China Miéville in the NYT

In an interview in Sunday’s NYT, Sarah Lyall says China Miéville’s science fiction “stands out from the crowd for the quality, mischievousness and erudition of his writing.”

Other critics agree; he is the only author to win the Arthur C. Clarke Award three times. Last year’s City and the City was on several best books lists (a lofty #8 on Amazon’s Top 100 Editor’s Picks, as well as appearing on the L.A. Times — Fiction Favorites and PW Best Books — Adult).

A Socialist who ran for Parliament in 2001, he was dubbed “the sexiest man in British politics” by the Evening Standard.

His new book  is reviewed in the Seattle Times; “Kraken proves once again that Miéville’s reputation as the author of books readers obsess over is well and truly deserved.”

Prepub reviews were not so positive; most were variations on PW‘s assessment,  “Even Miéville’s eloquent prose can’t conceal the meandering, bewildering plot, but his fans will happily swap linearity for this dizzying whirl of outrageous details and fantastic characters.” Many libraries are showing heaving holds where ordering was light.

Where did the author get the name “China”? According to the NYT, it’s Cockney rhyming slang for “mate.” In an earlier interview, Miéville elaborated, saying his parents were hippies who searched the dictionary to find a beautiful name for him. The nearly named him “Banyan,”

“…but flipped a few pages on and reached “China,” thankfully. The other reason they liked it is that “china” is Cockney rhyming slang for “mate.” People say “my old china,” meaning “my old mate,” because “china plate” rhymes with “mate.”

China Mieville
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Del Rey – (2010-06-29)
ISBN / EAN: 034549749X / 9780345497499

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