China Mieville


Ben Mirov is Unemployed, Reads Books, Lives in Oakland

I just moved to Oakland, CA from Brooklyn, NY. I’m unemployed, so I’m reading more books than usual. And growing a beard.  Here are some of the books surrounding me and some thoughts about them and a pic of my beard.




Moving Day by Ish Klein (Canarium Books, 2011)

Usually when someone says a book of poems is “weird” it means the poems are ephemerally weird. Like the weirdness is a novelty to grab attention. Real weirdness permeates content and form, like it does in Ish’s book. The sentences and lines are like little adjustments to the readers attention. It feels like your being nudged into an ultimately more complex and valenced sensitivity of your self and the world.

sample lines: Yes, yes larval. / Larvelous was the eye—the stars, / they were wondering, “When is X coming out?” /  Considering the material, X will be something!”


Nick Demske by Nick Demske (FENCE Books, 2010)

Sometimes when I read sonnets all I can think is “fuck sonnets”. I’m pretty sure Nick Demske thinks this too, which is why he wrote a book of sonnets. Feels like this book was written by your drug dealer friend in high school who was smarter and better read than everyone in your class, but was destined to burn out and spend the rest of his life as a low-level bureaucrat in the same town you grew up in. Poems feel like they are “in your face”. Some lines break in the middle of words in a way that is perturbing/engaging. Funny letter of congratulations on the back from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), better than any blurb.

sample lines: Unsanitized hypodermia. Full dorsal poetry. Homos say / What. Say what? Say when.                  I’m going to buttfuck / You in the mouth. I know where you live.



July 1st, 2011 / 2:12 am

Miéville, Erickson, LIT, Collagist, McElroy

1. @ AV Club, an interview with China Miéville.
2. @ Word Riot, an interview with Steve Erickson.
3. LIT‘s new issue looks rad and has some Giants in it:

4. New issue of The Collagist is live.
5. @ The Quarterly Conversation, a tribute to Joseph McElroy.

Roundup / 6 Comments
July 15th, 2010 / 11:07 am

I almost bought China Miéville’s The City in the City last night, but then I put it back and bought Foucault’s History of Madness (5x the book for the same price). It seems hard to know what sci-fi books are actually heavyhitters, and not just things to maybe replace a movie. The Miéville seems a good fit (I’ll wait for the paperback), but I’m wondering what sci-fi labeled books transcend the trappings and are just great books, in both language and idea? I’ve dabbled a good bit but never really found that much and know I’m missing a lot. I tried Dhalgren years ago and wasn’t that killed. Steve Erickson seems to be a transcender, if so much that he’s hardly even in the genre anymore. What you got? Don’t say Dick.

A Book That Books What A Book Would Do

mievilleDoes anybody know anything about this book, The City and the City? I heard it discussed on Morning Edition today and had one of those driveway moments or whatever. It sounds flabbergasting. Apparently, it’s a detective story that takes place in a city that has another city right on top of it — but not, like, above it — both cities occupy the same space. It was funny to hear Robert Siegel trying to wrap his mind around it.

I don’t know more than that, but here’s a good review at The Guardian. I’ve never read anything by China Miéville, but this concept has me intrigued enough to maybe buy his book from wherever people buy these books from and bring it on the road with me next week.

Author Spotlight / 26 Comments
August 20th, 2009 / 2:27 pm