China Miéville (pronounced mee-AY-vill) has taken the science fiction world by storm in his relatively short tenure as a published author. He is the winner of three Arthur C. Clarke awards, two British Fantasy Awards, four Locus Awards, a Hugo Award, and a World Fantasy Award - not to mention he's received numerous nominations for every major science fiction and fantasy award possible, including the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards. His first novel, King Rat, was published in 1998. That's a lot of attention in 12 years.
Though reviewers often speak of how he 'transcends the genre,' Miéville sees no shame in writing within the bounds of traditional science fiction. In a July 2010 interview in the New York Times, he stated that, "I'm not trying to distance myself from the genre I came out of." He loves science fiction for "that sense of the world blown apart, that sense of a crack in reality, that visionary sense, that ecstatic sense." Among many others, he cites H. P. Lovecraft, Frida Kahlo, Charlotte Brontë, comic books, British children's television, and Dungeons & Dragons as influences.
Born in Norwich in the East of England, Miéville grew up in London with his mother and sister, earned his B.A. in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University, and attended Harvard before receiving his PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics. In addition to his skills as an author, Miéville has stood for the House of Commons for the Socialist Alliance, publishes academic works on Marxism and international law, and is credited with all the illustrations in his YA novel, Un Lun Dun.
For a glimpse into the world of Miéville's work, you can visit his blog at chinamieville.net. In the video below, Miéville discusses his novel, Embassytown.
Interesting Link: A 2003 interview with Miéville in which, among many other things, he explains the source of his unusual first name.
This article was originally published in July 2011, and has been updated for the
January 2012 paperback release.
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