I think Susanna Clarke did this exceptionally well. Her magic was mystical and strange but never tipped into deus ex machina. Without the mystical, magic falls flat for me in a lot of ways. Robert Jordan is a good example of this. Often his magic felt uninteresting, like building a house, whereas J.R.R. Tolkien's or… » 10/21/14 12:25am Tuesday 12:25am

I always find that he has some pretty interesting ideas, but that his characters are flat. It's as if he has all these concepts he wants to press in that the characters just become delivery devices for the ideas of China Meiville. My ardour for his books, that was sparked by The City & The City has cooled after… » 10/14/14 4:50pm 10/14/14 4:50pm

I'm with you. Ninety per cent of what the German big three put out just leaves me cold. They're like Camrys with pretension. Maybe if I can ever afford one, I'd be amazed at how they drive, but from the point of an outside observer, they are racing toward a vanishing point of design mediocrity. » 10/02/14 1:25pm 10/02/14 1:25pm

I love bringing up Mazda when Porsche lovers complain about mispronunciation. Cars have become so global the word Mazda, as most westerners read it, isn't even in the phonemes of the Japanese language. There's not even a real proper pronunciation for it. » 9/25/14 6:07pm 9/25/14 6:07pm

Marshall McLuhan, and Neil Postman totally changed the way I look at our media, which is pretty much everything today. And Fear and Trembling gave me a whole new, and deeper view on the faith I grew up in. » 9/24/14 10:30am 9/24/14 10:30am

I'm with you on that. I find most of his characters completely forgettable and his novels filled with interesting ideas but nothing that grabs me. The City & The City, though, I loved. » 9/15/14 5:46pm 9/15/14 5:46pm

I disagree, though I may be the only one, that chick car is necessarily a bad thing. Lots of them are just cars that focus on style rather than speed (think karmann ghia, new beetle, new mini, and new fiat 500). I think these cars offer some much-needed diversity in car line-ups. Their great sin is that when you're… » 9/05/14 7:07pm 9/05/14 7:07pm

Check out what Dave Coleman is doing with a Miata: http://www.motoiq.com/Projects/Mazda.... It might be a little more work than what you're considering, but it's good for ideas » 8/31/14 11:14pm 8/31/14 11:14pm