Last night I went to a reading from China Mieville's new book, Iron Council. He read from Chapter 6. The book sounds pretty good, although the word on the street is that it's not up to the standard of Perdido Street Station and The Scar. The best part, though, was the Q&A session afterwards. Highlights:
-The guy who asked Mieville if he liked Piers Anthony (Answer: he enjoyed them when he was ten or so, but upon rereading the Xanth books he found them "terribly mysogynist." No surprises there.)
-The journalist from Locus who wanted to know if the riot in the scene from Chapter 6 was influenced by violent nature of British society and politics, because "we don't do that here." Response: "Oh, no, Americans never fight."
-Mieville on his coolness: "It may come as a shock, but I'm a total geek. . . . it's tragic, really."
-Mieville on Tolkien: "I told myself I'd stop talking about Tolkien about a year ago . . . I would be at sci fi conventions and people would say, 'China, do the Tolkien thing.' (mugs) . . . Let him rest."
-On whether The Scar is more gruesome than Perdido Street: "Well, it did have a slick of pus. . . . They're equally gruesome."
-On his relationship with mythology: It's "piratical" and "an act of epic point-missing. . . People tell me, 'So, the khepri symbolize rebirth,' and I'm like, no - people with beetle heads: cool!"