Tag Archives: China Mieville

Embassytown by China Miéville

cover art for Embassytown by China MievilleWhat can I say about China Miéville’s Embassytown?

Miéville is not an easy author to read. His fantasy novels tend to be chock-full of really whacked-out worldbuilding, Lovecraftian monsters, and plots that don’t go the way they’re supposed to. (I’ve read several; my favourite of them is Perdido Street Station.) But with Embassytown he turns that sensibility to science fiction, and the result is something truly special.

(Note: No spoilers in the review, but there may be spoilers in comments.)

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Books: Exploring Science Fantasy

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffreyAs a reader, I’m all over the spectrum of speculative fiction. I’ve been known to enjoy everything from hard science fiction, like Peter Watts‘s Blindsight, to epic fantasy, like George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. (I’ve written a pretty big variety of stuff, too. I also read and occasionally write outside speculative fiction, but that’s beyond the scope of this post.)

One thing that has always fascinated me is the way subgenres nudge up against one another, how the lines are drawn, where they grow fuzzy. Is a zombie story science fiction or horror? What about a time travel story or a superhero story? How about things like Star Wars, whose genre classification depends on whether you prioritize scientific accuracy over the presence of spaceships? Today I’m looking at one of my favourite areas of genre-bending — science fantasy and variations thereof.

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Author Spotlight: China Mieville

Railsea by China Mieville

Mieville's next book is out May 15, 2012.

In this Author Spotlight series, I’m talking about other writers you might not be familiar with, or you may have heard of but not read. The aim is to give you enough information to decide whether you might enjoy their work.

Today’s featured author is China Miéville. He’s a British speculative fiction writer whose novel Embassytown is up for a Hugo Award this year. That’s nothing new for him — almost all his novels have been nominated for, and often won, multiple genre awards. My thoughts below the cut…

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Weekly Roundup

Congratulations, we made it to another Friday!

book news

A couple of new books I’m looking forward to:

First, there’s a new Temeraire novel out! Crucible of Gold, the seventh book in Naomi Novik’s series about the Napoleonic Wars with dragons, came out in Canada and the US this week. How did I not hear about this earlier? I’ve read five of the six books so far and am super excited to see how the series continues.

Second, on a completely different note, poet Jenna Butler recently released a new book of poetry, Wells, about her grandmother’s descent into senility.

general geekery and science

The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence continues, and SETI wants your brainpower.

What sank the Titanic? An iceberg, yes. But why was the iceberg even there? High tides, say scientists.

smart people

Author China Miéville talks intelligently about the recent controversy over Hergé and racism and Tintin in the Congo (via).

for writers (and interested third parties)

Justine Musk writes about the art of being fearless.

Melissa Crytzer Fry warns of the dangers of writing outdoors for inspiration.


That’s it for this week. Come back on Monday to talk some more about books!