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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:40 am 
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Christopher Priest doesn't like this year's Clarke shortlist and doesn't hold back his punches in saying so:-

http://www.christopher-priest.co.uk/jou ... nthorpe-3/

I don't read enough (well, any except for what's in IZ) SF to hold an opinion, but anyone else have thoughts?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:15 am 
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I thought it was interesting. Personally I think Mieville's later work has been extremely boring. I struggled to read Kraken and didn't enjoy it. I found it more of a chore than anything else, and Embassytown is one of those rare books I put away partially read as it was so 'clunky', I'm sure there are better books to read and my reading time is precious. Both the Kraken and Embassytown copies I bought were the hard-backs which cost me around £18 each and is money I feel was wasted.

I think Mieville should go back to his Bas-Lag world writing which I think was of a higher calibre (IMHO)

Haven't read any of the others yet but looking at the list I think the only one that would appeal to me is Hull Zero Three.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:45 am 
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You wouldn't want to be on an awards jury with him, would you? Sounds like you'd end up fighting to the death about everything.

I haven't read the shortlisted books either, but it's good to have that kind of discussion about awards. Saying the judges are incompetent and should resign en masse seems a bit strong, but he must have really hated those books.

I wouldn't be surprised if the BFA shortlist this year makes this one look *really* good in comparison.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:09 am 
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Hell no, Stephen! I'm not clever or competent enough but I know what type of book 'does it for me' and the later Mieville ones just don't. I only hope that his name and the fact that he is seen as 'The One' in modern SF circles doesn't automatically put him through or cloud judgement.
When I first read Perdido Street Station in 2000 I was blown away, the story was brilliant, The Scar likewise. I then went back to his first novel King Rat and thought it ok, not as good as the others but ok. Iron Council was very good too. But then I read The City and The City which jointly won the 2010 Hugo along with Paolo Bacigalupi's The Wind Up Girl which I thought trumped TC&TC hands down. It was then I began to wonder...
I still bought his books, The Kraken and Embassytown but haven't enjoyed them at all, perhaps it's just me...
Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for Mieville, he is a clever writer who I've always pointed friends to, but I doubt I will buy any more of his books. I'll borrow them from the library... perhaps...

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:53 am 
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I don't think it is just you, Bob. Like you, I was completely smitten with PSS and The Scar, but also Un Lun Dun and TC&TC. I then went to Iron Council, and went "meh" - then really didn't like Kraken. I haven't read Embassytown yet. Maybe he's burned out? Hope not. I have a feeling his new YA book will be good, Un Lun Dun is an absolute scorcher. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Thanks Steve, I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Quote:
Rolnikov wrote:-
Sounds like you'd end up fighting to the death about everything.


Yes, I've heard rumours that the BFS have a contingency plan for the nominated authors to cage fight in the event of a tie :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:08 pm 
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If they put out a cage at FantasyCon I think authors would happily fight in it, even without an award at stake. :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:12 pm 
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I fear you may be thinking about an entirely different sort of FantasyCon... :D

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:20 pm 
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Charles Stross's new Twitter avatar. :)

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Not well read enough to offer much comment, but I must say that (unlike Bob) I much preferred The City and The City to The Wind-Up Girl. With the latter book, I really didn't get what the fuss was about at all. I found it a patchwork of vignettes rather than a cohesive story, and the future it depicted seemed like well-trodden turf, with the window-dressing of the Thai setting being the only real novelty. Mieville's book, by contrast, was a clever idea well-executed - though arguably more in the vicinity of Borges or Kafka than mainstream SF.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:42 pm 
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LoL, that is too good :)
If you look closely you can also see the pee...

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:25 pm 
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When I was first getting into literary SF, I found the Arthur C Clark award a useful means finding new (or at least 'new to me') talent, such as Jeff Noon, or Mieville himself back in 2001 with 'Perido Street Station'. So, I like the idea of the awards shining a light on authors or books who will seriously benefit from the exposure. I don't see that Mievllie winning for a 4th time will do anyone much good.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:31 pm 
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Pete wrote:
Quote:
Rolnikov wrote:-
Sounds like you'd end up fighting to the death about everything.


Yes, I've heard rumours that the BFS have a contingency plan for the nominated authors to cage fight in the event of a tie :wink:


I have a copy of the 1829 Duelling Handbook ( a mass reprint, not original) if they need to borrow it. On the understanding that the point of these things is to only humiliate the opponent, not kill him/her.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Can we choose our own weapons? I have a pointy stick and know how to use it...

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