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China Miéville is a relatively new British author of speculative fiction. He graduated from Cambridge in 1994 and is currently working on his PhD in economics. He is also a politically active socialist who will be running in the next election.

Miéville's first novel is "King Rat" (1998), an urban fantasy set in contemporary London, offering a different perspective on the legend of the Pied Piper.

"Perdido Street Station" (2000), Miéville's second novel, is a masterful blend of urban fantasy, steampunk, horror and slipstream, set in the fictional metropolis New Crobuzon.

In 2002, Miéville released "The Scar", another excellent novel set in the same world as "Perdido Street Station".

China Miéville is one of the most promising of the young authors who are taking part in what some people are calling a renaissance in science fiction and fantasy. His work practically dares people to try to categorise it, since it is what conventional critics would consider to be a blend of science fiction and fantasy. The author tends to classify his work as "weird fiction", though this is not an attempt to abandon a genre which he considers to be as least as vibrant and important as "memetic" literature, if not more so.

The author himself is as unorthodox as his literature, and is studying for a PhD at LSE, whilst also being a practising socialist and parliamentary candidate. He recently gave a talk at Picocon, in which he demonstrated his "Indian Dad" approach to science fiction and fantasy.

His work includes the novels King Rat and Perdido Street Station. The latter won both science fiction and fantasy awards, adding to the difficulty of its classification. In it, a fantastic setting is the backdrop for a selection of very real characters and events, which make his world seem much more vibrant and interesting than a lot of modern sf.

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