Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Speaking of Big Ideas

China Mieville “Three Moments of an Explosion” (Del Rey, 2015)

Let’s be honest.  In the world of SFF, any new release from China Mieville is a big deal.  He’s the hipster’s Neil Gaiman.  A huge figure bestriding the field doing whatever he wants.  

Mieville hasn’t released a book since 2012.  He’s been busy (check out his run on Dial H, it’s really good), at least in part writing these stories. 

Three Moments gives us a lot of stories.  I should be honest here—I don’t know if they are all really stories.  Some are so experimental that they don’t really have plot or characters or even something structured like a story.

Mieville is a master of the Weird, so I was expecting that.  I was surprised, however, by how experimental this collection felt.  His modius operandi seemed to be generating an idea & then building something around that big idea.  The result may be fantastic, or the structure may just collapse.  You can’t really tell until you are reading the story.

Like his best work, Three Moments is provocative and challenging.  Unfortunately I can’t say that it has the consistency of his best work.  At times it feels like he’s throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks.

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