Adrian Slatcher writes poetry, fiction and criticism, and lives in Manchester.
I first read China Mieville in an anthology of new “fabulist” writing (Conjunctions 39) and he stood out for me. I was surprised to find that he was a London-based writer, and also that his best known works were “fantasy” as its a genre I usually avoid. Reading “Perdido Street Station” his vast second novel was a revelation. Although his imagination is second to none, his books always feature strong characterisation and seem oblivious of the usual genre boundaries. This ability to rethink genre fiction was most apparent in his fascinating noir detective SF story “The City and the City”. Since that book he’s written a young adult novel “Kraken” and a new novel “Embassytown”. Unusually, Mieville is also a political theorist, and active in left-wing politics, and this adds a further dimension to his multi-layered work. Increasingly popular amongst a non-fantasy as well as a fantasy audience, he’s one of the most exciting talents in British fiction.