Now Reading – May 31

Now Reading: Spook Country by William Gibson.

Just Finished: Perdido Street Station by China Miéville.

I’ve read some other books of Mr. Miéville’s (The Scar, The Iron Council) and found them well-written enough to investigate Perdido Street Station, the book where it all started. Though all three books share a setting in common (the world of Bas-Lag,) each is essentially a stand-alone work and can be read in any order. The setting is rich and detailed. It’s been said that one ideal of cyberpunk SF was to create a "crammed prose" full of "eyeball kicks" (vivid, telling details that create a kaleidoscopic effect of swarming visual imagery against a baroquely elaborate SF background.) In my opinion, this setting succeeds in the ideal, though the setting is more properly pigeonholed as steampunk rather than cyberpunk.

As for the plot, I do enjoy a good whirlpool story. Distant events and characters begin slowly spiraling toward one another, constantly accelerating, as though exerting the force of gravity upon one another, until some event horizon is crossed and the story whirls faster and faster toward a conclusion under its own terrible power. And this was an excellent whirlpool story, though Mr. Miéville seems to have a signature move of yanking the rug out from under the reader in the climax or denouement of his stories.

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4 thoughts on “Now Reading – May 31”

  1. Excellent review… now I’m interested to read that.
    Also… I can’t wait to see your review of Spook Country. I checked it out from the library right after it came out and was just drooling to read it… I’m not sure what happened, I wasn’t quite finished with school and I think it got overtaken, but even so, usually Gibson gets ALL my attention whether I have time or want to give it or not… but in this case, I think it just didn’t start as fast as what I’m used to from him and ended up barely getting a quarter of the way through it and it was due back at the library. After I hear what you have to say, I may or may not look for a cheap used copy and give it another shot.

  2. BTW, did you see Star Trek? I loved it so much I thought my head might explode in the theater. What delicious fun it was!

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