mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Imaginary Cities

Being half an hour early for my doctor's appt yesterday I went to the used bookstore across the street. They had a loonie bin out front-- in Canada that's 'any book for a dollar'-- and the books were all ancient and sometimes classic SF. Passed on Ethan of Athos and a couple of Moorcocks (all Moorcock is the same Moorcock, in essence) but gladly copped M. John Harrison's The Floating Gods (In Viriconium by any other name) which I was pretty sure I didn't have. Bopped back to my doctor's office to discover that I was not, in fact, fifteen minutes early, but forty-five minutes late. Must speak to her about this disturbing mental fuzz at next week's rebooked appointment.

Started the Harrison on the trip back and concluded that Viriconium is in fact magic realism. Call the city Buenos Aires and write it in Spanish and you couldn't tell it from Garcia Marquez. Then went to see which Viriconia I do have, and discovered a long-standing and hitherto unresolved mental confusion, in which I thought Harrison was Vance, Viriconium was the Dying Earth, and both were somehow related to John Brunner's Traveler in Black. Now I know they're not. Go me.

This is fine, because I'm finding Un Lun Dun heavy going. It would make a good Miyazaki film; it probably should *be* an anime film and not a book, because (for once, for me) there's just too many damn visuals floating over the city, and meanwhile I'm waiting for the story to start. Maybe should be reading The Borribles instead. Or the others in my stack of Horrible London books-- Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, Jack Maggs, An Instance of the Fingerpost, Chatterton. Why is there so much Horrible London out there, and so little Amazing London like Aaronovitch's?
Tags: reading, reading_12

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