Sunday, 15 May 2011

d100 FTW!

I went to see China Mieville do a reading from his new book, Embassytown, along with a Q&A session, at a local bookshop on Friday evening. And a nice and interesting guy he was too. I was particularly impressed that he openly and merrily sang the praises of roleplaying games; even though I should have been expecting this, as it is something he is wont to do, it bears repeating just how rare and precious a thing this is: a respected writer on his way to becoming a giant in the field, and a genuine crossover success, who has absolutely no shame saying he likes D&D and RuneQuest.

Anyway, I duly queued up with the herd (which also included local fantasy/horror luminary Ramsay Campbell) and got my copy of Embassytown signed. I think this just about says it all:


  1. Ha! That made me smile. He's not wrong.

    Have you read the book yet? Any good?

  2. It was a good event! A very thoughtful speaker. I'm about a third of the way through the book and enjoying it.

  3. awesome! Good point about role-playing too - I wonder if we'll see a whole slew of authors of Mieville's age who've grown up with the hobby beginning to sing its praises?

    I'm sensing a change in attitude towards Mieville on this blog. Be a shame if you come to like him more just as the quality of his work tanks. Speaking of which... how is EmbassyTown?

  4. Kelvin: No, I've still got a bit to get through with a backlog of unread books. I'll get on it once I've finished off Homicide.

    Zero_zero_one: Where does it rank amongst his others?

    Faustusnotes: I always liked his writing, just not the way he courted controversy in such a transparent way with all his anti-Tolkien posturing. He's grown up a bit now, though. You think the quality of his work is tanking? I haven't read any of his non-Bas Lag stuff so I can't really comment, but I've heard Kraken was great.

  5. @noisms

    It's pretty good so far. Very interesting ideas, difficult to say where it ranks with the others because it is so different. Am just over halfway through.

  6. I'm late back to this, noisms (real life has stolen my comment facility) but my opinion of Kraken was that it was awesome but - too long, a bit overwrought, and confused at times. The core ideas were masterful, but it took too long to deliver them all in a story that was ultimately quite weak. I really liked The City and the City but I thought UnLundun was just a poor man's Neil Gaiman (i.e. Neverwhere). And you and I have previously disagreed about the quality of Iron Council, I think.

    I agree he's grown up a bit (I think he's older than both of us though, so that's a tad condescending isn't it?) But I still think his "wen on the arse of fantasy" had to be said by someone.

    And you should read his Bas-lag stuff, it's great.

  7. At a book signing, I asked Mieville sign a copy of Perdido Street Station with his ability scores and hit points - he laughed and noted his Charisma as "Declining".