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Review: Embassytown

Embassytown by China Miéville
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not bad, Mr. Mieville, not bad. I didn’t know if I’d like a non-Bas-Lag book by China Mieville, but Embassytown was a very interesting world.

Set in a world far, far in the future long after the human diaspora (after faster-than-light travel is discovered), Embassytown tells the story of a group of humans who have taken residence on a planet inhabited by a race they call only the “Hosts.” The name is given in deference to the permission the humans have obtained to live on the Hosts’ planet — a permission obtained with some difficulty, since the Hosts’ do not recognise other creatures than themselves as being sentient.

There’s also a brief B-plot about the “Immer,” which sounds a lot like the “Immaterium” present in the Warhammer 40K universe… :p Basically it’s a sort of sub-space that a craft can enter to travel long distances — very, very long distances, such as from galaxy to galaxy, halfway across the universe. The main character is one of the rare people who can pilot ships through the Immer, as most peoples’ minds go “slack” and they vomit uncontrollably the entire time they’re inside of it.

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