WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE
October 17, 2013 9:45 PM   Subscribe

 
No Alice Munro. Disappointed.
posted by GuyZero at 9:57 PM on October 17, 2013


That's almost as obsessive as that one about the singer and the Saran...
posted by Samizdata at 10:04 PM on October 17, 2013


Oh sure, his jacket photo looks pretty tough, but it would wet itself before the might of Shel Silverstein.
posted by Artw at 10:06 PM on October 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


China Miéville somehow stole the life I was meant to have. He'll probably write about how he did it someday much better than I ever could have.
posted by bswinburn at 10:14 PM on October 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Huh. A friend linked to this ages ago when it was new, but I didn't realise it had been more than a one off.

Anyway, the real China wouldn't have fought that security team, but through marxist analysis would show them how they participated in their own oppression, then lead the revolution.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:38 PM on October 17, 2013 [24 favorites]


I was at a hosted reading on the US release of Kraken tour and the host, the Stranger's Paul Constant, asked Miéville if he was familiar with this site. He sheepishly acknowledged and seemed interested in critiquing the site's superprotagonist concept, but Constant kept things moving. I think he was also asked about a fan page proclaiming him as the world's foremost living authority on cephalopods.

This is according to my failing powers of remembrance, so some details could be widely variant.
posted by mwhybark at 11:35 PM on October 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love China Mieville, but yeah.
posted by Jimbob at 11:44 PM on October 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


China Tom Miéville = Leéch vomit in mail.

Says it all, really.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:48 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know who you really wouldn't fuck with? James Ellroy.
posted by Artw at 11:55 PM on October 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Robert E. Howard laughs at your Miéville. He laughs from his mountain.
posted by RogerB at 12:36 AM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Writers, well they can talk a good fight but when it comes down to it they mainly drop like a sack of spuds.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:58 AM on October 18, 2013


Writers, well they can talk a good fight but when it comes down to it they mainly drop like a sack of spuds.

tsk tsk - they mostly drop like a sack of spuds.
posted by Mario Speedwagon at 1:15 AM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is a salient reminder that to many people, authors (or at least their public images) are as fictional as the characters they write.
posted by jscalzi at 1:30 AM on October 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


I literally just finished reading Perdido Street Station for the first time a few minutes ago, first of the good doctor's works I've read, and came to MeFi to see this as the top post.

Perhaps Miéville's defeat of Chuck Norris is a confirmation of Chuck's fortelling of the 1000 years of darkness that has begun following the re-election of President Obama.
posted by XMLicious at 1:30 AM on October 18, 2013


tsk tsk - they mostly drop like a sack of spuds.
Outside!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:48 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is simultaneously one of the oddest, yet most intricate pieces of Real Person (or Real Persona) fanfic that I have ever heard of.

Strange yet alluring.

great post!
posted by Faintdreams at 2:33 AM on October 18, 2013


This is a salient reminder that to many people, authors (or at least their public images) are as fictional as the characters they write.

...typed jscalzi from his orbital platform on Phobos. His robot redshirt army was finally nearing completion and then the world would tremble in reminder of writers being dude(tte)s in pjs with mugs of coffee. Tremble!

Since pjs aren't that warm.
posted by ersatz at 4:11 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is a salient reminder that to many people, authors (or at least their public images) are as fictional as the characters they write.

But note that jscalzi

1) Actually has a Mallet of Loving Correction. I'm not sure about the warming chamber though.

2) Has actually made, and consumed, Schadenfreude Pie.

3) Has consumed, but not actually made, churro waffles.

4) Looks better than me in fall colors.

Truth, sometimes, is stranger than fiction.
posted by eriko at 4:33 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


jscalzi's point is dead-on. A good author makes a sketch and leads you somewhere, but leaves quite a bit up to your own imagination - both in their writing and in their persona.

Personally, I'd rather leave both as much up to my imagination as possible, but maybe that's how you end up with the plot of Misery. Watch your back, jscalzi.

I still think I'd have enjoyed having a pint with Iain Banks, but alas that pint can never be.
posted by grajohnt at 4:35 AM on October 18, 2013


I always chuckled at Terry Goodkind's jacket photo with the accompanying bio, which was simply: "Terry Goodkind lives in the southwestern United States."
posted by odinsdream at 5:08 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I somehow vaguely imagined jscalzi to be an asshole until I met him and he turned out to be pretty much the most ununlikeable guy around. I imagine it's a similar thing with Mieville. I have found most of his books a little to Mieville to read (though I loved Kraken), and something about his press persona grates me, but I absolutely expect that he is a prince among men in person.
posted by 256 at 5:38 AM on October 18, 2013


See also:
In a fight between you and William Gibson, who would win?
(Slashdot interview with Neal Stephenson)
Who would win? (Score:5, Funny) - by Call Me Black Cloud


Neal Stephenson:

You don't have to settle for mere idle speculation. Let me tell you how it came out on the three occasions when we did fight.

The first time was a year or two after SNOW CRASH came out. I was doing a reading/signing at White Dwarf Books in Vancouver. Gibson stopped by to say hello and extended his hand as if to shake. But I remembered something Bruce Sterling had told me. For, at the time, Sterling and I had formed a pact to fight Gibson. Gibson had been regrown in a vat from scraps of DNA after Sterling had crashed an LNG tanker into Gibson's Stealth pleasure barge in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. During the regeneration process, telescoping Carbonite stilettos had been incorporated into Gibson's arms. Remembering this in the nick of time, I grabbed the signing table and flipped it up between us. Of course the Carbonite stilettos pierced it as if it were cork board, but this spoiled his aim long enough for me to whip my wakizashi out from between my shoulder blades and swing at his head. He deflected the blow with a force blast that sprained my wrist. The falling table knocked over a space heater and set fire to the store. Everyone else fled. Gibson and I dueled among blazing stacks of books for a while. Slowly I gained the upper hand, for, on defense, his Praying Mantis style was no match for my Flying Cloud technique. But I lost him behind a cloud of smoke. Then I had to get out of the place. The streets were crowded with his black-suited minions and I had to turn into a swarm of locusts and fly back to Seattle.

The second time was a few years later when Gibson came through Seattle on his IDORU tour. Between doing some drive-by signings at local bookstores, he came and devastated my quarter of the city. I had been in a trance for seven days and seven nights and was unaware of these goings-on, but he came to me in a vision and taunted me, and left a message on my cellphone. That evening he was doing a reading at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus. Swathed in black, I climbed to the top of the hall, mesmerized his snipers, sliced a hole in the roof using a plasma cutter, let myself into the catwalks above the stage, and then leapt down upon him from forty feet above. But I had forgotten that he had once studied in the same monastery as I, and knew all of my techniques. He rolled away at the last moment. I struck only the lectern, smashing it to kindling. Snatching up one jagged shard of oak I adopted the Mountain Tiger position just as you would expect. He pulled off his wireless mike and began to whirl it around his head. From there, the fight proceeded along predictable lines. As a stalemate developed we began to resort more and more to the use of pure energy, modulated by Red Lotus incantations of the third Sung group, which eventually to the collapse of the building's roof and the loss of eight hundred lives. But as they were only peasants, we did not care.

Our third fight occurred at the Peace Arch on the U.S./Canadian border between Seattle and Vancouver. Gibson wished to retire from that sort of lifestyle that required ceaseless training in the martial arts and sleeping outdoors under the rain. He only wished to sit in his garden brushing out novels on rice paper. But honor dictated that he must fight me for a third time first. Of course the Peace Arch did not remain standing for long. Before long my sword arm hung useless at my side. One of my psi blasts kicked up a large divot of earth and rubble, uncovering a silver metallic object, hitherto buried, that seemed to have been crafted by an industrial designer. It was a nitro-veridian device that had been buried there by Sterling. We were able to fly clear before it detonated. The blast caused a seismic rupture that split off a sizable part of Canada and created what we now know as Vancouver Island. This was the last fight between me and Gibson. For both of us, by studying certain ancient prophecies, had independently arrived at the same conclusion, namely that Sterling's professed interest in industrial design was a mere cover for work in superweapons. Gibson and I formed a pact to fight Sterling. So far we have made little headway in seeking out his lair of brushed steel and white LEDs, because I had a dentist appointment and Gibson had to attend a writers' conference, but keep an eye on Slashdot for any further developments.
posted by solipse at 5:59 AM on October 18, 2013 [26 favorites]


the gibson-stephenson fight bit is vintage stephenson: spilling over with ego, but funny as hell nonetheless. card basically wishes he were stephenson. i wish i were china. he has the life I imagined for myself as a teenager. worse yet, he seems to deserve it.
posted by lodurr at 6:18 AM on October 18, 2013


He sheepishly acknowledged and seemed interested in critiquing the site's superprotagonist concept, but Constant kept things moving

See, this is the kind of thing I love about him. He seems like such a relentless geek. Not 'it's flattering' or 'it's creepy', but 'I'd like to critique the superprotagonist concept.'

Also: It would have been priceless to see him sit down for an hour opposite Bill Buckley.
posted by lodurr at 6:22 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love China Mieville, but yeah.

Oh oh oh how I wish this site was still posting so I could read about CM dismantling those two pasty reactionary numbskulls.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:49 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


The emo bodybuilder glowering author photos on Mieville's books kept me away from them for a long time (shallow of me, yes, I know), but the novels I have since then actually bought and read I have really liked (particularly Embassytown and The City and The City).

Also, speaking as someone who has co-habited with two humanities PhDs over the decades, and is friends with countless others who've gotten their doctorates, you generally don't explicitly call a PhD "Dr. So-and-so" except maybe at some formal occasion like an awards banquet or other formal professional setting. Those who insist on being called Dr. as a matter of course are frequently insecure posers. (College professors with PhDs are generally "Professor," not "Doctor.") And anyone who signs correspondence with "Dr. So-and-so, Ph.D." is definitely not to be trusted.

As my partner jokes when someone calls her "Dr.": "Don't call me Doctor; I'm not the kind who can actually help anyone."
posted by aught at 7:47 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Try getting your General Practitioner to help you parse the shifting cultural understanding of True Love via Classical French Drama though, they will get unreasonably testy after the 4th or 5th late night phone call. Uhh YES I obviously DO understand the meaning of "Emergency" do YOU?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:18 AM on October 18, 2013


Y'all are giving me so much material for future r/LadyBoners China Miéville posts. Mock the bodybuilder arms if you must, but until China Miéville existed I never knew I needed an elaborate fantasy in which China Miéville and I eat hazelnut truffles and discuss the failures of the patriarchal capitalist state, and then he reads me the survival horror bits of Embassytown in his English accent while I lick his shoulders in a non-objectifying way.

Sadly I still believe J.K. Rowling could beat up China Miéville, since in her alternate persona as Roger Galbraith she was a MI5 detective superspy or something similar.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:41 AM on October 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


and then he reads me the survival horror bits of Embassytown in his English accent while I lick his shoulders in a non-objectifying way.

It's suddenly a bit warm in here.
posted by odinsdream at 9:07 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll take Hemingway against anyone.
posted by Shoggoth at 9:28 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't make Byron come out here and sic his bear on you
posted by nicebookrack at 9:51 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess it makes sense, all the China Miéville books I ever attempted completely defeated my will to finish them.
posted by nanojath at 10:43 AM on October 18, 2013


I'd bet on Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel over all famous authors of all time, certainly any of these modern wimps.
posted by demonic winged headgear at 12:42 PM on October 18, 2013


Anyone who has a problem with Mieville should read Un Lun Dun and then come to talk to me and then if they are still cranky I will fight them.

I will not actually fight them. I will sigh in deep disappointment at their lack of capacity to feel delight.
posted by maryr at 2:17 PM on October 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


This site is incomplete. It is missing the tale of the time China Miéville fell through a time-hole to meet legendary fantasy artist and badass Frank Frazetta in the prime of his life; their fight was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Boris Vallejo and twelve mirror-finished naked bodybuilder Valkyries with razor wings and Boris' face.

After the ensuing battle, Miéville and Frazetta swore a mighty oath of eternal brotherhood.
posted by egypturnash at 2:37 PM on October 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


I would read that epic every Christmas, Egypturnash.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:14 PM on October 18, 2013


My vague, unsupported recall is that Frazetta might have had some reservations about Miéville's politics, but, you know, I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about.
posted by mwhybark at 9:49 PM on October 18, 2013


« Older Yooooouuuu, yoouuu can dooo anyyyything, you want...   |   "I have been taught accommodation." Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments