From Above the Convenience Store, this sounds fascinating:
I read an advanced copy of The City and The City by China Miéville and was quite impressed. This is a book that will generate a lot of talk in the coming months. The book reads like a fantasy but most assuredly is not. Miéville posits two fictional European cities that occupy the exact same geography–the exact same spot on the globe. The only thing that keeps the cities separate is the mental effort of citizens to recognize only elements of their respective cities–their fashions, buildings, foods, etc.–even if they are standing next to a citizen from the other city (whom they must “unsee”). Miéville uses so many recognizable fantasy tropes (words like alterity [my guess is that 'alterity' was not a word that began in fantasy! - Eric] and breach and cross-hatching and unsee) that you aren’t sure what he is doing until well into the story (that is if you haven’t been warned by someone who’s read it already!). The book is very good but I suspect some will wonder why Miéville created such an outlandish scenario and yet refused to make it fantasy. I think the book is a success however and that Miéville has done something unique and relevant.
I’ve been slowly working my way through Miéville’s Perdido Street Station for some time now, reading it slowly here and there since I arrived in Nottingham. I picked it up like six years ago at San Diego’s awesome Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, where I’ve–geek-out time–met Bruce Campbell and Wil Wheaton at their respective booksignings. It would be weird to say that Miéville’s writing is ‘haunting’; at least in Perdido Street Station, it’s more like you can smell the ichor of his prose–something every Lovecraft enthusiast should admire. [Readers of Collapse may recognize Miéville from issue IV on 'concept horror' (none of which I've read just yet...it will have to wait till the summer)].
In any case, based on John‘s brief take, Miéville’s upcoming book sounds like something I definitely want to read. To perhaps state something obvious, based on John’s description, the world that Miéville has set up sounds like a manichean fundamentalist version of Augustine’s two cities. That’s obviously a bit crude, and I haven’t read it, but I really like what I’ve read of Miéville’s work thus far.
Lastly, to further plug the Above the Convenience Store blog: if you’re into David Lynch’s work, especially Twin Peaks, then I highly recommend this blog. It’s written by one of the co-editors of the Wrapped in Plastic magazine deadicated to analyzing all things Lynch. I used to pick this magazine up at Tower Records in San Diego, but the magazine itself has now been on hiatus for a few years. So it’s good to see one of the main writers of that publication continue to ruminate on Lynchian things. These reflections on Greg Olson’s David Lynch: Beautiful Dark are a great place to start: