China Miéville: The City & The City

Video about China’s new novel — his unique take on the police procedural:

This is a book he wrote in his spare time, in addition to his more-expected genre work, as a kind of a gift to his terminally ill mother, who loved police procedurals. As his editor notes over at the Random House blog:

“When China Miéville delivered the manuscript to his newest novel, entitled The City & The City, I was much more than a little surprised. In fact, I was flabbergasted. First of all, I had no idea that he had been writing it. And secondly, he had just delivered a different manuscript—the one I had been expecting—the day before.

His reasons for doing so were simple, and they had nothing to do with proving that he was superhuman. China’s mother, who was terminally ill at the time, had always loved police procedurals—so China set out to write one as a kind of gift to her. But knowing that his reputation is as a fantasy writer, he wasn’t sure what his publishers or his audience would make of his attempt. He studied up by reading as much as he could in the mystery and thriller genre, and then he wrote the book during breaks from writing the fantasy that I was expecting from him. It’s an amazing feat by anyone’s standards.

And what’s equally amazing is the job he did. As soon as I started reading it, I knew The City & The City would be the next book we published by China. I think readers familiar with his work will be as surprised and pleased by this book as I was when I first discovered it existed and started reading it. And for those who haven’t read China, for people who wouldn’t normally gravitate toward a book with monsters in it, now they can experience the wonders of China, monster-free, and finally see why he is so beloved by so many.”

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