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Remember the New Weird? This month's issue of The Third Alternative comes with a tub-thumping guest editorial by China Mieville:
Something is happening in the literature of the fantastic. A slippage. A freeing-up. The quality is astounding. Notions are sputtering and bleeding across internal and external boundaries. Particularly in Britain, where we are being reviewed in the papers, of all things, and selling copies, and being read and riffed off by yer actual proper literary writers. We are writing books which cheerfully ignore the boundaries between SF, fantasy and horror. Justina Robson, M. John Harrison, Steve Cockayne, Al Reynolds, Steph Swainston and too many others to mention, despite all our differences, share something. And our furniture has invaded their headspace. From outside the field, writers like Toby Litt and David Mitchell use the trappings of SF with a respect and facility that has long been missing in the clodhopping condescension of the literati.

The longer this goes on, the less clearly I understand it. I can see that there's something going on within fantasy that simply amounts to the fact that there's good fantasy being written, not just sword and sorcery, and lots of it. I can't see such a clear renaissance within science fiction. Light, and Natural History, and what I've read of Reynolds - I don't see these works as the sort of break from the pack that Perdido Street Station and The Light Ages and Wanderers and Islanders represent for fantasy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
maybe he just wanted to use the phrase "And our furniture has invaded their headspace" somewhere.

Maybe he just (as I do occasionally) realised that the last four books he'd read had had a similar fantastic element to them despite coming from (nominally) completely different genres.