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Reading China Mieville's latest, "Iron Council." There are a handful of authors for whom I will lay out money for a hardcover, no questions asked--Pratchett, McKinley, Gaiman, Martin. Mieville, author of "Perdido Street Station," is the most recent addition to the list. (Not to be confused with "will maybe lay out money for a hardcover after dithering about it for awhile and feeling vaguely guilty," of which there are many more, depending on my mood and current cash flow.)

Still waiting for the megaplot to start. Mieville has this tendency to get all the characters, get them motivated, get you interested, and then suddenly, several hundred pages in, drops the REAL plot on you like a ton of intriguingly painted bricks. I'm not sure if he's going to do that here, or not, but I also don't much care--I'd read a manual on fixing Volvo engines if Mieville wrote it.

And boy, reading this stuff before bed will give you some seriously weirdass dreams. Had a whole montage of steampunk cyborgs grinding through my brain for half the night. Gronk.

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Ooooo. I have it beside my bed, haven't cracked it open yet because I'm in heavy-research mode on my latest project, but it sits there, and taunts me...

I love China Mieville's stuff. Mind you, I've only read half of Perdido Street Station thus far, but he's a wonderful writer. I plan to read the rest of his books.

"And boy, reading this stuff before bed will give you some seriously weirdass dreams."

This, coming from Ursula? Sure, sure, blame it on the book... ;)


Perdido and The Scar were unlike anything else I have read before. I hadn't read any steam-punk and now I wonder who else I have missed. He rather reminds me of a few things that M. John Harrison had done. A very distinct voice!
For me, Hardcover means Gaiman, McKinley, De Lint, Beagle, and N.K. Hoffman.

Ahhhhhh, is it out? How did I miss that???

/me -> bookstore RIGHT NOW

*Dust-trail leading towards Borders*

I'm in the middle of reading it too and would call it a stunning coincidence except that it only came out a couple of days ago :) I shunned the hardcover in favour of the eReader.com version for my post-post-cybersteampunk PDA, which I can read from on the pre-steampunk tube without gouging the eyes of fellow commuters.

Absolutely not-at-all surprised that you're into China's books - you two seem to tap into the same vein of sumptuous creature weirdness. He should definitely get you to paint covers and illustrations :)

China *rocks*. I heard him do a reading from The Scar at WorldCon in San Jose in 2002, and immediately bought it in the dealers' room. He also did a reading from his entry in The Thackery T Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases. Still need to get that book.

Lovelovelove Perdido Street Station and The Scar. His species are so marvellous! Anopheles! Scabmettlers! Cactacae! Slake-moths! Wheeee!

Haven't picked up his latest yet, but The Scar and Perdido Street Station were astoundingly original and definitely did a wonderful job at dragging me 'into the worldview of the characters' which many authors fail to do despite their best efforts.

I have to disagree with tacking the convenient label of 'steampunk' onto them, however. While steam technology does exist in Mieville's world, the amount of magical and other influences would seem to make it a poor candidate for inclusion in 'steam technology science fiction'.

Not that I'm terribly fond of either the 'cyberpunk' or 'steampunk' labels. The first has mutated terribly, the genre' following the label (early 'cyberpunk' writings hardly required any inclusion of either cybernetic technology or 'punk' symbology, but the modern crap being cranked out seems built around these two facets of what was once a much more far-reaching genre'.) the second term is poorly descriptive at best, IMHO, most of it being not particularly different or more 'punky' than anything written by Wells or Verne.

*grin* Steampunk is a crude approximation at best, I agree, but I dunno what else to call it...it's...just...different, and since there's a real emphasis on all the bizarre clockwork and machinery elements, "steampunk" is the closest. It's still kind of wide of the mark, I grant you.

My brother and I, both fans of this author, have had a long standing argument on what genre, if any, he falls into. Despite three years of two bibliophiles doing our best, with occasional calls for reinforcements, we have NOTHINK!!

It's just to odd and beautiful.

Oh, weird... I just bought "Perdido Street Station" from a market on Saturday, at half coverprice. After never hearing of the author or book before in my life, now I see this discussion. Makes me glad I bought it, and impatient to finish my current riding-the-bus_and-Tube-to-work book!

I bhought perdido street station, purely on a whim (it was your fault too, I had jsut a scrap paper as a notebook, a scrap paper which just happened to be a journal entry form this journal about "perdido street station". I had soem money to brun so I thought "why not". now I*m also in the chategory of people who'd buy a car manual if it was written by Mieville, and I could get to it (our local bookshop had only iron counscil, which i've bhought but haven't read yet, i'd have to get to Stockholm to actually have something to choose between, lousy swedsih bookshop...)

So, anyway, what Mieville-books do you recommend to get first?

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