Tuesday, 10 May 2011

An evening with China Mieville

I, along with a room full of similarly minded folks, just spent the evening in the company of a certain China Mieville, the man behind such contemporary speculative classics as Perdido Street Station, Un Lun Dun, The City & The City and others. He’s currently touring in support of his latest novel, Embassytown, and visited the events room on the top floor of the city’s huge branch of Waterstone’s a few streets from my home. Mr Mieville gave us a short reading from the new book, followed by a fascinating Q&A session and finally a signing session.
I didn’t ask anything tonight as I was happy to just observe, but the Q&A was both entertaining and insightful, and I could have spent the whole night just listening to the man speak, he gives such great answers to audience questions. What really caught me about him was his clear and honest love for popular culture and indeed internet culture, as demonstrated by multiple references to Buffy, Transformers and Star Wars and ‘net life itself.
China is a gifted public speaker who mixes humour and wit very well into the most in-depth of answers. It was a wonderful way to spend an evening, capped by the chance to meet China personally and have a brief chat while he signed my freshly purchased copy of Embassytown. I thanked him for Un Lun Dun, which acted as something of a catalyst for me in being inspired to finally get the fiction I’ve been working on out there, and he was supportive of my efforts to find an agent. It's that and books like it which continue to drive me onwards.

Being able to listen to one of the genre’s brightest lights talk in depth about his work and his methods was massively inspirational, and far cheaper than a night at the pub! Huge thanks to Waterstone’s Nottingham for hosting such a lovely event and to China Mieville for being so open and friendly with the crowd. This was the first event of its type I’ve been to, but I’ll certainly be going to more.

Anyway, back to writing, dreaming and living.

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