For some years now, a certain author by the name of China Mieville has been revered as the best thing to come into the world of science fiction and fantasy since the likes of Isaac Asimov or Robert Jordan, seeing him as the pinnacle of what is cutting edge and brilliantly written, to the point where he can do nothing wrong, and every book he publishes is an instant success and wins plenty of awards.
I’ve tried Mieville twice, with The City and the City which I started and soon became bored with after giving it a good fifty pages; and with The Kraken, which I struggled all the way through and was disappointed by the end. Mieville just comes off as too full of himself, with his prose that often feels purple and overdone to the point of annoyance. My wife has read and tried Perdido Street Station and Un Lun Dun, and we seem to agree with the same feelings about this author. He also seems to be ripping of Neil Gaiman a little too much, who does what he does with skill and a resulting enjoyment, while the result with Mieville is something pushed too far.
I was delighted to recently discover that there are some other people who feel similar with regards to China Mieville: the guys at Penny Arcade. They recently did a comic about it, as well as an insightful and well-written post about it.
And after reading the summary for Railsea, I know I’ll be passing on it. Really, talking moles?