china meiville interview

There's an interesting interview with China Mieville on bOINGbOING and while I've yet to get through one of his books (For example, I read the ending of KRAKEN early-- as I frequently do --and I just didn't feel the work was quite worth the payout for me. That book certainly has its moments though.) Even so, I find him an interesting person and writer and thinker, and his interview to be laboriously thought-provoking. Not a bad thing; I happen to be well-rested today.

Two statements relating to something that bothers me a lot in spec fic, especially science fiction, which is all the fucking detail people go to. You see it in historicals, too, where the story is more a piece of bread on which the message or the detail or the research gets to the reader. What the hell is toast without butter, right? But research and scientific detail aren't butter to me; they're like bad, fat-free margarine, the flavorless faux oily factory shit you squirt out of a bottle.

One, because when it comes to nuts and bolts, physical stuff, I don't really care about hand-wavium. This is something we deal with a lot in the fantastic. I don't really care that HG Wells gets his sphere to the moon with gravity-repellent paint, I don't give a shit. Some readers really do give a shit—like Jules Vernes did—and it spoils it for them. To me it just doesn't.

And he goes on to explain it further.

When I am reading books that have things I don't understand in them, though, sometimes that mystery is completely part of the point. It's the desideratum, you know. And that disinclination to explain can, if done well, be part of what makes a book feel fucking great for me.

I can't agree more. I don't need a lot of explanation, because I'm trusting the writer to tell me a damn good story and to make a mere suggestion of the stuff I'm supposed to come away with. A little inconsistency or lack of choreography rarely stops me.  Frankly, if a writer is doing the job of telling the story and telling it well, I don't even pay attention to that stuff.

Further, if there's stuff I don't get, it means I get to think more and insert my own self into the mix. It means the writer trusts me, and trusts not all of us get the same thing out of the same story, and all those millions of perceptions is the beauty of the fucking thing. Plus it means there's always more out there. And isn't that the great thing about life, fiction, the universe? How boring would it be if we could see every star, to the end of the universe? One of the greatest theories I ever heard was that the universe is ever-expanding. How cool is that? Even if I lived a thousand years, I'd never get to see all that is.  I find a lot of comfort in that.

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