In the movie Master and Commander, one of the boys working on becoming an officer is told by Paul Bettany, ship’s doctor and amateur naturalist, that he has a knack for naturalism.

And the kid says: “You don’t suppose I could be a sort of Fighting Naturalist, do you?”

China Mieville is a sort of Fighting SF Author.

“I always had a paranoia about someone pulling my earrings out and tearing my ears, so I always wore them with clasps that undo when pulled. Then about three years ago, this man ripped my earrings out during a political argument. Half of me was thinking, ‘What the hell are you doing?’, the other half, ‘Result!'”

I mean, aside from the fiction, which is wholly weird and a fun romp, you’ve got an author personae like this:

“My first big crush was Purity Brown, the very cool human sidekick to Nemesis the Warlock in 2000 AD comics. She was a feisty kickass heroine dressed in apocalypse chic, leather, straps and guns.”

and this:

“Being called ‘the sexiest man in politics’ when I ran for parliament for the Socialist Alliance was a pretty lovely cross to bear. But who’s the big competition? Paddy Ashdown?”

Just read the whole column. It’s great.

Did I mention that the fiction’s not bad, either?

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