I shouldn’t admit this, but I am always a little surprised when an author meets a due date. Being a good writer requires a lot of thinking and planning, and those acts are often indistinguishable from their unruly stepcousin procrastination. So it should be no surprise that writers are late with their work sometimes.
When China Miéville delivered the manuscript to his newest novel, entitled The City & The City, I was much more than a little surprised. In fact, I was flabbergasted. First of all, I had no idea that he had been writing it. And secondly, he had just delivered a different manuscript–the one I had been expecting–the day before.
His reasons for doing so were simple, and they had nothing to do with proving that he was superhuman. China’s mother, who was terminally ill at the time, had always loved police procedurals–so China set out to write one as a kind of gift to her. But knowing that his reputation is as a fantasy writer, he wasn’t sure what his publishers or his audience would make of his attempt. He studied up by reading as much as he could in the mystery and thriller genre, and then he wrote the book during breaks from writing the fantasy that I was expecting from him. It’s an amazing feat by anyone’s standards.
And what’s equally amazing is the job he did. As soon as I started reading it, I knew The City & The City would be the next book we published by China. I think readers familiar with his work will be as surprised and pleased by this book as I was when I first discovered it existed and started reading it. And for those who haven’t read China, for people who wouldn’t normally gravitate toward a book with monsters in it, now they can experience the wonders of China, monster-free, and finally see why he is so beloved by so many.
Want to pre-order a copy of The City & The City? There are three easy ways to do so.
1. Pre-order a copy directly through the publisher by clicking here
2. By visiting any of your favorite online retailers
3. Or by swinging by your local bookshop and requesting a copy.