China Miéville has an interview up on Boing Boing, that's definitely worth reading, especially if you're a bit familiar with his works, or interested in literary science fiction/fantasy. The interview is filled with great moments about stuff like contemporary literature:
Tom: You could call this a paradox of genre realism. All fiction is ultimately formulaic, so only fiction that's willing to acknowledge that it's formulaic is actually in a position to go through this into being realistic again. Often, literary fiction invites you to collude in this pretence that you don't know exactly what's going to happen, what's going on—and this can get in the way of having some genuine and unaffected emotion, and being honest about enthusiasms and limitations. Instead, both you and the author are busy playing this game that says we're all too marvellous and sophisticated to acknowledge that narrative has rules and formulae.
China: I wouldn't go for the word "formulaic," because I think that's quite harsh. But what I would say is "structured by protocols". The vast majority of fiction certainly is structured like this. Even genuinely, wildly avant garde stuff has its own protocols. So you do have to start from that position.
Or the state of geek culture and its influence on the fabric of the mainstream:
Tom: Today, of course, you go online, and you can see that the Wikipedia entries for something like Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes are higher quality, better-referenced, longer and better-researched than many entries about the Second World War. You have this strange inversion in collective belief and emphasis, which ends up generating a lot more material a lot more confidently around the small stuff than the big stuff.
China: This is one of the bad things about the geekocratic moment. Even speaking as someone who loves geek culture at its best, nevertheless I think the sense of priorities is often skewed to the point of being demented.
And, just brilliant pieces of life advice:
The bet, the wager, is that it is a lesser sin to have failures in the pursuit of an aspiration than to downgrade the aspiration and have fewer failures.