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The Immer and the Out: A Review of Embassytown

6 Jun 2011, 19:41 UTC
The Immer and the Out: A Review of Embassytown
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Humans breathing off gasses from aeoli. Animals as sources of energy. Zelles that perspire electricity. Living biorigged tools and weapons. Beasts that defecate fuel. A town in the middle of an alien city. Welcome to the world of Embassytown.

On another world, comes a living city that straddles between the immer and the out. And from it comes a bagful of new words: biorigging, terretech, shiftparents, floaking, immer, miab, autom, immer, sopor, augmen, exot, trunc, curio, biopolis, citynaut.

Never have I seen so many chopped words in a single novel (such as ‘autom’ which my brain tries to complete as ‘automata’) and never have I seen so many new ones invented from cropped words.

Clearly, China Miéville had so much fun treating words like lego. Names weren't spared of this cut-half practice. After seeing so many names of characters being chopped into two constituents, I ended up doing the same thing to my name. I imagined each syllable as coming from each of the two hemispheres of my brain.

I swear I had no previous knowledge of Embassytown when I posted my inquiry about Exonoology. It was a few days later after I read that review by Ursula K. ...

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