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Can't fucking stand China Mieville. I find his works pretentious, dull, and full of characters I wouldn't waste piss on if they were on fire. They're not even protagonists I love to hate; they're only hateworthy. Why am I not surprised he's got a hard on for socialism?
Posted by NateMan on February 20, 2013 at 8:51 AM · Report this
loopback 3
I imagine NateMan has a shelf full of Robert Heinlein novels.
Posted by loopback on February 20, 2013 at 9:17 AM · Report this
Good list. Glad he included the Macleod, the Banks, and the Robinson. A little heavy on the pre first world war stuff, if you ask me, but as a cat myself, I cant say enough good about the Master and Margarita, natch.
Posted by CATSPAW666 on February 20, 2013 at 9:29 AM · Report this
@1 I kind of agree with you, except in the case of The City The City. That is such a great book.
Posted by sisyphusgal on February 20, 2013 at 9:34 AM · Report this
@3: I have shelves full of hundreds of novels. The only Heinlein ones I can think that I own are Glory Road and Sixth Column. Neither one precludes the fact that Mieville is a pretentious twit incapable of writing a sympathetic character to save his fucking life.
Posted by NateMan on February 20, 2013 at 9:36 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 8
Atlas Shrugged? Ouch. Couldn't we just substitute The Fountainhead and suffer 500 fewer pages? One amphetamine-fueled turd should be as good as another.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on February 20, 2013 at 9:39 AM · Report this
yelahneb 9
Wow - exactly 50! What are the chances?
Posted by yelahneb on February 20, 2013 at 9:57 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 10
Just read The Door Into Summer by Heinlein and the Foundation series and you've got enough proto-Randian thought done by far better authors to get you by.
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM · Report this
Julie in Eugene 11
Hmm. I just read Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, and I probably would've put that on the list.
Posted by Julie in Eugene on February 20, 2013 at 11:23 AM · Report this
The fact that Mieville thinks Master and Margarita "got past the censors" reveals that he is a complete idiot. Like, total fucking moron.
Posted by minderbender on February 20, 2013 at 11:37 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 13
Most of the fantasy and sci-fi novels I enjoy reading are the ones opposite my own beliefs (they're supposed to be fantasy and fiction, after all).

So, The Fountainhead is up there for me, but Atlas Shrugged was way too long and, really, if you've read one Ayn Rand novel, you've read them all. Plenty of Heinlein novels are on my list (e.g., Starship Troopers, Red Planet, and Starman Jones are some of my favorites). But I also really enjoy Vonnegut's novels; (Player Piano,and Sirens of Titan, are tops.

People who are only capable of reading novels that conform to their pre-held beliefs seem closed-minded to me. But to each his/her own.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 20, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 14
I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see the Gormenghast books on the list, since Mieville and Peake share a love of the grotesque, but it's only in the third book where one encounters meaty politics. Mieville's wrong, it is a disappointment. You can easily tell which parts Peake had finished and where it was getting filled in by the editors. It's still interesting but after the minute intensity and polish of the first too books it was a real let down.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on February 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
DeaconBlues 15
his comment about "making it past the censors" is pretty silly

the USSR didn't really have a crackdown on expression until after WWII

(with the exception of Trotskyist publications)
Posted by DeaconBlues on February 20, 2013 at 3:09 PM · Report this
DeaconBlues 16
also, reminder that Heinlein wrote fascist stuff as thought experimentation

you can't seriously think he was a fascist after reading Stranger in a Strange Land

his hero starts a free-love hippie commune, for fuck's sake
Posted by DeaconBlues on February 20, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 17
@16- A free loving hippie commune...with a leader who erases people from existence if he thinks they can't fit in.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on February 20, 2013 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 18
Naw, he only erased people who were direct, immediate threats (and even that isn't completely true, at the end). M.V. Smith was pretty open and accepting of the odd types who challenged the status quo. You should re-read it. Good book. Weird, but good. I'm not even sure I grokked it completely.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 20, 2013 at 8:54 PM · Report this
I've been reading all kinds of fiction for decades, and think Mieville is wonderful. His intelligence and humor are a delight, and his philosophy in support of economic underdogs is thought provoking.
Posted by betsio on February 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 20
@18- I've read it a half dozen times, I loved it in high school. Then I thought about it more.

The idea presented in the book is that the Perfect Man can guide people to an ideal existence, and those who can't fit in will be eliminated. It's fascist hippy messianism. It beats Nazism, but it's no freedom loving democracy, it's a light-handed authoritarianism. It's just assumed that after being exposed to the Man From Mars's message, society will eventually conform.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on February 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM · Report this

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