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Embassytown
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The enthralling new novel from the award-winning author of Kraken and The City & The City

About the Author

China Mieville lives and works in London. He is three-time winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award (Perdido Street Station, Iron Council and The City & The City) and has also won the British Fantasy Award twice (Perdido Street Station and The Scar). The City & The City, an existential thriller, was published in 2009 to dazzling critical acclaim and drew comparison with the works of Kafka and Orwell (The Times) and Philip K. Dick (Guardian). His most recent novel, Kraken, was published in 2010.

Reviews

Avice Benner Cho is a born exile, one of a small human colony on a world in which the locals, the Ariekei, can incorporate humans into their weirdly literal language but not speak to or understand them-except for the Ambassadors, doubled humans bred and raised into an illusion of being a single creature. Made into a living simile as a child, Avice escapes to crew an interstellar ship, only to return to indulge her linguist husband's fascination with her home world. Both become caught up in the Ariekei's evolving view of their own language and the cataclysmic changes that result. Verdict Mieville's (The City & the City) latest novel is incisive, insightful, disturbing, and occasionally even uplifting. For its portrait of aliens that are convincing yet sympathetic, it ranks up with the works of Vernor Vinge and Candas Jane Dorsey's A Paradigm of Earth; for complex cultural interaction, with Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow. Occasionally, Mieville's worldbuilding is inconsistent, as when a culture of "property-based" marital forms gives its children to be raised by "shiftparents"; Avice's central role in the aliens' mental shift verges on excessive upstaging, and overcleverness like her ABC name can puncture the reader's suspension of disbelief. Still, overall, this is one of the best sf books of this or any decade and likely to reach beyond the genre to appeal to book clubs and other literary fiction readers. [See Prepub Alert, 11/1/10.]-Meredith Schwartz, New York (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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