wait to get this collection.


____________________________________________________________________
"Patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer i beg to submit that it is the first." - Ambrose Bierce
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A Good Scoundrel isn't Hard to Find
 
Posts: 2179 | Location: Hiding in the secret compartments of Whittier, CA | Registered: July 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lexis Nexus
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Well, it's hard to describe. It's not necessarily a darker setting, because New Crobuzon was indeed pretty dark. Most stories so far are actually set in London. The difference is more in the general atmosphere of the stories - not necessarily that disturbing (look at me contradicting myself) but there is a sense of unavoidable dread, of foreboding. And then there is also a certain surrealism, something absurd. It partially reminds me of Lovecraft and of Borges.

I don't feel like I'm doing this justice at all, but it's pretty good. I liked the story you mention, too, but I haven't reached the Jack Half-a-Prayer one yet.


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Adept of the Burning Chrome
 
Posts: 16373 | Registered: December 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lexis Nexus
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update: just finished the book. the Half-a-Prayer story doesn't actually feature him as a character, although he is the center of the story.

Good book, but not exactly light and fun and happy.


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Adept of the Burning Chrome
 
Posts: 16373 | Registered: December 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Elah Adonijai
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thanks for the update. I'll be sure to check it out, as well as hold out hope for a full length Half-a-Prayer story.


____________________________________________________________________
"Patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer i beg to submit that it is the first." - Ambrose Bierce
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A Good Scoundrel isn't Hard to Find
 
Posts: 2179 | Location: Hiding in the secret compartments of Whittier, CA | Registered: July 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Definitly one of the best modern authors of new fantasy. I love the way all his books reference work by other authors ( Gormanghast, Moby Dick,
Heart of Darkness, to name but a few ) and combine serious alchemical and theological ideas with action fantasy. kind of william Burrows meets Cyrano De Bergerac in a dark and seedy bar run by Lovecraft and Clive Barker
 
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Lexis Nexus
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I finally finished Iron Council a few days ago. Pretty good book too, I liked the Golem-master character, and interesting ending as well. Definitely in line with Mieville's other not-so-happy endings.


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Adept of the Burning Chrome
 
Posts: 16373 | Registered: December 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Elah Adonijai
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quote:
I finally finished Iron Council a few days ago. Pretty good book too, I liked the Golem-master character, and interesting ending as well. Definitely in line with Mieville's other not-so-happy endings.


Maybe I need to reread that one again -- the long scenes when Judah was wondering through the wilderness in the middle of the book left me kind of cold. On the other hand, I thought all the stuff with Ori was great. And like you said, the ending was what a China Mieville books needs to be -- though nothing can leave me feeling as beat up and betrayed (in the best sense of the word) as Perdido Street Station.

Has anyone read King Rat? When I first saw it, I remember thinking it looked like a Neverwhere rip-off, so I never picked it up. But after reading his other stuff, I'm really curious.


____________________________________________________________________
"Patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer i beg to submit that it is the first." - Ambrose Bierce
----------------------
A Good Scoundrel isn't Hard to Find
 
Posts: 2179 | Location: Hiding in the secret compartments of Whittier, CA | Registered: July 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lexis Nexus
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quote:
Originally posted by The Scoundrel:
nothing can leave me feeling as beat up and betrayed (in the best sense of the word) as Perdido Street Station.


true that.

I liked the Ori scenes too, and the revelation of who Toro was. I didn't mean that the long Judah-in-Wilderness scenes were that great (yeah, they got kinda boring), but that his character was interesting, this revolutionary-by-accident deal. And also the way he makes golems out of anything, of course.


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Adept of the Burning Chrome
 
Posts: 16373 | Registered: December 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Elah Adonijai
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quote:
And also the way he makes golems out of anything, of course.


Yeah, the Golem stuff was amazing.


____________________________________________________________________
"Patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer i beg to submit that it is the first." - Ambrose Bierce
----------------------
A Good Scoundrel isn't Hard to Find
 
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Just finished Looking For Jake. Good God, "The Tain" may be the best fantasy novella I've ever read. Ever.

Some of the stories were weak, mostly in that I didn't find that the voice for the character matched up with what they ought to sound like (particularly thinking of the exceptionally perky-sounding old guy in the story with the evil window), but when he was on . . . I may never be able to look at the kid's playroom at Ikea the same way.


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Posts: 48708 | Location: Concord, NH, USA | Registered: July 20, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
stole the last root beer
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quote:
Originally posted by The Scoundrel:
Has anyone read King Rat? When I first saw it, I remember thinking it looked like a Neverwhere rip-off, so I never picked it up. But after reading his other stuff, I'm really curious.


i have indeed.


Firstly, a disclaimer, that i live in the precise area he describes in the book, and one memorable cycle ride he describes the main road i walk on daily, so it does have a resonance to a south londoner that it might not to others.

And it's very definitely a first novel.
and when i saw him speak at Brixton he acknowledged the debt he owes to Neil Gaiman, among others.

But, that said, it's a whole lot darker and edgier than Neverwhere, and has a lot more 'real-world' action. Its a lot about the drum'n'bass scene in the 90s, which again has relevance to my life, but it's a good, interesting read.

It's more Anansi Boys with a dark scary edge than Neverwhere.

on the subject of the Iron Council, i didn't feel it was as succesful as the Scar, but from about half way i had this horrific, doomed, tragedic feeling about the whole thing, and i actually felt a form of redemption and hope in the end, which surprised me.


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Companion to owls
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King Rat has been on my 'to read' pile for ages. I think it's the drum'n'bass thing that scares me, since not only it's a music I don't like, I just don't understand it either. I actually wouldn't even be able to say what it sounds like. It's like that with 'electronic' music for me, my brain doesn't get it (just like it doesn't get numbers).
but it's still on my pile, and not on my 'not gonna bother reading' pile.


 
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Lexis Nexus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dweller in Darkness:
I may never be able to look at the kid's playroom at Ikea the same way.


yep.


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Adept of the Burning Chrome
 
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Elah Adonijai
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quote:
Originally posted by Dweller in Darkness:
Just finished Looking For Jake. Good God, "The I may never be able to look at the kid's playroom at Ikea the same way.


Good God, that story scared me. Don't know if I'll ever be able to let my daughter play in a ball room...

I've read about half the stories so far. It's the second time I read "Reports of Certain Events Near London" and I have to say it was infinitely more interesting the second time.

Short stories collections almost always seem tricky to me. Inevitably, some of them work for me and some of them don't. I just like novels so much more I think -- I've had more of a chance to develop a relationship with the characters, I guess.

Michief (and maybe the Count): I've got King Rat on my bookshelf and want to start reading, but I feel like I should be listening to some of this drum and bass music while doing so, but I've never really heard of it before. Any suggestions on where to start?


____________________________________________________________________
"Patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer i beg to submit that it is the first." - Ambrose Bierce
----------------------
A Good Scoundrel isn't Hard to Find
 
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part of the reason short story collections are always a bit like that is because almost inevitably a lot of them are the athros early work, re-scraped off for the compilation. there's just no money in short stories. collections never sell very well. that's why Ghostwritten and so on exist, as a way to tie together a bunch of short stories and call it a novel!

quote:
Originally posted by The Scoundrel:
Michief (and maybe the Count): I've got King Rat on my bookshelf and want to start reading, but I feel like I should be listening to some of this drum and bass music while doing so, but I've never really heard of it before. Any suggestions on where to start?


ok...

Drum'n'bass is a very british thing. grew up in the early 90s in the UK, and is essentially a very dark noise, with squealching bass and a fast drum beat supplying the dance stuff.

If you want to listen to some, Nightmares on Wax have always been a favourite of mine, Goldie was a classic, Roni Size and Reprazent were very succesful, as was LTJ Bukem...

If you are looking for a greate DnB tune, Super Sharp Shooter is probably just about as good a summary of DnB as anything else.

what i particularly enjoyed about king rat was that it was DnB with a flute in it, and when i was at uni in manchester we used to go to a club where they played DnB with live jazz jamming over it, and the flute worked very well.


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Elah Adonijai
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Right, thanks for the tips. Smile I listened to a bunch of them last night at home and picked up a few songs off itunes by Nightmares on Wax, Goldie, and one from Roni-Size and Reprazent (off the Fast and the Furious sndtk -- HA!). Couldn't find Super Sharp Shooter or LTJ Bukem on itunes, though Frown

I think so far, I like Goldie best. They seem the smoothest, the way they blend drums and electronics. Nightmares on Wax is pretty good too. Jury's still out on Roni-Size and Reprazent, though.

But this is all pretty cool. I wanted to have a better idea of what this DnB music was that inspired Mieville so much in writing the book, and I feel like I do now. Thanks!


____________________________________________________________________
"Patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer i beg to submit that it is the first." - Ambrose Bierce
----------------------
A Good Scoundrel isn't Hard to Find
 
Posts: 2179 | Location: Hiding in the secret compartments of Whittier, CA | Registered: July 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lexis Nexus
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Yeah, I'm late, so what Mischief said. I'd have picked the same names. I like Roni Size the best, personally, with Goldie coming in second place.


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you can find a sample of Super sharp shooter here.


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Posts: 8147 | Location: London, England | Registered: July 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Elah Adonijai
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Thanks for the sample -- I enjoyed it!


____________________________________________________________________
"Patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer i beg to submit that it is the first." - Ambrose Bierce
----------------------
A Good Scoundrel isn't Hard to Find
 
Posts: 2179 | Location: Hiding in the secret compartments of Whittier, CA | Registered: July 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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