EMBASSYTOWN by China Miéville

embassytownA science fiction book published in 2011, and guess what…. it is not already outdated!   Sci fi writers always face the danger that Real Life will catch up with their imaginations before the book is even distributed.

This was a great story, about….. it was about….. Um, about …..

If there ever is a book that will stop me from writing up the books I read on the blog, it would be this one.  It is about another planet,  whose original life forms on it when the humans arrived to colonize it, are the Ariekei, beings that look somewhat like very large insects, and who speak a language that was not understandable or translatable for many many years, until finally it was discovered that they only spoke in reality…. not in similes or metaphors or the past or the future.  They could not lie because they had no concept of what not speaking the truth was.

The humans inhabiting the planet built a city outside the main city of the Ariekei, in which they used their technology to produce breathable air.  They created altered pairs of humans called Ambassadors who are able to speak with the Ariekei.

The protagonist is a young woman who becomes one who travels all over the universe, and eventually comes back to her home planet and gets involved in a war between the Ariekei and the humans, with the humans trying to teach the Ariekei how to think differently in order to speak the humans’ language, Anglo-Ubiq.    It is really about taking over an established and functioning culture that humans consider less than their own, and rejoicing when they succeed in changing the fundamental tenets, the core of that society.

Wonderful world building, rather a complicated story, lots of interesting characters.  The book is much more involved that I want to get into.  Have you ever had that happen to you?  You read a great book, and then when you are finished, you don’t want to talk about it.  You want to keep the experience all to yourself.

This was one of those.  Or maybe it is just me getting lazy.  Yeah.  Could be that.



3 comments on “EMBASSYTOWN by China Miéville

  1. I feel that way if I’ve connected to the story or a character in a way far too deep to go searching for the reason.

  2. […] kind of books.  I like things a little clearer, and a more linear plotline.  I really liked his Embassytown,  which was a more straightforward story.  Experimental literature is not really my thang.  I […]

  3. […] himself:  an author of weird fantasy.  He is also a damn competent sci fi author, (see Embassytown here,)  and a workman of the  odd genre tale (see The Census-Taker  here.)  In his New Crobuzon […]

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