Monday, May. 18, 2009

China Mieville's The City and the City

Available May 26

Mieville writes science fiction, but hybridized as if in some hideous Dr. Moreau-style genetic experiment with horror and literary fiction and just a trace, not too much, of political theory. His utter uniqueness as a writer has made him a cult icon, and also probably kept him off mainstream best-seller lists. With his new novel Mieville has spliced even more DNA into his fictional genome: it's a stone-cold police procedural, which might actually make him a bit more user-friendly. The twist is the setting: The City and the City takes place in Beszel, a city which has a ghostly twin of itself that exists in the same space, but shifted just slightly into another dimension. The inhabitants can see and hear each other — but beware the places where the cities actually touch.

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