This is a sort of follow-up to my earlier post on China Mieville's The City and The City. I found this interview over at Socialist Worker online, which I highly recommend that you read in full, but in case you're busy or lazy, here's an excerpt:
I am trying to critically engage with a debate about the effectiveness of “world building”.
Sharing political culture is one thing, but any writer has different readerships who get different things. The trick is to have a book that has enough integrity that it works within itself.
But if you do spot a reference and you like it, great. That may be sharper for a political writer, but it is there for everyone.
The political aesthetic is complex. For instance, in a previous book, The Scar, the characters face voracious female mosquito-women. They are female simply because it’s only female mosquitos that suck blood.
I was, however, conscious of the trope of voracious/monstrous/vampiric women, so a couple of chapters later I wrote: “Some of [his] companions made nervous jokes... ‘Women,’ they said, and laughed shakily about females of all species being bloodsuckers, and so on. [He] tried, for the sake of conviviality, but he could not bring himself to laugh at their idiocies.”
What an awesome dude. Plan on seeing my interpretation of the novel soon after I finish it. You'd better all buy a copy too. I'm doing my part to make sure the world knows how brilliant Mieville truly is.