Friday, May 25, 2007

Un Lun Dun and the blog reviews

I'm now about 200 pages into China Mieville's new youth novel, Un Lun Dun (, and I'm not disappointed. For those of you waiting for the last Harry Potter book to come out, read this instead! It's darker than Rowling's books, but just as funny. And Mieville takes many more risks with the genre, and by stretching it he is advancing future work in youth fantasy.
He takes one of the oldest conventions in the genre--the child who is "chosen" and prophesied to be a hero--and turns it on its end. Imagine a Harry Potter book where, after the first 50 pages or so, Harry becomes a minor character and Ron becomes the focus of the book. Yet that's exactly what Mieville does!

He also works a bit of political discourse into the novel. Readers will recognize parallels between the war in Unlundun and the war on terror. And the discrimation faced by Hemi, a half-breed ghost, is maddening.

Great reading.

Today's three blogs were disappointing. They all had great topics, and good blog design, but only a short, initial entry. I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but at 2-3 entries per week, you should have 4-6 entries now. And I won't respond favorably to the writer dumping a ton of entries at once--that is no way to build a readership, or to use the blog as a research genre.

OK: Tom's blog is on Gasoline Futures--a very interesting topic for those of us who wonder if we will be paying $4 a gallon or more this summer. Brandon's blog is focused on what to do after college. And David's blog is devoted to the study of Agribusiness.



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