Nutshell: intense translation thriller in which the military very rationally calls upon a poet to stop intergalactic invasion.
I’m starting to think that there’s nothing in Mieville that wasn’t first in Delany. I’ve not read [b:Embassytown|9265453|Embassytown|China Miéville|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320470326s/9265453.jpg|14146240], so it’s not the linguistic stuff. Rather, the remade bodies, the lyric prose, the high-minded philosophy, the leftwing politics. I guess if Delany is SF’s James Joyce, Mieville will be content to be SF’s Pynchon.
Antecedent to Scott Bakker to the extent it lays out a semiotics of face (23 et seq.).
Manages for quite a bit, unDelanylike, to be a straightforward space opera. But then the other shoe drops, and it gets crazy time when protagonist begins to decipher Evil Foreign Language. That’s all cool, but labor intensive reading.
Resolution of central mystery ends up being a bit pedestrian.
Recommended for readers who paint maps over the palimpsest obscenities of two centuries’ prisoners, those suffering from aphasia, alexia, & amnesia, and persons with atom bombs in their personal collection just to show them we have standard fare.