Short form: I really dig his writing style. He writes evocative prose that isn’t flowery or heavy.
But the man can’t devise a plot to save his fucking life.
*** SPOILER ALERT ***
So, you’re fighting an enemy that is A.) incredibly powerful up close and B.) controls your mind with his music. What’s the answer? Ear muffs and a rifle. How does this not occur to a single one of his enemies? Not one? Not even the one who actually has his eardrums blown out semi-accidentally, but instead of going “Shit, I can kick the bad guy’s ass now since I can’t hear him!” chooses to go insane for no explicable reason.
Not only that, but the bad guy has insane power through music and can control large masses of people with it. And he doesn’t even have to play the music, it can be recorded on CD and it works. Now, if YOU, humble forum poster, had this power, what would you be right now? Right, KING OF THE GODDAMNED WORLD. But the Pied Piper is instead intent on some personal vendetta instead of busily declaring himself Emperor of All That Hears.
China, dude, find a story editor. Work with someone on this shit, your style is too good to waste of disastrous jumbles of random scenes (Perdido Street Station) or interesting stories ripped to shreds due to obvious holes (King Rat).
I’m 40 pages into Perdido Street Station. It’s the first book I’ve read by him and I haven’t decided if I like it. His writing style and the world he’s created was jarring at first but I’m getting accustomed to it. I assume the plot will be picking up soon.
How does King Rat compare to Perdido (assuming you’ve read Perdido)?
You can read my comments about Perdido elsewhere in this forum (do a search for Perdido and post by BaconTastesGood).
Overall, I think King Rat is far more focused. Perdido didn’t feel like it was organized at all. Huge pieces of it just came into being for a brief moment then disappeared again, you never saw them again. So a new character is introduced, and then…you never see them again. Or characters do things with completely unclear motivations, so it’s hard to really feel they have any dimension to them.
Well, shit, look at that interview. Somehow Bas Lag (Bad Lag?) is praised as “original” when it is quite possibly the most cookie cutter steampunk setting you can imagine. Oh, with some “aliens” that are less alien psychologically than other human cultures right here.
I think he summed it up best at the end of his article: publishers won’t publish books about monsters, someone has to string them together with story. And that describes his stuff exactly.