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China Mieville / Moorcock Socialist Reader Challenge

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  • China Mieville / Moorcock Socialist Reader Challenge

    O.k., here's a Challenge!

    Try to guess which Moorcock book or series that China Mieville lists in his 50 Fantasy & SF Books That Socialists Should Read article. If you're feeling brave, go ahead and post what you think it will be before checking out the link below. Bonus points for guessing the Phillip K Dick book or series and anything else on the list by anyone else.

    O.k., here are the answers for those who already posted their guesses...

    http://www.fantasticmetropolis.com/i/50socialist/full/

    I would not have guessed under any circumstances.
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  • #2
    Nope, I wouldn't have guessed either, so I'm glad I didn't try. Interesting choice...
    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

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    • #3
      I would have made other guesses, but I'll wait to discuss those after I see if anybody has the nerve to take a try in public... At least Michael should!
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      • #4
        Thanks for the heads up, D-A! A very interesting list. I've read quite a few, but I haven't read enough of the more recent ones.

        Mieville probably started on that series of that genre, by Mr M., first. Like I did. :)

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        • #5
          Wow. Thanks for this, Dead-Air. Very interesting list. Never would have guessed that in a million years.
          "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
          --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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          • #6
            I would have been more inclined to think of the Nomad of the Timestreams myself. Not Bastable mind you, but more the company he kept. However, I can understand the selection and how the main protagonist can be seen in the light of a socio-anarchist.
            Yuki says, "Krimson used to be known as Kommando, but he rarely uses that name anymore. Sometimes he appears as Krimson Gray as well. Do not be confused, he still loves cats and bagels."

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            • #7
              I first read that in Breaking Windows: A Fantastic Metropolis Sampler. I was a little surprised, but given the parameters of his essay, the choice makes sense. I guess maybe Pyat could be on the list, instead, or maybe Warlord of the Air. (Good rationale, Kommando!)

              The real shock would have been if Mieville had ommitted MM, Harrison, or Peake.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Doc
                I guess maybe Pyat could be on the list, instead, or maybe Warlord of the Air. (Good rationale, Kommando!)
                I was thinking of Pyat as well, but I couldn't really include it since I am still read Byzantium Endures. In Nomands, I think the Steel Tsar is what made me think most of the socio-anarchist current, especially with Makhno's role (which inspired me to go through my own family history which has had at least a couple of Ukrainian revolutionaries).
                Yuki says, "Krimson used to be known as Kommando, but he rarely uses that name anymore. Sometimes he appears as Krimson Gray as well. Do not be confused, he still loves cats and bagels."

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                • #9
                  Ok, here's a wild guess: The von Bek books. At least they bring up the importance of (a) trying to make sense of the world, (b) forming some kind of moral system based on what you've come up with and then (c) trying to live up to that moral standard. Most people who call themselves socialists have probably gone through this process.

                  As for other items on the anti-shopping list:

                  LeGuin's The Dispossessed, or is that too easy? Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, perhaps?
                  You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

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                  • #10
                    Congratulations Rymdolov for being the first to actually have the guts to take a shot at the challenge! ;)

                    And though you missed the Moorcock choice (with a very solid guess I might add) you did score a point in the General category.

                    Shame on those of you who not only forwent the challenge but couldn't resist spoilers in addition.
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                    • #11
                      I've seen this list before, so can't play. If I was recommending one of MM's books for its political insight it would be "King of the City". Interesting that "1984" is not on the list, by the way.

                      Incidentally, for those who don't know - China Mieville is a member of the Socialist Workers Party (UK version, not to be confused with the US SWP). I will try not to let put me off him...

                      (If anyone out there has ever tried to work with these people or has them in their union, they will know what I mean).
                      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                        He had some good choices there! I like his thinking.
                        I really enjoy Iain Bank and his Sci-fi. His Culture novels bring up a lot of interesting questions.
                        I'm slowly getting into his work. Very nice and different approach to Space Opera. Although the book just kind of ends on a revalation that had...little with the actual story.

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                        • #13
                          I'm in the same situation as Mikey_C: I've seen the list before, so I can't participate. (Even worse, I can probably recite the damned list. The memory's a bit too good to put on a decent impersonation of innocence.)

                          I would comment that the choices are mostly pretty obvious. The Moorcock book selected was mildly surprising, and the justification for the choice struck me as subordinating the whole to a very small feature. There's undoubtedly a few better choices.

                          As for Miأ©ville's political bent, I'm reminded that he was pursuing his doctorate at the London School of Economics. Anyone know whether he's now, officially, Doctor Miأ©ville?

                          LSN

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                          • #14
                            Ok
                            here's my shot

                            The Land Leviathan

                            I've not looked at the link or any subsequent posts which might give a clue

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                            • #15
                              Good try Steel Tsar! I would have probably guessed that series myself had someone put me on the spot like I did the rest. I just finally got my used Amazon copy of the book you are named after a few minutes ago too!
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