Wednesday, 25 May 2011

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Embassytown - China Mieville

Release Date: 28/04/11


Embassytown: a city of contradictions on the outskirts of the universe.

Avice is an immerser, a traveller on the immer, the sea of space and time below the everyday, now returned to her birth planet. Here on Arieka, humans are not the only intelligent life, and Avice has a rare bond with the natives, the enigmatic Hosts - who cannot lie.

Only a tiny cadre of unique human Ambassadors can speak Language, and connect the two communities. But an unimaginable new arrival has come to Embassytown. And when this Ambassador speaks, everything changes.

Catastrophe looms. Avice knows the only hope is for her to speak directly to the alien Hosts.

And that is impossible.


China to be honest is the author that in the future will be looked back on and whispered in the same tones as Arthur C Clarke and Ursula K Le Guin. Whilst that may seem like blasphemy to many readers you have to admit that with a growing number of awards to his name and a talent for turning up quality reads time and again that he is definitely an author to not only watch but to set your standards by. Whilst previous outings have been more firmly in the Urban Fantasy side of the genre this one makes no bones about being pure Science Fiction which when added to the typical China nuances makes this hybrid title something new to many people.

Add to this the authors own wonderful turn of phrase, an authoritative story telling style that shows rather than tells and a whole new lexicon added to help give the world not only a semblance of balance but of language development and its something that really has to be read to be believed. Finally mix in an alien race, a wonderfully creative arc and a good dollop of literal misinterpretations which will confuse the reader as much as the characters and it’s a title that was hard to put down which I think will make this not only a serious contender for most awards but perhaps the one that’s going to take most by the hand and run like hell.

1 comment:

Nishi Serrano said...

Mm ... Mieville is in my top 5 favorites! This book will find a cozy home on my shelf. Great review!
Cheers ...
Author Nishi Serrano