The Last Days of New Paris

A useful graphic guide to all the art referenced in The Last Days of New Paris

1-nTYYIBfQEtBLS5qYsQ2XngI had to share this link. A China Miéville fan has put together a collection of all the Surrealist artwork referenced in the new novella, The Last Days of New Paris. It should definitely help with imagining the manifs roaming the streets of Paris.

The guide is arranged by page number, so you can use it alongside the appendix of artworks included in the book.

Check it out here!

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UK and limited-press cover art for The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville

China Miéville’s newest novella, The Last Days of New Paris, is out now from US publisher Del Rey. I’m working my way through it slowly (I don’t have a lot of time for reading lately, but for the latter half of this year I’m hoping to return to my previous pace!) and it’s pretty interesting. I might review it here when I’m done — no promises though.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some cover art for the book that has surfaced recently. First, the UK cover art for the edition to be published early in 2017, by Picador. I have no idea why the UK gets it so much later than the US, when the opposite is usually the case for Miéville (and most British authors). Here’s the cover, anyhow:

paris_uk

It reproduces an “exquisite corpse” collage by surrealist artist André Breton and some of his contemporaries. I must note that this artwork is included in the US edition anyway, in the front pages of the story (and in black and white). I think it’s alright as a cover artwork, but it may turn some regular fantasy readers off.

The other new cover art is from Subterranean Press’s limited edition, and like several previous China Miéville books they’ve published, it’s illustrated by Vincent Chong:

paris_sub

Exceedingly creepy. I haven’t got to the portion of the novel this is illustrating yet, but I assume it’s based off another piece of surrealist art. The horror-like tone doesn’t particularly match the tone of the novel, I must say. But it’s still fascinating to look at.

That’s all for now. Perhaps I’ll be back in a while with some book reviews and other content! If you’re still with me during this drought of posts, thanks for your loyalty!

The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville – new description, first review, and free sample!

I am an Amateur of Velocipedes 1941 by Leonora Carrington 1917-2011The US release of The Last Days of New Paris is coming up in August, although the UK release is strangely not until early 2017. I asked the publisher why this was, and got this answer: “We are indeed publishing at the beginning of 2017. While the UK often publishes alongside American editions, we sometimes work to different schedules. I hope that makes sense.”

Oh well. China Miéville’s dedicated fans will just order it from the US, so it’s Pan Macmillan’s loss. Anyway, there’s been a blitz of information about the book lately! Read ahead to whet your appetite for the new book.

Firstly, a new description of the novel (well, it’s closer to a novella in length) from Subterranean Press:

“In Paris you had to be ready to fight art and the Hellish—not to mention Nazis…”

Multiple-award-winning China Mieville’s extraordinary novel The Last Days of New Paris is a door into the heart of a twentieth century that never was, that always was. The hinges it turns on are surrealism and anti-Fascism and occultism, oiled by vivid prose that startlingly mines art and poetry for its images. The story it opens to reveal combines mystery and adventure, philosophy and revolution.

Here is the American Jack Parsons in 1941 Marseilles, navigating a tangle of competing wartime powers incapable of containing the chaos of wartime Europe. A student of the occult, he encounters fleeing surrealist thinkers, and something extraordinary is born in the cauldron of his imagination.

Here is the resistance fighter Thibaut in 1950 Paris, struggling to survive and fight on in a city haunted by manifs, manifestations from the dreams and nightmares of the century’s most fertile imaginations. These manifs are in conflict with hellspawn called up by Nazi officer-priests.

By turns heartbreaking and breathtaking, this book conjures a world that demands attention, and tests loyalties to concepts as fundamental as reality itself. Here is a tour de force of imagination, here is a crescendo of thought, here, at last, is the exquisite corpse. Here is The Last Days of New Paris, an unmissable new novel by a modern master of the fantasic.

Secondly, the first review of the book is online, from Publishers Weekly as usual. Follow the link for the whole thing. I’m intrigued by the focus on surreal art from the era. It’s bringing up memories of the first university degree I did, in fine arts & media. (If you’re wondering, the artwork accompanying this blog post is the one mentioned in the review, An Amateur of Velocipedes, by the way.)

Thirdly, the US publisher Del Rey is offering a free ebook sampler of its upcoming titles, which includes an excerpt from The Last Days of New Paris. Unfortunately it’s only available to US readers. I’ve tried to download it myself with no luck. If anyone downloads it, let me know what the sample was like, and how long it is.

That’s all for now. I’m sure you’re as excited for the book as I am. Make sure you study up on your art history for August 9th!

A new official description of The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville

9780345543998We now have the official description for China Miéville’s upcoming novel The Last Days of New Paris, from the US publishers Random House.

Read it right here:

A thriller of war that never was—of survival in an impossible city—of surreal cataclysm. In The Last Days of New Paris, China Miéville entwines true historical events and people with his daring, uniquely imaginative brand of fiction, reconfiguring history and art into something new.

“Beauty will be convulsive. . . .”

1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseilles, American engineer—and occult disciple—Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.

1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibault, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Résistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts—and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the Exquisite Corpse.

But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties—to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.

That just sounds amazing. It could be Miéville’s most political and most complex novel yet, and I’m beyond excited. It’s out on August 9th!

We already have the US cover art for The Last Days of New Paris!

That was quick! This new China Miéville novel is supposedly coming out in August next year, but US publisher Random House has already locked in the cover art, which you can see below. They don’t have an official description of the book yet, which usually comes first, but you can read one from a Chinese literary agency in a previous post of mine. Here’s the cover:

9780345543998

I’m so excited for an alternate-history novel from my favourite author!

Minor China Miéville update, including another description for This Census-Taker

House-on-the-hillA few things to mention today. First, the good people at Subterranean Press have put up a pre-order page for the limited edition of This Census-Taker. It’ll have artwork by Vincent Chong, who has illustrated quite a few of the earlier Subterranean Press limited editions of Miéville’s novels.

There’s also a blog post which mentions the length of the story — around 30,000 words. That’s actually really short! Quite surprising that it’ll be stretched out to almost 200 pages in printed length. Subterranean Press has given us a new description of the plot, too:

A boy ran down a hill path screaming.

This running, screaming boy has witnessed something terrible, something so awful that he cannot even properly articulate it. All he can do is run. His story is investigated, but no evidence is found to support it, and so in the end, he is sent back. Back up that hill path to the site of his terror, to live with the parent who caused it.

The boy tries to escape. He flees to a gang of local children but they can’t help him. The town refuses to see his danger. He is alone.

Then a stranger arrives. A stranger who claims his job is to ask questions, seek truth. Who can, perhaps, offer safety. Or whose offer may be something altogether different, something safety is no part of.

In This Census-Taker, multiple award-winning writer China Miéville offers a story made of secrets and subtle reveals, of tragedy and bravery, of mysteries that shift when they appear to be known. It is a stunning work, full of strangeness and power.

As always, it sounds intriguing, but I’m glad we have a full-length novel to look forward to later in 2016. It’s quite puzzling why such a short novella merited its own release — in hardcover, nonetheless. Couldn’t this novella have been included in Three Moments of an Explosion?

picadorAnyway, talking of that full-length novel (The Last Days of New Paris), here’s a tiny tidbit about it from a German bookseller: it will be about 448 pages, and like Census-Taker, published by Picador, Pan Macmillan’s literary imprint. All of China’s previous books were published by Tor UK (the company’s SF/F imprint), so does this signal a move away from outright, unashamed SF & fantasy works from our favourite author, to a more literary/magical-realist oeuvre? Or is it a marketing decision? I’m all for more literary works (god knows Miéville has the talent!), but I just hope Miéville continues to imbue his books with that fun, genre-soaked playfulness that he always has.

Finally, that upcoming anthology Dead Letters which includes a Miéville collaboration has some cover art now. I won’t bother putting it here, just check out this Tor.com blog post to see.

The Last Days of New Paris — China Miéville’s other new 2016 novel!

tumblr_m7hrygIhxd1qdl9q3o1_500Tor.com dropped a bomb quite subtly in the last paragraph of their Three Moments of an Explosion review. It turns out This Census Taker won’t be Miéville’s only work released next year. There’s also a whole other novel, called The Last Days of New Paris!

I did some googling and I found a Chinese literary agency with further details:

THE LAST DAYS OF NEW PARIS is an intense and gripping tale set in an alternative universe: June 1940 following Paris’ fall to the Germans, the villa of Air-Bel in Marsailles, is filled with Trotskyists, anti-fascists, exiled artists, and surrealists. One Air-Bel dissident decides the best way to fight the Nazis is to construct a surrealist bomb. When the bomb is accidentally detonated, surrealist Cataclysm sweeps Paris and transforms it according to a violent, weaponized dream logic.

Wow. We really are blessed with so much new material in such a short time! I’ll update when other details are known.

UPDATE: Check out a new, longer description here!