Here comes Embassytown by China Mieville.
China has been one of my favorite authors of the last decade. He knocked my socks off with Perdido Street Station and hasn’t written a bad book since, his use of language and the weird only eclipsed by his ability as a storyteller. Having met him several times since, he’s as good as his work, super intelligent, witty, and caring.
It is not a surprise he has grown in popularity during these last ten years; it is a growing readership the author wholly deserves.
Embassytown is easily in my top three novels of 2011. The beginning pages open upon a world as alien as the language used to describe it. Once I had the chance to settle into that world, I loved every moment of the book. The story of Avice and the creation of her simile asks a lot of questions about language as an entity and how it can be used. She is not special in any way and yet is, and it is this dichotomy that drives her story into alien places people would rather not go. The book is an immediate award contender this season and I’m sure I’m not the only one to think that.
If you have not read it, here is a bit more about Embassytown:
In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak. Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language. When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties: to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak—but which speaks through her, whether she likes it or not.
Embassytown will be published in trade paperback tomorrow. I’m excited for those people who have been waiting for the paperback. And don’t believe how good the book is? Here is a list of Reviews, Interviews, and Videos concerning the wonder that is Embassytown:
- Review: NY Times
- Review by Ursula K. Le Guin: The Guardian
- Book Club Read: Forbes
- Review by Jeff VanderMeer: Barnes & Noble
- Review: L.A. Times
- Video: China Talks About the Book
- Review: The Millions
- Review: Los Angeles Review of Books
- Interview: China Talks about Alien Language
- Review: CHUD
- Review: Locus Mag
- Review: Entertainment Weekly
Ursula K. Le Guin wrote, “Science fiction, like all fiction, is a way of talking about who we are.” She is right. And Embassytown does just that; it opens up a dialogue about how we approach language and how we approach ourselves in a world that is solely dependent on communication and yet does not communicate very well.
To read an excerpt from Embassytown, click HERE!
Embassytown by China Mieville hits stores in trade paperback tomorrow!