Tuesday, June 21, 2005

mundanespotting the 2005 Hugo Novel nominations (Ian McDonald)

Posted by frankh at 10:34 AM
I won't have time for quite a while to do the short form mundanespotting I set out to do, but at least I can take a dip in the pool with the 2005 Hugo nominations for novel:

-- The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks (Orbit) -- space opera
-- Iron Council by China MiƩville (Del Rey; Macmillan) -- fantasy
-- Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross (Ace) -- [hard] space opera
-- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury) -- fantasy
-- River of Gods by Ian McDonald (Simon & Schuster) -- near future mundane set in India [P.S. the story is said to have time travel; if that is indeed true I'll have to add "with extremely fantastic elements"]

Ian McDonald doesn't, um, want to join the fun of the Movement, but sorry, he's still written a book that appears quite mundane (I'll keep using the lowercase "mundane" to describe stories that seem to follow the Mundane Manifesto, even for authors who disavow...) and I'm very interested in reading it. I don't say that about a new novel very often these days. McDonald also mentions his related novella "The Little Goddess"--the cover story of the June 2005 Asimov's. I've put that at the top of my e-reading list.



Anonymous Adam Piontek said...

I am but a casual SF reader, but I've been getting excited by the dialog this whole thing is bringing out. I've been getting bored with the whole singularity fiction/wish-fulfillment fantasy stuff these days, and being a casual reader I don't have too much time to read tons of short stories and magazines and find new stuff.

My real-world-science interests these days are coalescing around ecology and green technology. Some of what we're learning about global warming/dimming, urban design and green engineering is bordering on terraforming levels these days and I find it very exciting. Where are the bio-/geo-/earthy "treehugging" sciences in SF these days?

6/21/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger taleswapper said...

Guys, River of Gods has time travel in it.

6/21/2005 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger frankh said...

Time travel, you say? You just ruined my day. I should have said "apparent mundane" or "possible mundane", which is how I normally label a story I intend to read because of mundane interest.

6/21/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Mcdonald said...

Trebt, yer a gent: I told you it was accientally mundane, but that ain't going to stop my ongoing and, I hope, fruitful dialogue. Thanks, though... Incidentally, it's not time-travel, irt's time reversal, being a time-reversed universe within the possibilities of the post-expansion multiverse.

6/21/2005 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger taleswapper said...

Of course, you're right. Not strictly speaking time travel. But close enough to take it out of mundane, I suspect.

More interestingly, at which point of AI evolution do you stop considering AIs to be mundane?

6/21/2005 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Trent said...


This isn't my post (though I usually do the posting). Sounds like you're safely non-Mundane with the multiverse, barring evidence supporting it.

But maybe you'll get excited by a future post and say, "By gar, Mundane is the movement for me this week!" And then you can recover your senses after you finish the story.

6/21/2005 02:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Mcdonald said...

so tel me exactly how the expansionist multi-universe model of cosmology isn't likely?
(he says cheekily)

6/21/2005 03:15:00 PM  
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