Review Blog

Aug 28 2015

Three moments of an explosion. Stories by China Mieville

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Macmillan, 2015. ISBN 9780230770188
(Ages:15 +) Obviously well known for his forays into speculative fiction, China Mieville has written a fascinating and challenging collection of short stories, beginning with the brief and startling tale, which gives the collection its title. Each story entices the reader to explore and deliberate but never to assume. He plays with ideas, indeed teases the reader on a number of levels - things are just not what they seem. With speculation, there is theorising, and the revelation of abstract ideas. This collection of stories is thought provoking and interesting but, at the same time, perplexing and confronting. For these reasons the stories are limited in their appeal to a young audience, probably attracting those already converted to the genre. Some tales are so strange that their meaning evades. The language is amazing; descriptions are stark and observant even though the ideas testify to something strange and elusive. Polynia and Sacken are two tales which stay with me - low lying icebergs floating above London, and a lake which has taken life without mercy. Extraordinary!
Julie Wells

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