China Mieville’s story of a murder investigation in parallel worlds, The City and the City, has won the British Science Fiction Association’s award for best novel.
When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Bes el, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger. Borlu must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other. With shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984 , “The City & The City” is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.
Mieville was in the US on the day of the awards ceremony, and was texted by his editor at Macmillan, Julie Crisp, to let him know that he’d won. “China was absolutely thrilled and phoned me about 30 seconds after I sent him a text,” said Crisp. “He was so pleased.” (The Guardian)
China Mieville lives and works in London. His first novel, King Rat, was published in 1998, Perdido Street Station (winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Fantasy Award) followed in 2000, The Scar (winner of the British Fantasy Award) in 2002, Iron Council in 2004 (winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award), and Looking for Jake and Other Stories in 2006.
Fantasy Book Review’s George Roesch said:
“I was pleasantly surprised by the latest from China Mieville. For a while anyway. I was about 50 pages in when I realized it was all grown up. No gun-slinging cacti, or flying birds with no wings. Just people. Full blooded three dimensional people filling up the City of Beszel. Or was it Ul Qoma? It seems through an incident referred to as “The Cleaving”, the city became two cities. But not in the usual way. Somehow they became two cities on top of each other. They physically take up the same space and time, but are not truly in the same location. For example, the fashions, the language, the cars, and the food are all different. Confused yet?”