07 May, 2010

Friday Moment: Recipe for insta-crush on China Mieville

If you have a world in which Orcs are evil, and you depict them as evil, I don't know how that maps onto the question of "political correctness." However, the point is not that you're misrepresenting Orcs (if you invented this world, that's how Orcs are), but that you have replicated the logic of racism, which is that large groups of people are "defined" by an abstract supposedly essential element called "race," whatever else you were doing or intended. And that's not an innocent thing to do. Maybe you have a race of female vampires who destroy men's strength. They really do operate like that in your world. But I think you're kidding yourself if you think that that idea just appeared ex nihilo in your head and has nothing to do with the incredibly strong, and incredibly patriarchal, anxiety about the destructive power of women's sexuality in our very real world.


I've never read any of his work before, but clearly now I need to.

1 comment:

EmmaA said...

Interesting excerpt, HelenB. I popped over to the interview and rather laughed at his choice of words - using oneiric twice - and about Raymond Chandler at that.

Might have to try his sci-fi...