R Scott Bakker vs. China Mieville

  • 57 Replies
  • 8922 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2013, 10:06:20 pm »
Quote from: Curethan
Agree with Wilshire. 

I think IC examines peoples' motivations etc beneath their idealogy, more than pushing the idealogies themselves.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2013, 10:06:34 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Considering that some have dubbed Bakker some kind of extreme misogynist, I guess I can not be surprised with any opinion. It shows, at least, that you can always see what you want to see. Context can be everything.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2013, 10:06:39 pm »
Quote from: Madness
"Humans live in literal, physically different semantic realities based on our sensory perceptions and our awareness and interpretations of them" - random thought I wrote down a couple years ago as I was reading A Strange Loop.

And everything I've learned since hasn't contradicted this, simply made it much, much more complex.

You guys are pretty cool :) (read cognitive vigilant, if its possible).

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2013, 10:06:43 pm »
Quote from: Truth Shines
China Mieville is never preachy.  You'd never get long passages of discourse on political ideology or philosophy (like, say, Robert Heinlein).  Like Bakker, he closely adheres to the maxim of "Show, Don't Tell."

And Iron Council certainly cannot possibly be construed as "a bore."  War?  Revolution?  Conspiracy?  Golems?  These are boring?  Wow whoever believes that must be James Bond or something.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2013, 10:06:48 pm »
Quote from: Camlost
I read Perdido Street Station over the summer and didn't particularly care for it. I enjoyed Mieville's prose, there were times I found myself caught up in his eloquence, and he had some very striking metaphors, but to me it felt as if every time the conflict was becoming too much to handle, a solution was just readily introduced, which were accompanied by their own plot complications but ultimately were easily reconciled.

I wasn't unsatisfied with it, there were some interesting elements to it, and maybe I'd have a greater appreciation for it within the larger context of the trilogy, but I don't think it is a book I would read again.

But that's just one man's opinion.. hope I didn't dissuade anyone from picking it up though, it's certainly worth a taste

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2013, 10:06:53 pm »
Quote from: delavagus
I've finally started reading Mieville.  (Except for City and the City, which I read a few years ago and like quite a lot.  I've actually found myself defending it to those put off by its 'unrealistic' fundamental conceit.)

I'm almost finished with PSS.  While I think it's very good, it's been something of a disappointment.  I expected it to be... I don't know... bigger, grander.  I'm hoping the ending pulls out all the stops.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2013, 10:06:58 pm »
Quote from: Madness
I'd hope the rest of the trilogy has more to offer (assuming the events of Bas-Lag are related)?

Who's even letting you read books, delavagus ;)? I thought you were writing us one.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2013, 10:07:03 pm »
Quote from: delavagus
If only, if only!  ALL I'm doing is reading books these days -- trying to burn through a stack of philosophy books that have been waiting to be read for, ooh, years now, in some cases.

This damn dissertation is gonna kill me.  I thought I'd be able to get back to my novel by mid-January.  At this rate, I don't know...  I may have to rethink my startegy for 2013, because I HAVE to finish the beast, and I've already lost a month.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2013, 10:07:07 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Good-natured jeering, anyhow. Good luck, of course, and congratulations again for even getting to this point in your academic career. I'm sure we'll dissecting your series soon enough.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2013, 10:07:12 pm »
Quote from: delavagus
I've finished PSS and am on to The Scar.  About PSS, I gotta say, it's glutinously pugnacious!

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2013, 10:07:17 pm »
Quote from: delavagus
Okay, almost no one's going to get my last post unless they've read PSS recently.  Mieville uses some unusual vocabulary, which I like, but I always find it funny when author's use weird words over and over and over again.  When he wrote PSS, Mieville was altogether too fond of the words 'glutinous' and 'pugnacious.'  I'm a ways into The Scar, and so far they've only appeared a few times.

I found 'glutinous' to be very evocative the first, second, and third time he used it.  Not so much after that.  As for 'pugnacious,' I've always thought the word is hilarious for some reason.  It always puts me in mind of a pug.  I've never used it.  I doubt I ever will.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2013, 10:07:39 pm »
Quote from: Curethan
Can't say that it jarred me enough to notice, although it has been a decade or more since I read PSS.

I will note, however, that authors tend to chose vocabulary like a palette, some more conciously than others.
For example TSA is replete with glistening phalluses, moribund races, death swirling down all over the place, orators speaking oil and so forth. 

I feel that terms such as those you noted fit pretty well with the main PoV character as type of Edwardian scientist in a dystopic Wonderland.
The Scar is a much paler beast than PSS.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2013, 10:07:43 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Lol. I will note, delavagus that you have previously used pugnacious, raising a lifetime count to two ;).

That is a very good analogy, Curethan. I would hazard that could warrant being a writing heuristic. It's something I try to avoid at all costs in my writing, having an unconscious palette - I think by analogy having a palette is unavoidable. There are just certain patterns or words that seem to jar in proximity.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2013, 10:07:48 pm »
Quote from: Soterion
Both authors imbue their works with such a sense of historical tragedy, it's incredible; the climax to Miéville's Iron Council is one of the most devastating conclusions to a series I've ever read.  I personally enjoy Miéville a bit more because I tend to think his skills are more honed than Bakker's; The Second Apocalypse series is my favorite series, but I think Bakker's non-fantasy work doesn't quite live up to Miéville's impressive range (fantasy, sci-fi, detective, etc.).

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2013, 10:07:52 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Just finished PSS. I'd have to say I loved it, in a revolting kind of way. IMO China does a spectacular job with his description. Dunno how to phrase that all literary-wanking style, but I felt like the book really came to life. Some might say too much, I say it was great. All the description and detail brought the depravity and horror of the world to life, making the scene an integral part of the story.

Where Bakker had his work done on the politicking and character's dialogues (both inner and outer), China's focus was on the descriptive details. In that respect, China did a much better job of making his landscapes, his city, real, than does Bakker. Maybe it was because I listened to this book on audio while making 8 hour car trips, but I never got bored or felt like the description where over done.


I thoroughly enjoyed PSS, and as I'm not a fan of fairy tale endings, I'm glad the author wasn't afraid to make misfortune happen upon main characters. Not all books have forums full of speculation to hash out all the intricacies of the plot, but that doesn't stop them from being great books.