China Miéville lives and works in
London. He is three-time winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke
Award (Perdido Street Station, Iron Council and The
City & The City) and has also won the British Fantasy Award
twice (Perdido Street Station and The Scar)
with China Miéville
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
China Miéville: The first was written in 1997, the last in about 2004, but of course
they were written in bits and pieces and snips of time, so it's
impossible to answer rigorously. I write shorts very occasionally, and
in little bursts of time, so I can't be sure, if you clumped them
together, how long each one had taken. Probably for the most part
something between one and two weeks, though obviously longer on a
novella like The Tain.
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
CM: In the most nebulous sense, that I hoped they'd be collected together
when done, but I wasn't thinking of them as a totality - just wanting to
put whatever shorts I could together. I love short story collections,
always have, and loved the idea of having one.
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
CM: For someone like me who doesn't write that many, it was easy: include everything, leave out nothing.
does the word "story"
mean to you?
CM: Whatever the writer and/or reader wants it to.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
CM: Myself, stripped of the memory of the story. A dull answer, I know, but it's the truth.
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?
CM: Many, many things, but on the whole I think writers should butt out when
people read their books, so I'd bite my lip and restrain myself.
TSR: How does
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
CM: A very strange and very lovely privilege.
What are you working on now?
CM: I'm going to be a pain and duck the question, as I'm very superstitious
about talking about work in progress. I will say I'm hoping to do a lot
more short stories over the next couple of years. I have plans.
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
CM: David Constantine, Under the Dam
Ghassan Kanafani, Men in the Sun
AN Munby, Alabaster Hand and other Ghost Stories