Friday, January 30, 2009

Looking for Jake

a book of short stories by China Mieville, one of the most inventive fantasy writers I have read. Labeling what he writes as "fantasy" brings up visions of wizards and sword-fighting, which is not what Mieville writes about at all. He creates new worlds or takes small aspects of our real world and unravels a totally unique, but somehow universal, tale around new species, undiscovered laws of physics and undiscovered human talents. One story in this collection is set in New Crobuzon, the world he writes about in his three fantastic novels (Perdido Street Station, The Scar, and Iron Council), expanding on a minor character from them. I love the stories where he takes an ordinary and mundane from our world an tells of the whole other world hidden within. In one story one old window pane, bought an installed on whim, shows the narrator an entirely different scene than the original window panes, populated with scary, ghostly children. The last story tells of the creatures that live in reflections, their hatred of humans as mirrors became ubiquitous and they were forced to take our shapes and mimic our actions, and war against humans as they discovered how to subvert the laws of physics and stop being reflections. This collection is a good introduction to Mieville's talented world building.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Dutchess and the Duke

Monday, January 26, 2009

Janelle Monae

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