Embassytown: A Novel [China Miéville] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In the far future, humans have. The innovative and protean British writer China Miéville’s declared “ Embassytown” belongs to the science fiction subgenre of planetary. In Embassytown, China Miéville’s latest novel out in the U.S. on May 17th, there is language and there is Language. Language is the.

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embassytosn Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings embasytown for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human embassygown can speak. Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure.

She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part o In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak.

She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language.

When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties—to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her. Hardcoverpages. Published May 17th by Del Rey first published EzraAviceScile. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Embassytownplease sign up. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [Anyone want to talk about the role of Ehrsul? She was the aspect of the book that left me least satisfied.

Embassytown by China Miéville

I kept feeling like it was leading up to some kind of reveal about her, but we never got there. She’s got so many mysteries around her that I want to try to connect them, but I may mievulle be seeing patterns where there aren’t any.

Dustin Steinacker This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [ So I mievills this was pretty clever. There’s a bit early on where Avice is arguing with Scile about the nature of Ehrsul’s consciousness.

He suggests …more So I thought this was pretty clever.

He suggests that she isn’t sentient because the Hosts don’t react at all when she tries to speak Language, whereas when non-Ambassador humans try the Hosts at least recognize that something is being said, but can’t understand it. Hosts respond to other minds and don’t sense one in her, he argues. Ehrsul shrugs it off, saying that she’s too sophisticated to be affected by something like that. It’s kind of a brief moment in the book, but I think a direct precursor to her last appearance, where she simply won’t conceive of the idea of Hosts speaking English and demands that they speak Language.


From the Host’s perspective, English is a language which allows for lies and abstract reasoning which Language can’t conceive of. I think the implication here is pretty strong circumstantial evidence against Ehrsul being anything but a pretty complex machine. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [I don’t understand why lying is so important for the Ariekei.

Can anyone explain please? Stephanie Librarianish Davidson This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [I’m not sure I would say it’s important. It’s that it’s inconceivable. Or has been, at least. Language is reality, not something separate from it. See all 3 questions about Embassytown…. Lists with This Book.

Jan 25, Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing Shelves: While reading this book, I thought about language.

The ability to express myself has served me well. I can change minds and can have my mind changed by exchanging words.


Language is the foundation of who we are. The Ambassadors speak with two mouths and one mind and as such can be understood by the Ariekei who do not recognise any other form of communication “. The humans refer to them as The Hosts, which is exactly what they are. They allow the humans to build a city named Embassytown. Dmbassytown can remember the first time I went overseas and spent nine jieville in Italy. After having nine days of barely speaking any English, certainly a lot less than what I was used to, my arrival at San Francisco Airport was, for lack of a better term, a system overload.

My mind was so starved for the English language that all the filters or barriers that I normally have for sorting language were gone. My brain was attempting to listen to and process every ongoing English conversation that was within my range of hearing.

I bought these new shoes Do you like this coat? Will they serve us a meal…What did he mean by that?

Embassytown by China Miéville | : Books

I was catching just pieces, most of them jumbled together as my mind was trying to sort each conversation, but without success.

My cat was new shoes like this mean. It was like touching the edges of insanity. The Ambassadors who are sent to interact with The Hosts are paired. They have two minds that make one voice. They are identical and kept that way. Very interesting, I would think to myself, and then I would try to finish typing this review with one hand. Our heroine is Avice Benner Cho, who is an immerser who has just returned to Embassytown after years of deep space exploration.

She cannot speak to the Ariekei, but she has become a part of their language. She is more like a professional traveller who sits in the hip cafes, eats the unusual food, sees the sights, goes to parties, and occasionally has a brief sexual encounter with someone interesting. She has been married several times. Sometimes to women, sometimes to men. In Embassytown, she has sex with ambassadors which Her experiences while travelling have evolved her thinking about what is strange.


One of her best friends is a digital presence that can move from one droid to another. Like us all, she does struggle with seeing things that go beyond just exotic, those things that go beyond a frame of reference of what we know. For us to be comfortable, new things have to have something about them that allows us to have at least a handle of understanding. The world building takes a backseat to exploring the concept of languages and their value.

Though he does give us glimpses of what this world looks like. In this rebooted version the houses segmented into smaller dwellings and were interspersed with pillars like sweating trees. Of course there were still towers, still factories and hangars for the nurturing of young and of biorigging…. But the housescape we overlooked took on a more higgledy-piggledy aspect. The streets seemed steeper than they had been, and more various: Strung out on an Ambassador’s Language.

They entered the houses that edged our zone, found their ways to rear and side doors, large windows, to holes. Some came out of the front doors into our streets and tore apart what they found. Those with remnants of memory tried to get to the Embassy. They came at night. The concepts he explores in this book had me thinking about my own relationship with language, with learning, with my addiction to hearing and being heard, to writing my thoughts and to reading what others have written.

I once knew a woman in Phoenix whose grandfather walked out to get the morning paper, poured some coffee, and flipped the paper open, like he does every morning, to start reading. The thought still sends a shiver down my back to think that I could lose the ability to read or the ability to speak or the ability to hear. You will have to have patience with this book.

Mieville circles the plane over Embassytown and just drops his readers into the city. With every chapter, you will begin to know more pieces of the puzzle until you are eventually able to assemble a shimmering vision of this city, these people, and the situation which has lit the fuse to a powderkeg.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http: View all 43 comments. Apr 15, unknown rated it really liked it Shelves: This guy needs to be stopped.

He is using all the ideas. He is taking all the genres. I was going to delete that but it got 10 votes, so it can stay. The sentiment still rings true. Stop using up all the ideas, you limey bastard! Almost every space is full. The only opening is a narrow space labeled “Compact Car.