Contents and US cover art for Three Moments of an Explosion!

3-Moments-comps-31Barnes and Noble had the exclusive reveal today of the US cover art and the FULL CONTENTS LIST of the new China Miéville collection! Maybe my blog will get an exclusive like that one day… But let’s freak out over all the new info!

Okay, so it’s not the most inspiring of cover art. In fact it’s downright dull. But I’ve never liked the US covers of China’s books compared to the excellent UK work by Crush Creative. Their cover for the new book is exciting and evocative. So putting the crummy US cover art aside, here’s the full story list, with never-before-published stories bearing an asterisk:

  1. “Three Moments of an Explosion”
  2. “Polynia”
  3. “The Condition of New Death”*
  4. “The Dowager of Bees”*
  5. “In the Slopes”*
  6. “The Crawl”*
  7. “Watching God”*
  8. “The 9th Technique”
  9. “The Rope Is the World”
  10. “The Buzzard’s Egg”*
  11. “Säcken”
  12. “Syllabus”*
  13. “Dreaded Outcome”*
  14. “After the Festival”*
  15. “The Dusty Hat”*
  16. “Escapee”*
  17. “The Bastard Prompt”*
  18. “Rules”*
  19. “Estate”
  20. “Keep”*
  21. “A Second Slice Manifesto”*
  22. “Covehithe”
  23. “The Junket”*
  24. “Four Final Orpheuses”*
  25. “The Rabbet”*
  26. “Listen the Birds”*
  27. “A Mount”*
  28. “The Design”

Wow. It’s too much to take in all at once. First of all, I’ve never heard of “Säcken” before, so it’s weird that B&N didn’t give it an asterisk. If you’re interested, though, it’s a German word referring to a form of execution where somebody is sewn into a sack with dangerous animals, and if that’s not enough, they’re then thrown into water. Grisly. It’s actually making me recall an absolutely horrifying short story by Laird Barron called “Strappado” (the name of a form of torture), which is one of the scariest pieces of fiction I’ve ever read. But that’s neither here nor there.

I can’t really begin to guess what all the stories are about, so I’ll let everyone just ponder over the list. It’s going to be an incredible book, I can feel it now.

Edit: Aha, I found some further info about “Säcken”. It turns out it was published in Subtropics, the journal of the University of Florida. A blog post by Clifford Garstang describes it like this:

Joanna, a historian, takes her lover Mel (a woman) to a remote cabin in Germany where she intends to finish some essays. Mel is spooked by something–something in the lake, a cockerel on the shore–and insists on leaving. After she returns to London, Joanna disappears. Mel and Joanna’s family return to investigate . . .

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7 comments

      1. I have an ARC, which I actually just finished today. It’s a very strong collection, much more consistent than Jake. It definitely has a theme — lots of urban malaise, post-millennial unease, unexplained syndromes, strange plagues — but also some of the most surprising work we’ve seen from him in years.

          1. No, nothing in a secondary world — the already released stories are indicative of the tone and general content of the collection. And no novellas; the longest stories aren’t much longer than 30 pages. The longest is The Keep at 34 pages.

            It’s a great collection but really left me eager for another novel.

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