I finished reading China Mieville’s Embassytown yesterday. This one is science fiction but it’s only slightly less weird than his fantasy novels. It’s a very fascinating story that deals with the connection between language and thought. Embassytown is a human community inside a bubble of Earth-type atmosphere, surrounded by the natives’ city. The natives, the Ariekei, have two mouths and their language consists of pairs of sounds spoken simultaneously. And they are incapable of saying anything that is not the literal truth. They cannot even use metaphors. The only humans who can speak to them are pairs of linked clones. Things get really interesting when the human government sends an ambassador pair who are not clones and their imperfectly linked speech has a strange effect on the Ariekei.
I’m not telling this very well but, trust me, it’s a unique and fascinating story.
I have started Player of Games by Iain M. Banks. It’s starting out very good. I want to go live on an orbital. I also recently downloaded two Kindle books: The Giant Book of Poetry by William Roetzheim and Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings by Gary Wenk. I’ve already read some of the poetry. It starts with a poem from around 4000 BC! And I’m very interested in getting into Your Brain on Food. Brains are such fascinating things.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that China Mieville has a new book coming out this summer, titled Railsea. I might not be able to wait for the paperback.