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June, 2016: Fantasy > Embassytown-Miéville-4 stars

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message 1: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 696 comments Embassytown. The author calls his stuff, weird fiction. I agree. This is a story of alien contact and war. Avice Benner Cho, is the main character. She is a human colonist on the a distant planet of the Ariekei who has just returned from the "Out". The Ariekei, referred to as Hosts because the humans can only live there because of the good graces of the Host. The Host do not communicate like humans, in fact, they can't communicate with humans. A genetically engineered doppel called Ambassadors are who communicate with Ariekei. Avice does not speak Ariekei but she has been a a simile in their language since her childhood. The rest of the story involves politics and war. Ez/Ra comes to the planet but they are not like any previous Ambassadors and things go terribly wrong. The humans are trapped with no way of getting off the planet and it is the end of the world for all. Avice is an Immerser. A person who moves through the distances by sailing through the "Immer" a universe with differing concepts of time and space.

Miéville had the idea for the Ariekei at age 11. He published this in 2011. It is a difficult world to get your mind around. Lots of made up words, at least I am pretty sure they are made up. Lots of the world is made of biotech things (mostly living organisms) and the whole planet sounds rather ugly and gross. I felt like the sentence structure was awkward and way too many commas. The work is about aliens but more so about language. I gave it 4 stars. It was a bit hard to get going in the book but after awhile the story pulled me along and the characters are great. The author is truly creative. So 4 stars.


message 2: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments Kristel wrote: "Embassytown. The author calls his stuff, weird fiction. I agree. This is a story of alien contact and war. Avice Benner Cho, is the main character. She is a human colonist on the a d..."

I have read 2 China Mieville and find him extremely creative. I've listened to both of them and find that helps me become immersed in his world.


message 3: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 696 comments Denizen wrote: "Kristel wrote: "Embassytown. The author calls his stuff, weird fiction. I agree. This is a story of alien contact and war. Avice Benner Cho, is the main character. She is a human col..."
I would like to try one of his books in audio format. Did he read his own, or were they read by someone else?


message 4: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments Kristel wrote: "I would like to try one of his books in audio format. Did he read his own, or were they read by someone else? ."

Railsea was read by Jonathan Cowley and The City & the City by John Lee.

I was feeling very lost at the start of Railsea so checked out a hard copy from the library, looked at it, and went back to the audio. The dialogue is in a futuristic English. The audio helped establish the rhythm of the language and after a bit I fell into the flow of it with no trouble.


message 5: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 696 comments I do think audio helps with those strange dialect type books but also nice to have the written form to double check with when getting used to them. I want to do The City & the City someday and also really want to do Perdido Street.


message 6: by Michael (new)

Michael (mike999) | 569 comments Bravo for diving into such a challenging book and coming back from it with some rewards. For someone with such a track record in classics, that takes some gumption. I was always a sci fi fan, and so the focus with this one communication with aliens was an easier path to my heart than a lot of his wild or weird fantasy rides. There is also meat for those interested in philosophy and linguistics. Good luck with further readings from his work. Certainly a master and diverse in his efforts, but the discomfort and edging toward horror in most makes the reading a serious quest. He misses the fun factor of other writers, and his attempt at satirical humor with The Kraken fell flat for me.


message 7: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 696 comments While reading this, I kept thinking that there is some statement here about religion but I never went beyond thinking there might be. I never think of myself as a reader of classics. I think of myself as eclectic. I think I might just be a listoholic and therefore if there is a list of books out there then I have to read them. I am working on the NPR-100 SciFi, Fantasy books (this isn't on it) but I wanted a fiction book that would fit a DeweyCat Challenge from LT. I am trying to read one nonfiction and one fiction for each Dewey Library system. June was language and Embassytown was perfect.


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