j's Reviews > Embassytown

Embassytown by China Miéville
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's review
Apr 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, sci-fi-fantasy, vote-getters, signed-copy, chinatown
Read from May 21 to 26, 2011 , read count: 1

BLARGH this guy. This guy needs to be stopped. He is using all the ideas. He is taking all the genres.

(I was going to delete that but it got 10 votes, so it can stay. The sentiment still rings true. Stop using up all the ideas, you limey bastard!)


INTERIOR: Parking garage. Almost every space is full. The only opening is a narrow space labeled "Compact Car." To its left sits a SHINY MOTORCYCLE.

[A BLACK LEXUS creeps into view. The driver is irritated, swinging his head back and forth in search of a parking spot. He spies the open space.]

DRIVER: Yes, finally! [sees sign] Fuuuck! [considers] Screw it.

[The driver attempts to pull into the small space. He cuts the corner to closely and bumps the motorcycle, which FALLS OVER]


[Backing quickly out of the space, he attempts to drive away, but accidentally shifts into second, stalls.]

DRIVER: Goddammit!

[Suddenly, a MENACING BALD MAN appears, slamming his fists against the driver's window.]


[Driver continues to try to get his car in gear.]

MBM: Hey arsehole! [Pounds on glass] Open this window before I break it open! Don't you know who I am? I'M CHINA FUCKING MIÉVILLE!

DRIVER: Oooooh shit. [Slowly opens window] Hey, hi, Mr. Miéville. I know what this must look like. Really, I was just backing out so I could open my door without damaging the bike. I was just looking for some paper to write a note. My insurance coverage is really...

CHINA FUCKING MIÉVILLE: The hell you were, I saw you trying to drive away. Hey, wait a tic. You look familiar. I know you! You work for my publisher! You're that audiobook guy!

DRIVER: Yes, yes sir, that's me. So you see, I certainly would never do anything to harm our working relationship. Why, I can give you cash now, how much do you...

CFM: SHUT UP! You horse's arse. You were leaving the scene! You are lucky I don't call the cops! But I'm not going to do that...

DRIVER: [relieved] Oh, thank you sir, thank you! Believe me, I would never...

CFM: I TOLD YOU TO SHUT UP!!! [clenches fists] No, I'm not going to call the cops. This is what I am going to do. [a menacing smile begins to spread across his face as he talks] I'm going to write a book. A... sci-fi book this time. And it is going to be complicated. It is going to be dense as hell, with words that are unusual and hard to pronounce. It is going to take a long time to record. And, just for you, my good friend, it is going to be all about a language that is impossible for a human to speak or understand. Oh, I'll be able to visualize it in print just fine. But I sure pity the asshole who has to record it onto an audiobook.

[CFM does a HEAD FAKE toward the driver, who flinches back]

Good on ya', mate.

[In one swift motion, CFM yanks his bike up by the handles, hops on and guns the engine. As he speeds away, tires screeching, his flips the driver the DOUBLE V SIGN because he is BRITISH]

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Reading Progress

05/21/2011 page 95
27.0% 9 comments
05/23/2011 page 165
47.0% 3 comments
03/25/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-27 of 27) (27 new)

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Jacob Next: chick lit. Sex and the City & the City!

message 2: by j (new) - rated it 4 stars

j you used that one already... ;)

still funny though.

Jacob Oh, damn. Guess I need new material. Just can't think of anything else. "China Mieville writes ___" is mostly plausible until you get to chick lit and/or romance.

message 4: by j (new) - rated it 4 stars

j yeah, that's... pretty much it. that is the only kind of fiction where you'd go "haha!" instead of "oh, i can see that."

i mean, really. i literally can't think of another one. maybe, like, a licensed property. do the bratz dolls have books?

message 5: by Flannery (new)

Flannery The Stranger is hosting a book signing/rock concert with him here at the end of May and I am going to go see if he is as attractive as he looks in pictures if you want anything signed.

message 6: by j (new) - rated it 4 stars

j Oh! I just might...

message 7: by Slap Happy (new)

Slap Happy He'd do a chick lit or romance if he thought there could be some fun in it, I am sure.

message 8: by Jacob (last edited Apr 16, 2011 03:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jacob I'm sure he would. I just can't imagine what he'd write, is all.

Joe wrote: "i mean, really. i literally can't think of another one. maybe, like, a licensed property."

Like when Matthew Stover got stuck writing Star Wars novels. Traitor was the best damn thing to ever happen to the New Jedi Order (and the EU as a whole), but still...poor guy.

Brad have you read Embassytown already, Joel?

message 10: by j (new) - rated it 4 stars

j no, sadly. i was told a friend of a friend who works at random house could get me an advance copy but they moved their offices recently and there aren't any lying around.

message 11: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad bummer. i was hoping you'd have the inside scoop.

message 12: by j (new) - rated it 4 stars

j sorry... i am still hopeful, but i think i am out of luck this time around.

message 13: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad oh well, i guess there isn't too much time left to wait. i think Elizabeth has an advance copy. let's go bug her.

message 14: by j (last edited Apr 18, 2011 08:07AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

j yeah, honestly i probably wouldn't even get to it. i have had advance copies of two new books by daniel abraham (Leviathan Wakes, The Dragon's Path) for months and now the latter has been out for weeks and i still haven't cracked either. but it is nice to know they are there.

message 15: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! Flannery wrote: "The Stranger is hosting a book signing/rock concert with him here at the end of May and I am going to go see if he is as attractive as he looks in pictures if you want anything signed."

He'll also be in Portland at the end of May, so there are 2 chances to get something signed if something happens (natural disaster, manmade disaster, rabid fan pulls a Misery).

message 16: by j (new) - rated it 4 stars

j i'm trying to figure out the best way to get copies of the new british editions to flannery before the seattle event. i wish he was coming to chicago. even though he was here a month ago for comicon. didn't seem worth a $40 ticket for the entire day to see one panel though.

Jasmine I thought you already had this and I was very very angry.

message 18: by j (new) - rated it 4 stars

j i am safe from your wrath... for now.

message 19: by Hirondelle (new)

Hirondelle Sf really needs people to take it! occupy it. use it. Right people :)

message 20: by j (new) - rated it 4 stars

j as long as he can add some monsters or sea creatures, i'm sure he's down.

message 21: by j (new) - rated it 4 stars

j we can ask ceridwen to bring it up when she is hugging him this weekend.

message 22: by j (last edited May 27, 2011 09:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

j but it will distract him as she fondles his biceps.

message 23: by Jacob (last edited May 27, 2011 05:19PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jacob Noooo, China can't write an epistolary novel! I already have a favorite epistolary novel! Recommended by China, too! Seriously, folks, you should read it. It's a damn good book.

Love the review (although I still don't believe in Michael's vision of a loud and somewhat-arrogant China Fucking Mieville), and really enjoying the book so far. But I'm a bit annoyed with the way he jumps between the Formerly/Latterday stories--feels like they could've been separated, kept as novellas, or something. Or is that just me?

message 24: by j (last edited May 27, 2011 04:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

j yeah, that part of the book definitely moves more slowly, though it is all essential information. it stops jumping around eventually, and he even addresses it in-text.

Angry China is a conceit, but one i say you are asking for when you are bald, tattooed and angry looking in your author photo.

Rachel Hartman Aw! Awww! No, no, there are always more ideas. They're like cockroaches, always scuttling out from under the fridge. Just wait until after dark. This place is crawling with ideas.

message 26: by Traveller (last edited Sep 14, 2013 03:28AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Traveller LOL. You might enjoy the end of my The Scar review. Check it out from the --- underneath the "Bottom Line" heading, the "extra bit of spice" section. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

..and I agree with Jacob that CM is a peach-- but that I think this is obvious, most probably, from certain aspects of my review, although I do not for one moment deny that the man can also be annoying as hell.

message 27: by Natalie (new) - added it

Natalie yessss

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