Creator / China Miéville

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An English writer born in 1972. China Miéville is best known for his Fantasy work, much of which has won or been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award or the World Fantasy Award at some time or another.

He purposefully avoids writing Tolkien-esque fantasy, preferring to invent his own sorts of worlds and fantasy creatures. Miéville used to be a huge Dungeons & Dragons fan, and occasionally references it in his works.

As well as his prose work, he wrote the comic series Dial H, a Darker and Edgier reworking of the Dial H For Hero mythos belonging to DC Comics, which got cancelled after 16 issues.


His works include:


Tropes associated with China Miéville

  • Author Tract: Not egregiously so, but Iron Council could be read as a passionate espousal of his revolutionary socialist political beliefs. Overall, his work usually averts this trope, however; he himself has probably presented the best summary of how his works approach politics:
    I’m not a leftist trying to smuggle in my evil message by the nefarious means of fantasy novels. I’m a science fiction and fantasy geek. I love this stuff. And when I write my novels, I’m not writing them to make political points. I’m writing them because I passionately love monsters and the weird and horror stories and strange situations and surrealism, and what I want to do is communicate that. But, because I come at this with a political perspective, the world that I’m creating is embedded with many of the concerns that I have [...] I’m trying to say I’ve invented this world that I think is really cool and I have these really big stories to tell in it and one of the ways that I find to make that interesting is to think about it politically. If you want to do that too, that’s fantastic. But if not, isn’t this a cool monster?
  • Author Vocabulary Calendar: The Bas-Lag cycle is particularly indicted here...
  • Black and Grey Morality: And when it's not...
  • Blue and Orange Morality
  • Creator Thumbprint: Pretty much his entire oeuvre is one great big twisted love letter to the city of London.
  • Deconstructor Fleet
  • Eldritch Abomination: The creature from "Details".
  • New Weird: Possibly the most successful example of the whole genre.
  • Purple Prose: Miéville writes beautiful, if purple, prose. There's a fine line between "purple" and "exquisite." Although he has gotten less purple lately... more a pale lilac. At least he's stopped using 'ineluctable' every ten pages.
    "I think for a lot of people who don’t read pulp growing up, there’s a real surprise that the particular kind of Pulp Modernism of a certain kind of lush Purple Prose isn’t necessarily a failure or a mistake, but is part of the fabric of the story and what makes it weird. There’s a big default notion that “spare”, or “precise” prose is somehow better. I keep insisting to them that while such prose is completely legitimate, it’s in no way intrinsically more accurate, more relevant, or better than lush prose."
  • Steam Punk
  • Trailers Always Spoil: His short story collection Three Moments Of An Explosion includes scripts for three trailers to nonexistent movies. Naturally, the first one ("The Crawl") spoils some of the Reveals of the zombie movie it promotes.
  • Urban Fantasy: Even works not set on Earth are generally set in a fantasy analogue of London.

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