WINNER OF THE AUGUST DERLETH AND ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARDS • A masterpiece brimming with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and fierce characters, from the author who “has reshaped modern fantasy” (The Washington Post)
“[China Miéville’s] fantasy novels, including a trilogy set in and around the magical city-state of New Crobuzon, have the refreshing effect of making Middle-earth seem plodding and flat.”—The New York Times
The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the center of the world. Humans and mutants and arcane races brood in the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the river is sluggish with unnatural effluent and foundries pound into the night. For a thousand years, the Parliament and its brutal militias have ruled over a vast economy of workers and artists, spies and soldiers, magicians, crooks, and junkies.
Now a stranger has arrived, with a pocketful of gold and an impossible demand. And something unthinkable is released.
The city is gripped by an alien terror. The fate of millions lies with a clutch of renegades. A reckoning is due at the city’s heart, in the vast edifice of brick and wood and steel under the vaults of Perdido Street Station.
It is too late to escape.
King Rat (1999), Mi ville's much-praised first novel of urban fantasy/horror, was just a palate-teaser for this appetizing, if extravagant, stew of genre themes. Its setting, New Crobuzon, is an audaciously imagined milieu: a city with the dimensions of a world, home to a polyglot civilization of wildly varied species and overlapping and interpenetrating cultures. Seeking to prove his unified energy theory as it relates to organic and mechanical forms, rogue scientist Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin tries to restore the power of flight to Yagharek, a member of the garuda race cruelly shorn of its wings. Isaac's lover, Lin, unconsciously mimics his scientific pursuits when she takes on the seemingly impossible commission of sculpting a patron whose body is a riot of grotesquely mutated and spliced appendages. Their social life is one huge, postgraduate bull session with friends and associates--until a nightmare-inducing grub escapes from Isaac's lab and transforms into a flying monster that imperils the city. This accident precipitates a political crisis, initiates an action-packed manhunt for Isaac and introduces hordes of vividly imagined beings who inhabit the twilight zone between science and sorcery. Mi ville's canvas is so breathtakingly broad that the details of individual subplots and characters sometime lose their definition. But it is also generous enough to accommodate large dollops of aesthetics, scientific discussion and quest fantasy in an impressive and ultimately pleasing epic.
Still mind bending
twenty years later after the first read. So many amazing and crazy people, places and concepts. Treat yourself and dive into this book.
This was simply a masterpiece. Mieville has created a world that goes beyond intriguing. Highly recommended!!!