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Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories
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Random House Worlds 2015
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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • The Guardian • Kirkus Reviews  The fiction of multiple award–winning author China Miéville is powered by intelligence and imagination. Like George Saunders, Karen Russell, and David Mitchell, he pulls from a variety of genres with equal facility, employing the fantastic not to escape from reality but instead to interrogate it in provocative, unexpected ways.
 
London awakes one morning to find itself besieged by a sky full of floating icebergs. Destroyed oil rigs, mysteriously reborn, clamber from the sea and onto the land, driven by an obscure purpose. An anatomy student cuts open a cadaver to discover impossibly intricate designs carved into a corpse’s bones—designs clearly present from birth, bearing mute testimony to . . . what?
 
Of such concepts and unforgettable images are made the twenty-eight stories in this collection—many published here for the first time. By turns speculative, satirical, and heart-wrenching, fresh in form and language, and featuring a cast of damaged yet hopeful seekers who come face-to-face with the deep weirdness of the world—and at times the deeper weirdness of themselves—Three Moments of an Explosion is a fitting showcase for one of literature’s most original voices.
Praise for Three Moments of an Explosion
 
“China Miéville is dazzling. His latest collection of short stories, Three Moments of an Explosion, crowds virtuosity into every sentence.”The New York Times
 
“You can’t talk about [China] Miéville without using the word ‘brilliant.’ . . . His wit dazzles, his humour is lively, and the pure vitality of his imagination is astonishing.”—Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian
 
“[A] gripping collection . . . Miéville expertly mixes science fiction, fantasy and surrealism. . . . Amid the longer stories are more cerebral, poetic flash pieces that will haunt the reader beyond the pages of this exceptional book.”—The Washington Post
 
“The stories shine . . . with a winking brilliance.”—The Seattle Times
 
“Mind-bending excursions into the fantastic.”—NPR
 
“Bradbury meets Borges, with Lovecraft gibbering tumultuously just out of hearing.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
Three Moments of an Explosion is a book filled with fabulous oddities.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“Miéville moves effortlessly among realism, fantasy, and surrealism. . . . His characters, whether ordinary witnesses to extraordinary events or lunatics operating out of inexplicable compulsions, are invariably well drawn and compelling.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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Street Date:
08/04/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101884737
ASIN:
B00R04OVOA
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APA Citation (style guide)

China Miéville. (2015). Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories. Random House Worlds.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

China Miéville. 2015. Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories. Random House Worlds.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

China Miéville, Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories. Random House Worlds, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

China Miéville. Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories. Random House Worlds, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • The Guardian • Kirkus Reviews  The fiction of multiple award–winning author China Miéville is powered by intelligence and imagination. Like George Saunders, Karen Russell, and David Mitchell, he pulls from a variety of genres with equal facility, employing the fantastic not to escape from reality but instead to interrogate it in provocative, unexpected ways.
 
London awakes one morning to find itself besieged by a sky full of floating icebergs. Destroyed oil rigs, mysteriously reborn, clamber from the sea and onto the land, driven by an obscure purpose. An anatomy student cuts open a cadaver to discover impossibly intricate designs carved into a corpse’s bones—designs clearly present from birth, bearing mute testimony to . . . what?
 
Of such concepts and unforgettable images are made the twenty-eight stories in this collection—many published here for the first time. By turns speculative, satirical, and heart-wrenching, fresh in form and language, and featuring a cast of damaged yet hopeful seekers who come face-to-face with the deep weirdness of the world—and at times the deeper weirdness of themselves—Three Moments of an Explosion is a fitting showcase for one of literature’s most original voices.
Praise for Three Moments of an Explosion
 
“China Miéville is dazzling. His latest collection of short stories, Three Moments of an Explosion, crowds virtuosity into every sentence.”The New York Times
 
“You can’t talk about [China] Miéville without using the word ‘brilliant.’ . . . His wit dazzles, his humour is lively, and the pure vitality of his imagination is astonishing.”—Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian
 
“[A] gripping collection . . . Miéville expertly mixes science fiction, fantasy and surrealism. . . . Amid the longer stories are more cerebral, poetic flash pieces that will haunt the reader beyond the pages of this exceptional book.”—The Washington Post
 
“The stories shine . . . with a winking brilliance.”—The Seattle Times
 
“Mind-bending excursions into the fantastic.”—NPR
 
“Bradbury meets Borges, with Lovecraft gibbering tumultuously just out of hearing.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
Three Moments of an Explosion is a book filled with fabulous oddities.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“Miéville moves effortlessly among realism, fantasy, and surrealism. . . . His characters, whether ordinary witnesses to extraordinary events or lunatics operating out of inexplicable compulsions, are invariably well drawn and compelling.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian (U.K.)
      • content: "You can't talk about Miéville without using the word 'brilliant.' . . . His wit dazzles, his humour is lively, and the pure vitality of his imagination is astonishing. . . . My favourite of all these tales is 'The Rules,' two and a half pages long. Read it. You won't regret it, or forget it."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from April 27, 2015
        Award winner Miéville (Embassytown) moves effortlessly among realism, fantasy, and surrealism in this dark, sometimes horrific short story collection. Highlights include “Polynia,” in which icebergs begin appearing in the sky over London, floating effortlessly despite their enormous weight; “In the Slopes,” centered on the discovery of a Pompeii-like ancient city in which humans and aliens seem to have coexisted in peace; the frightening “Sacken,” about Lovecraftian goings-on at a lakeside vacation spot; “Dreaded Outcome,” in which a therapist proves herself willing to go to any length to cure her clients; and “Covehithe,” in which all of the deep-water oil drilling platforms that have ever sunk and polluted the planet return, striding out of the water like Wellsian tripods, to inflict vengeance on humanity and pursue their own mysterious agenda. Miéville’s ornate style, which befits the fantasies he’s known for, can also become terse, even minimalist, in such experimental pieces as “The Crawl” and “Listen to the Birds.” His characters, whether ordinary witnesses to extraordinary events or lunatics operating out of inexplicable compulsions, are invariably well drawn and compelling. Above all, what the stories have in common is a sense that the world is not just strange, but stranger than we can ever really comprehend.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2015
        Horror, noir, fantasy, politics, and poetry swirl into combinations as satisfying intellectually as they are emotionally. Mieville (Railsea, 2012, etc.) has a habit of building his narratives by taking a metaphor, often about a political or social issue, and asking what would happen if it were literally true. His masterful 2009 novel The City and the City (Locus, Hugo, and Arthur C. Clarke awards), for example, explored two metropolises with entirely separate populations, governments, infrastructures, and even clothing styles that shared a single geographical location. In less-capable hands, this method might result in mere gags or dead horses endlessly beaten. (Good thing this isn't a Mieville story, or you'd be wiping off bits of rotten horseflesh.) In Mieville's hands it ranges from clever to profound. In "Dreaded Outcome," the narrator, a Brooklyn psychotherapist, practices "traumatic vector therapy," a style that incorporates military and martial arts techniques. (Like that therapist, Mieville often mixes styles and genres, in this case academic discourse and noir.) "Most of the time what our patients need is a compassionate, rigorous, sympathetic interlocutor. Sometimes the externalized trauma-vectors in dysfunctional interpersonal codependent psychodynamics are powerful enough that more robust therapeutic interventions are necessary. I checked my ammunition." That readers can guess what will happen after the narrator learns her own therapist is also a TVT practitioner makes the ending no less satisfying. In "Polynia," the ghosts of vanished geologic and ecologic features haunt the warmed globe, with icebergs floating in the air over London, coral forming the "Great Brussels Reef," and rain forest undergrowth shutting down factories in Japan. Other stories are more open-ended. In "The Dusty Hat," members of a political organization have split off from "the Mothership" to form "the Left Faction." The story opens with the narrator contemplating a crack in his (or her?) wall and ceiling; by the time it ends, he's discovered a vast politics of the inanimate, with its own schisms. "I poured myself a glass of water. I didn't like how it looked at me." As a mysterious, not-entirely-animate figure tells him, the "loyalist" crack in his wall has been watching him: "The split was against you in the split." Bradbury meets Borges, with Lovecraft gibbering tumultuously just out of hearing.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        July 1, 2015

        Multiaward-winning fantasy and sf writer Mieville (Perdido Street Station) offers a set of fantastical stories all wrapped in a veil of normalcy. In this collection the ordinary--vacations, psychotherapy--and the extraordinary--revolutionary internecine fighting--are given a twist away from average expectations. For instance, in the title story building demolitions are used as a new form of advertising in conjunction with a fresh type of sport. The nagging plausibility that invades these stories are found even in the most imaginative of them, such as "The Dowager of Bees," in which playing cards feature hidden suits that reconfigure the game and exact a toll on the player. Adding to the volume's normal-but-not-normal feel, the author places his readers in the middle of his tales with no backstory to explain the jargon and setup--take "Syllabus," for example, an actual outline for a class in which echo figures are forbidden and students debate the success of privatizing sickness. Finally, these stories don't feature hard science but rather a possibility, an idea, a retake on the actual to be replaced by the what if. VERDICT Mieville once again shows his mastery of the astounding, and his many fans will not be disappointed.--Laura Hiatt-Smith, Conifer, CO

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        June 1, 2015
        Mieville has, without doubt, one of the most remarkable imaginations of any writer working today. Whether it's icebergs appearing over London ( Polynia ), card players discovering hidden suits ( The Dowager of Bees ), or a tale of evil on a German lake that makes the Brothers Grimm look like pretenders ( Sacken ), the speculative-fiction master has a knack for creating scenarios both unworldly and so familiar that, reading them, we feel we've woken up from our own dream. If there's a problem with this bulging collection of 28 short pieces, it's that, well, maybe it's a bit too bulging. Each of the best stories (such as The Design, about a medical student who finds scrimshaw on a cadaver's bones) is offset by one that's less successful (the almost ethereal The Dusty Hat, about squabbling leftists who find a much more radical wing among them). Though these stories can be enjoyed by any reader with a taste for thought experiments (including fans of Jonathan Lethem and George Saunders), Mieville would have been better served by a more ruthlessly edited selection.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • The Guardian • Kirkus Reviews  The fiction of multiple award–winning author China Miéville is powered by intelligence and imagination. Like George Saunders, Karen Russell, and David Mitchell, he pulls from a variety of genres with equal facility, employing the fantastic not to escape from reality but instead to interrogate it in provocative, unexpected ways.
 
London awakes one morning to find itself besieged by a sky full of floating icebergs. Destroyed oil rigs, mysteriously reborn, clamber from the sea and onto the land, driven by an obscure purpose. An anatomy student cuts open a cadaver to discover impossibly intricate designs carved into a corpse’s bones—designs clearly present from birth, bearing mute testimony to . . . what?
 
Of such concepts and unforgettable images are made the...
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