Celestial Weasel (celestialweasel) wrote,
Celestial Weasel

Questions from Juggzy, not answered in order

4. Mieville, Reynolds and Stephenson: Collect, Borrow from the Library and Send to Oxfam?

Mievelle - Send To Oxfam
Reynolds - Borrow from the library
Stephenson - Collect

Actually I have read very little Reynolds, Galaxy spanning post-human empires are not really my thing. When thinking about this question I misremembered you had said Ian McDonald and was going to say 'Borrow from the library' because I suspect I only finished Brasyl because I was ill (indeed, from the library), and I was rather irked by the bolt-on [REDACTED]. There is something about his British SF writer does cyberpunk in exotic locations faintly distasteful on some level.

Mieville. First of all, have you read this? http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/sciencefiction/2011/05/whatif.html (you have to read to the end, of course). Mieville is someone that I somehow like more than I want to, because early in my exposure to him I saw him on the culture show doing the whole 'my English teacher said I wasn't reading proper literature because SF isn't proper literature' schtick. What decade is this? Did you not get the memo?
In many ways I thought his best thing was the book of short stories. The City And The City And The Badger, ironically, I got out of the library and probably would have reread by now if I had bought it. There, Mr Cinema Industry, I'd like to see you try to make a film of that one. Hah!
I still think he should be given free rein over Eastenders with power to bring in aliens, squid, alien squid, ghosts, trap streets, whatever as he thinks fit.

Stephenson. I think I have reread everything, some a number of times except The Big U, The Diamond Age (nice idea but no, Turing completeness is not worth half a novel) and the historical ones, not that I read the last two. Cobweb, the second of the ones written with his uncle is, I think, under-rated and his prejudices are rather more nuanced than in Interface and Cryptonomicon. I still don't understand why he didn't get some pals to read Anathem and then fix all the flaws with the way the Concent works. That wouldn't fix the fundamental 'can you really separate science from engineering like that' question but would have improved the experience of reading it. Bit worried about REAMDE, money in on-line games has been done by Charlie and Walter Jon Williams already, it seems a bit 2005. Though we shall see what he does with it.
I must have mentioned that I bought Zodiac before any of the SF came out, it was in some random local non-big city bookshop, it was bizarrely shelved with S.F. despite not being. Did they somehow know, or was it just because of the name. The next novel being S.F. surprised me not at all, like discovering Tom Robinson was bi. These things are implicit in the deep structure of the universe.


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