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What I Learned from Embassytown

Oh man.  I finished up Embassytown on audiobook last week, and if I hear the word “language” one more time I’m gonna stab someone. I don’t care how sexy british her voice is.

That’s not true. I do care.

A few tid-bits that stick with me:

A good sci-fi universe envisions the end-results of many technologies, not just one. Aliens from whom speech and consciousness are the same. Aliens whose technology is all biological. Almost-sentient robots. A human diaspora via an adjacent dimension, and what happens when they get to the end of space.

Give the reader some new vocab, and make it awesome. Read: floaking. immer. exot.

Build that world through the eyes of your character. We’ll catch up. And if some aspect of the place’s history doesn’t have anything to do with the characters or the plot, who cares about it anyway?


Embassytown was very satisfying read/listen,  and a big influence on my trying out the whole first person thing in my latest.

Also, Simon LeBon likes it!

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