Oh, China Mieville, you so self-righteous.
self righteous and unable to keep a page up for even a decade …
Why would you link to a story from ten years ago with a broken link? Why not do us the favour of linking to the Way Back Machine or some cached/pirated copy?
Lemme go one further, in fact: fantasy/sci-fi writers who self-righteously despise escapism need to open their eyes. There is nothing wrong with escapism, just as there’s nothing wrong with transcending escapism.
Well, reading his essay I would say that he doest despises escapism, what he despises is that mainstream fantasy has relied too much in safe escapism, setting aside any challenge, any surprise.
I find his critic of mainstream fantasy quite similar to the critical response to the safe, formulaic view of modern Hollywood cinema.
Long story short: you can have escapism AND blow minds at the same time.
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