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Embassytown by China Mieville
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Embassytown (original 2011; edition 2011)

by China Mieville

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1,8201403,842 (3.89)256
Member:tcgardner
Title:Embassytown
Authors:China Mieville
Info:Del Rey (2011), Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Embassytown by China Miéville (2011)

  1. 40
    Foreigner by C. J. Cherryh (PhoenixFalls)
    PhoenixFalls: Cherryh excels in writing really alien aliens and always focuses on the nuances of languages.
  2. 30
    Anathem by Neal Stephenson (bertilak)
    bertilak: Miéville has written a philosophical science fiction novel that rocks and is not bloated: Stephenson please take note.
  3. 52
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (BeckyJG)
  4. 20
    Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany (kevinashley)
    kevinashley: Both these books take the relationship between language and thought as central themes. They explore it in different ways but with a similar thoroughness; both really explore just how 'other' alien can be.
  5. 20
    The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell (ansate)
  6. 64
    Hyperion by Dan Simmons (BeckyJG)
  7. 10
    The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (KatyBee)
  8. 10
    The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (santhony)
    santhony: Science fiction as seen through the prism of anthropology and sociology.
  9. 00
    The Dosadi Experiment by Frank Herbert (santhony)
    santhony: Philosophical Science Fiction
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» See also 256 mentions

English (141)  German (1)  All languages (142)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
I wish the characters were more developed. Avice didn't seem to have a personality until the end, I was so happy when she got all feisty with Scile. No matter how fascinating the plot, I have to care about the characters and connect with them emotionally - at least a little bit - in order to care what happens. Too coldly cerebral. ( )
  annadanz | Jul 5, 2015 |
Amazing book! ( )
  CathyInCanada | Jun 25, 2015 |
Amazing book! ( )
  CathyInCanada | Jun 25, 2015 |
Embassytown is on a backwater planet, utterly devoid of strategic significance except for the strange aliens that call the place home. Their language is so obscure that only humans who have been genetically altered and trained for a lifetime can converse in it.

Avice has returned to Embassytown after spending her life traveling in deep space. Her arrival coincides with the unraveling of the tenuous relations between the alien Hosts and the Terran settlers. Now Avice must use all her wits to stop all out war from tearing her hometown apart. ( )
  Juva | Jun 21, 2015 |
So far, the best China Miéville book I have ever read. ( )
  FourOfFiveWits | Feb 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
Readers who want to delve no further than turning the pages will come away satisfied with "Embassytown," because Mieville's fertile imagination has created a fascinating alien species to go along with plenty of familiar human drama.
 
It is a miracle of a novel, one where Big Ideas cohabitate with Monsters, and neither is lessened by what academic propriety insists must be capital letters.
 
Miéville has a muscular intellect, successfully building a science fictional world around semiotics. For some readers, that will be enough.
 
I don’t hold this will to abstraction against him. Genre writers, and for that matter writers of the well-wrought middlebrow novel, mostly tell the usual stories in the usual way: narrative and character are advanced through conventional action. Miéville is up to something else.
 
In this sense, Embassytown plays out as a novel of metropolitan-colonial conflict, holding out the hope that language might not serve only as a tool of oppression, but be reclaimed as the instrument that makes resistance possible.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miéville, Chinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Uchida, MasayukiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"The word must communicate something (other than itself)."
Walter Benjamin, "On Language as such and on the Language of Man"
Dedication
To Jesse
First words
The children of the embassy all saw the boat land.
Quotations
"I don't want to be a simile anymore," I said. "I want to be a metaphor."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
On a distant planet in the far future, humans and an alien race coexist in a nonviolent but nonetheless uncomfortable arrangement. In general, they don't hurt one another, but they're not necessarily happy to share the city together. It is a marriage of convenience, arranged for economic reasons. But when a new group of humans arrives on the planet, one current citizen—a young woman—begins to realize that things are about to change for the worse.
Haiku summary
The Hosts - who are they?
Avise the simile, all
Ends in social change.
(mclewe)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist on a distant planet populated by the Ariekei, sentient beings famed for their unique language, returns to Embassytown after many years of deep space exploration to find she has become a living simile in the Ariekei language even though she cannot speak it, and she is torn by competing loyalties when hostilities erupt between humans and aliens.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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