Apr 21 2008
An Author to Consider
China Miéville is an English writer of both fiction and nonfiction. He’s a graduate of the London School of Economics, and, by the look of the titles in the nonfiction writing, probably a Marxist. His fiction is my focus for this short blurb.
I saw his latest fiction ‘reviewed’ in Wired. I liked the review so I bought it and before I was a day into started ordering what turned out, for the most, a backlist of his other novels and short story collection. His newset book is Un Lun Dun, a through-the-looking-glass sci fi adventure, with a political subtext for precocious junior readers or adults who may navitate to it via the Harry Potter River. Zanna finds the entrance to this world quite improbably in her neighborhood and finds a place that is not just London’s mirror twin, but the whole world. I persuaded only one of my students to read it in my ‘Rhetoric of Sci Fi’ course, but she wholeheartedly loved it.
Some of his other work is bleak near future, catastrophic worlding and some really strange, over the edge sci fi. Some of the places he takes you have more than rough edges. Frankly, one of the novels had an ending which I found really silly the first time I read it, but it grew on me. These works include Looking for Jake: Stories, King Rat, Perdido Street Station, The Scar, and Iron Council. The last was the only one I had to really stretch to embrace.