Ask China Mieville! Call for questions

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

Knivesout no more
Nov 11, 2003
Bangalore, India
Greetings Fellow Chroniclists. :cool:

You'll be delighted to know that your correspondant should soon be conducting an online interview with the author of this month's book club choice, China Mieville.

If you have any questions you'd like to ask him, about this book, his works in general, the writing process and so forth, please post them here. I haven't yet finalised dates, but I expect it will be this week.

Cheers! I'm really thrilled about this!:D
Nice :)

Well, you could ask generic questions like what was his inspiration for New Crubozon etc, but I expect he gets that all the time ;)

What I would quite like to know is how many more of these part-humans we're going to see. I quite liked the cactus-men, frog-men, and Khepri from PSS, but I though having "mosquito men" in The Scar was going a little too far over the top... Are there an indefinate number of future something-men to come?

hope thats the kind of thing you're looking for :)
Good work, JP. This is very cool.:)

A writing question, I think.

I've noticed, in reading "The Scar", that the descriptions, of place especially, are so realistically detailed and complete, and I'd be interested in hearing something about his process in writing those descriptions.

Also, a silly question, I guess: Where did the mosquito-people come from; what inspired him to create that species? As far as I'm concerned, they're right up there with the flying monkeys in "The Wizard of Oz" in being completely horrifying.
I would like to ask if he is going to write a book about Doul's history. I found him to be a very compelling and interesting character and thought it would be interesting to find out about his life before meeting the Lovers :)
Hmm...what to ask? Here's something to start with:

1. What gave you the idea for the Khepris' art form? It reminds me of web-weaving as done by spiders - it is an extruded substance manipulated by feel alone.
2. Did you do a lot of scientific research before beginning this series - especially into subjects such as water viscosity, perpetual motion, latent energy...or did your ideas come suddenly and you were forced to research them further from there?

I probably have others but these are the first to come to mind.
How much of what he describes is invented, and how much is lifted from folklore and legend. I am consistently second-guessing myself on this, and find it really helps to make everything seem more solid, not being able to distinguish invention and cultural heritage.

Did many people suspect all of this lurked inside of him? It looks hard to keep bottled-up and under wraps, but were people who knew him very surprised when they read the book?

Mieville seems completely uninhibited in his imaginings, and will blend any genres and referrences to get the most impressive world. Are there any lines he won't cross, or things (aside from the blatantly obvious ones) that he would not be willing to incorporate into Bas-Lag if they occurred to him.
How does he feel about having used so many interesting ideas in only one book that thousands of writers will now have to dig very deep to avoid looking derivative? He's like Brian Aldiss with Hothouse, he is.
I have another question :)

What plans does he have for future series? Is he going to continue with New Crobuzon or his he going to move away from that series?
Could you ask him if he reads any other current authors, and who he likes? Boring maybe, but I'd certainly like to know:)
Authors that influenced him...wouldn't be bad to have a few recco's that way. Especially interested in his views on horror fiction, the extent of his exposure to it.

Has he written smaller sized books than PSS? If not, does he plan to?
Hiya, I've had a request from a member on malazan to tell him Pale and SL (Uther Doul) are very sorry for letting their Bas-lag site "lapse into coma". Cheers :)

Also, I loved "The Tain", are there plans for more novellas?
And what are his thoughts on continuing comparisons between himself and Mervyn Peake. Is he flattered or tired by this?

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