He purposefully avoids writing Tolkien-style fantasy, preferring to invent his own sorts of worlds and fantasy creatures. This has made him a leading figure in the New Weird movement. He used to be a huge Dungeons & Dragons fan, and occasionally references it in his works.
He has a doctorate in international law from the London School of Economics.
His works include:Fiction:
- King Rat (1998)
- The Bas-Lag Cycle
- Looking for Jake (short story collection) (2005)
- Un Lun Dun (2007)
- The City & the City (2009)
- Kraken (2010)
- Embassytown (2011)
- Railsea (2012)
- Three Moments Of An Explosion (short story collection) (2015)
- This Census Taker (2016)
- The Last Days Of New Paris (2016)
- Between Equal Rights: A Marxist Reading of International Law (doctoral thesis) (2005)
- October: The Story of the Russian Revolution (2017)
- A Spectre, Haunting: On The Communist Manifesto (2022)
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-Gray Morality: And when it's not...
- Blue-and-Orange Morality
- Creator's Oddball: He is primarily know for his fantasy works, but he also wrote October, a Narrative Nonfiction history of Red October.
- 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" and many more besides.
- Folk Horror: Some of his short stories, such as "Säcken" from Three Moments of an Explosion, fall into this genre.
- 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."
- Miéville writes in defense of purple prose:
- 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.