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Embassytown

by China Mieville

Simultaneously a linguistics thesis come to life and a rip-roaring sci-fi conspiracy adventure, this is a completely immersive read. A bit like learning to dive: I did feel like I was drowning at first, but once I let myself go with the flow of it, the pay-off was the opportunity to explore fascinating and completely unfamiliar communities.

Extract

The CHEL was for the Terre study of all exot languages, but it was those generally considered most strange that fascinated its members. I saw slapdash temporary trids advertising sessions on cross-cultural chromatophore signalling, on touch communication among the unseeing Burdhan, and on me.

Parallels

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Velum by Hal Duncan
 

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