State of the reading
Mostly digging my way out of the Nebula nominees…
-Christopher Barzak: The Love We Share Without Knowing: a mosaic novel of alienated young people in Japan–whether in Japan or in America. It’s beautifully written, and gets down so many things about relationships, loneliness and the threads that bind us together (or keep us apart). There is very little genre: it feels more like magical realism than a full-blown fantasy novel, but it’s a really awesome one. All in all, definitely a book well worth reading, with awesome set-pieces and a mastery of beautiful language and subtlety I can only aspire to.
-China Mieville, The City & the City: the cities of Bes’zel and UI Qoma have lain side by side–literally-for centuries, but are carefully kept apart: citizens from one city learn to ignore the reality of the other city as they grow up–lest they face the terrible powers of Breach. All would be well and good, if a murder hadn’t happened on Inspector Borlu’s doorstep; a case that grows more and more complicated as time passes, and which seems to involve evidence from both cities…
You have to unplug your logic filters for this–there is no way in Hell this setup is ever going to be plausible whichever way you turn it–but it’s a very good read once you’re in the proper set of mind. Mieville explores the Kafka-esque ramifications of the premise, and merges it in a pseudo-noir mystery that starts slowly but quickly ramps up in tension until you have to keep turning the pages. The protagonist is a bit of a blank slate; but to be fair there is so much going on that you hardly notice.
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