Getting to know China Miéville and King Rat

China Miéville is an English fantasy fiction author, comic writer and academic. He is fond of describing his work as “weird fiction” and belongs to a loose group of writers sometimes called New Weird who consciously attempt to move fantasy away from the clichés usually associated with the fantasy genre .

Below is our recap of China Miéville
and his stand alone novels, more importantly, King Rat:

sample“Sometimes translation stops you understanding.”
― China Miéville, Embassytown (stand-alone novel)

About China Miéville’s first novel:

9780312890728China Miéville’s first debut novel was “King Rat.”  It follows the life of Saul Garamond. Saul Garamond returns to the flat he shares with his father in London late one evening, skipping on greetings and heading straight to bed. In the morning he is awakened by police pounding on the door, demanding his arrest. His father has died and he is the lone suspect in his father’s murder case. After spending most of the day being interrogated and in a holding cell, Saul finds he has a mysterious visitor, who introduces himself as King Rat. King Rat helps Saul escape and informs him that he has been set up to take the fall for his father’s death. King Rat also tells Saul of his rat ancestry and Saul, being half rat, discovers the use of his abilities such as being able to eat anything, even garbage, and squeezing into holes and shadows too small for other creatures. Saul is soon brought into King Rat’s plan for revenge against an ancient enemy.  Saul must now confront the forces that would use him, the forces that would destroy him, and the forces that shape his own bizarre identity.

China Mieville’s “King Rat” was nominated for both the International Horror Guild and Bram Stoker Awards for best first novel.

 Were you paying attention to the synopsis of King Rat?

What is the setting of China Miéville’s debut novel King Rat?


A. Italy          B. Beszel          C. London          D. Bas-lag


Artwork by Richard A. Kirk

The correct answer was C. London

China Miéville, author of King Rat, talks about writing:

China_Mieville“I’m a science fiction and fantasy geek. I love this stuff. And when I write my novels, I’m not writing them to make political points. I’m writing them because I passionately love monsters and the weird and horror stories and strange situations and surrealism, and what I want to do is communicate that. But, because I come at this with a political perspective, the world that I’m creating is embedded with many of the concerns that I have… I’m trying to say I’ve invented this world that I think is really cool and I have these really big stories to tell in it and one of the ways that I find to make that interesting is to think about it politically. If you want to do that too, that’s fantastic. But if not, isn’t this a cool monster?”

“The Believer” – Interview with China Miéville

China Miéville is active in left-wing politics in the UK and has previously been a member of the International Socialist Organization (US), and the short-lived International Socialist Network. He published his PhD thesis on Marxism and international law. In this video, he talks briefly about wearing the two hats of politics and fantasy.

Most of China Miéville’s novels are stand alone. His most popular are King Rat, Un Lun Dun, The City & the City, Kraken and Embassytown.books

Check out more books written by China Miéville at Thanks for tuning in! And remember to follow us on Facebook and Google+ to get our daily “Getting to Know” feed as we introduce well known authors and their books.

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