Their eyes locked, unblinking, onto one another, but this was no romantic interlude. If the eyes are the windows to the soul then theirs were lies, no sign of their conflict playing out in their glassy blankness. It had started with a question, innocuous enough Lev Grossman had thought, that met with a coolness as chill as the spring Williamsburg evening. The conviviality of the evening spoilt, the tone and tenor of question and response grew darker and more barbed until the dialogue had slowed to fragments and unanswered questions met with stares and glares.
Soon there was only silence, a tension so heavy that it choked inquiry as the two authors launched psychic sallies at one another; feint and thrust, parry and riposte. As the battle intensified, marked outwardly only by a single bead of sweat inching its way down Lev Grossman’s forehead, the lights in the room began to flicker and flare. Intermittent bursts of stray power, the effluent of immense psychic force excited their various filaments and fluorescents. The singular bead of sweat gained a fellow, then another, the exertion was becoming clear on Lev Grossman’s face as he began to shake. His tremors started softly, then progressed swiftly to violent, before he let out a piercing shriek. He convulsed painfully for a few protracted seconds before, in a mist of crimson and gray, his head exploded.
That’s what happens if you ask China Miéville what he thinks of Could They Beat-Up China Miéville?, apparently…
WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE