A New China Mieville Short Story


ChinaI’ve known China Mieville for years.

Don’t be surprised. We incredibly smart bald men stick together. Right Tad Williams and Blake Charlton?

Jokes placed aside, China is a writer I greatly admire. Not only is he a first class guy with a huge heart but he’s an author who makes me want to quit writing. No joke. He writes such wonderful stories and his prose is so lively and unique that I want to stop writing my own work every night when I’m reading a China Mieville book. I think he’s one of the most underrated writers in speculative fiction. He deserves a readership similar to Neil Gaiman’s. After all, in my opinion, they both write stories that are wholly and unexpectedly odd and awesome at the same time.

Once upon a time, China visited The Signed Page to sign copies of The City and the City, one of my favorite books. When he was done signing, I asked him what he was working on. A question I ask all of my favorite writers because, despite being friends with many of today’s best authors, I’m still a fan. And fans want to know what is coming next.

He just smiled at me. And in his smooth-almost-lazy British accent, he said, “I never talk about what I’m working on. It kills the magic for me.”

Loved that answer. And I respect it. But it always leaves me wanting to know. Because the man’s a weird fiction genius and I’m a huge fan.

So imagine my surprise today when I run across a new piece of China Mieville fiction! He wrote a short story for Tor.com. Titled Polynia, it once again reaffirms why I love China’s writing! Here is how it opens:

When cold masses first started to congeal above London, they did not show up on radar. By the time they started to, perhaps two hours later, hundreds of thousands of people were already out in the streets and gaping skyward. They shielded their eyes—it was cloudy but very bright. They looked up at glowing things the size of cathedrals, looming above the skyline.

They’d started as wisps, anomalies noticed only by dedicated weather-watchers. Slowly they’d grown, started to glint in the early winter afternoon. They solidified, their sides becoming more faceted, more opaquely white. They started to shed shadows.

To read the entire new story, click HERE!