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Review: Three Moments of an Explosion by China Mieville August 24, 2015

Posted by sjroby in Book reviews.
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Another Netgalley review.

China Mieville can be a challenging writer. Novels like Perdido Street Station are dense with ideas, description, and event, building new worlds over the course of long novels. The City and the City is shorter and streamlined but still bends the reader’s mind with the novel’s core conceits.

In short form, Mieville can still challenge the reader, but it’s a lot easier to work through a short story than a 500 page novel. The stories here are as strange, allusive, and elusive as you’d expect, but tend to be much more focused. Each story delivers its payload — Ballardian short story, straightforward horror story, New Weird/magical realist tale, or carefully observed look at a character in a strange situation — so you still get all the Mieville variety and complexity. You just get it in more manageable doses, with a tighter focus.

Some readers may also be pleasantly surprised by the types of stories here. A few, as mentioned above, have a distinct hint of JG Ballard about them, not something I’ve really noticed in his novels.

All in all, this is a solid collection of work from one of the writers shaping the future of speculative fiction.

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