RevolutionSF interviews China Mieville.
To be prosaically specific for a minute, the Iraq war wasn't kicking off when I first started writing [Iron Council], so the Tesh War stuff wasn't intended as a direct parallel. But of course as it went on, inevitably that metaphorical element starting resonating, so it's not surprising that readers feel that's partly what's being talked about. But it's not 'really about' the Iraq War. If I want to talk about that, I'll just fucking talk about it. It is both something which has certain metaphorical resonances, and also something which is absolutely and literally true in the world of this story. Allegory would be to betray that literalised uncanny that the fantastic genres do so well.