Review: Mieville’s Iron Council

Iron Council
China Mieville

 

This is the third book in Mieville’s works about the city of New Crobuzon, a vaguely steampunk alternative city populated by Mieville’s weird monsters and well drawn characters. Iron Council is, I think  the most overtly political of the three, including section radical union organizing, issues of race, gender and sexuality and full on goddamn social revolution.

It is pretty darn good, read, but I think the middle book in the series, The Scar, which deals with similar themes of sexuality, gender and social organization, is the best.

Mieville gets categorized as part of the “new weird” and for once, a tagline like this may be useful. This isn’t science fiction, really, and it isn’t horror or fantasy either. It is a strange world filled with monsters and very recognizable social ills. If you want politics along with your monsters, you could do much worse than reading Mieville’s New Crobuzon books.

Recommended for the enthusiast.

Review: Mieville’s The Scar

The Scar
China Mieville
I think this is my favorite of Mieville’s trilogy of novels set in the world in and surrounding New Crobuzon. I can’t say why I like this one best, I think because the monsters in Perdido Street Station were too… monstery, and the socialism in the Iron Council was too… socialist. Plus, I am a total sucker for sea stories, and this one is a sea story.

So called “weird fiction” isn’t usually my thing. I tend to like my science ficiton sciency and my fantasy… actually, with rare exceptions, I don’t really like fantasy. But I make an exception for Mieville. He is such a good writer, and the world he creates here is so captivating, that I can overlook the slightly silly nature of this genre.

Recommended for the enthusiast.