LevGrossman

Posts Tagged ‘china mieville’


Monday, May 30th, 2011

You, Me and China Miéville Down by the School Yard

Today my office is closed. My wife has gone to Princeton (to hand out prizes at graduation, because she does it so exceptionally well) and taken the baby. My book is done.

That means that from now until 6:00 (when Sophie comes back) I have literally nothing to do. My time is my own. I can’t remember the last time that happened. It’s been at least two years.

It’s amazing. I feel sort of floaty.

I mean, subtract five hours for Minecraft and that’s still a ton of time to fill.

[There's a code in our house for this level of total self-indulgence: "lobster parts." The story goes, a friend of ours' wife went away for a couple of days, taking their two kids. Said friend -- who teaches economics at an ancient, storied university -- spent the entire two days sitting on a couch watching action movies and eating lobster. Later that week the lobster parts were discovered under the couch. He hadn't even gotten up to throw them away.]

So far I’ve mostly lain on my bed.

Pretty soon I’m going to get back to blogging about my life and opinions about books and also that one time when I drank too much. For now let me just remind you that I’m talking to China Miéville on stage on Wednesday night in Williamsburg. China is, of course, one of today’s great literary border-crossers (one who, interestingly, writes obsessively about literal border-crossing), which is something I have a consuming interest in. And he’s one of those writers — not at all common — who’s also a great theorist of and talker-about his own work and the context wherein it lies.

Also the ladies like his looks. I’m really looking forward to this. Come hang out!

If you’ve got questions for China, stick’em in comments. And before you ask, we will definitely be covering Could They Beat Up China Miéville?


Monday, April 4th, 2011

Delurk: Upcoming Events, etc.

A nanopost: yesterday, through incredible strength of will, I managed to update the Events part of the site, with a list of readings and such that I scheduled back in the rosy past when I thought I’d be done with The Magician King by now.

I updated my events page because I have a heavy cold, and didn’t have enough midichlorians left over yesterday to work on the book. I’m back on it now. Paolo Bacigalupi once told me that time spent writing a novel is always stolen from someone else. That feels very true right now. I’m stealing from everybody around me. I’m pushing people down on the street, who I don’t even know, and stealing their time in broad daylight.

It’s going well though. There’s a point in the development of a book when all the events are in place, and the timeline is solid, and it’s basically an OK book. Then it just starts to expand, the way the universe does, in all directions at once. The structure remains the same, but all the psychologies within it suddenly gel — the characters start feeling things on multiple levels. Then they react to all the new levels in the people around them. Then they react to their own new levels, thereby generating still more levels. It’s just a dynamically ramifying levelfest.

And what ends up happening is that suddenly the aforementioned events, which were heretofore of mild interest, start to resonate with serious meaning. They start to sing. And with any luck the reader ends up with a new level or two when it’s all over.

Anyhoo: events. I’ll be reading on Tuesday night in Soho as part of the great New York Review of Science Fiction reading series. Please come! I’ll do a passage from The Magician King.

The following week I’ll be taking part in a launch of event for David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King. (I had a lengthy think about The Pale King in Time last week.) On April 19th I’ll be doing a benefit for Slice magazine, a literary jeopardy thing also involving Paris Review editor Lorin Stein. (Last year at this event I almost made up for all the hundreds of spelling bees and other public competitions I have sucked out in in my life by getting the Final Jeopardy answer right. It was “Titus Andronicus.”)

And so on. In May I’ll do my first-ever public event with my brother (who has two new books in the works), a family-themed event that will also include father-daughter pair Peter and Emma Straub. I’ll also have a public conversation with China Mieville, in which it will be definitively demonstrated that he is exactly 1,000 times smarter than me.