Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none-not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory. Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger. While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger-and more consuming-by the day.
- Hugo Awards
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. (Feb. 27) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Freakishly Fun
Posted February 20, 2010 by Tim Hilf-Barr , OlympiaChina Mieville creates a world populated by as many races as one can imagine (and even some positively unimaginable ones as well). Add to the mix suitably multi-dimensional characters and witty dialog and there you have the makings of a delightful read. I cannot recommend this highly enough. When you are finished, you'll want more.
July 27, 2003
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
A window burst open high above the market. A basket flew from it and arced
towards the oblivious crowd. It spasmed in mid-air, then spun and
continued earthwards at a slower, uneven pace. Dancing precariously as it
descended, its wire-mesh caught and skittered on the building ' s rough
hide. It scrabbled at the wall, sending paint and concrete dust plummeting
The sun shone through uneven cloud-cover with a bright grey light. Below
the basket the stalls and barrows lay like untidy spillage. The city
reeked. But today was market day down in Aspic Hole, and the pungent slick
of dung-smell and rot that rolled over New Crobuzon was, in these streets,
for these hours, improved with paprika and fresh tomato, hot oil and fish
and cinnamon, cured meat, banana and onion.
The food stalls stretched the noisy length of Shadrach Street. Books and
manuscripts and pictures filled up Selchit Pass, an avenue of desultory
banyans and crumbling concrete a little way to the east. There were
earthenware products spilling down the road to Barrackham in the south;
engine parts to the west; toys down one side street; clothes between two
more; and countless other goods filling all the alleys. The rows of
merchandise converged crookedly on Aspic Hole like spokes on a broken
In the Hole itself all distinctions broke down. In the shadow
of old walls and unsafe towers were a pile of gears, a ramshackle
table of broken crockery and crude clay ornaments, a case of mouldering
textbooks. Antiques, sex, flea-powder. Between the stalls stomped hissing
constructs. Beggars argued in the bowels of deserted buildings. Members of
strange races bought peculiar things. Aspic Bazaar, a blaring mess of
goods, grease and tallymen. Mercantile law ruled: let the buyer beware.
The costermonger below the descending basket looked up into flat sunlight
and a shower of brick particles. He wiped his eye. He plucked the frayed
thing from the air above his head, pulling at the cord which bore it until
it went slack in his hand. Inside the basket was a brass shekel and a note
in careful, ornamented italics. The food-vendor scratched his nose as he
scanned the paper. He rummaged in the piles of produce before him, placed
eggs and fruit and root vegetables into the container, checking against
the list. He stopped and read one item again, then smiled lasciviously and
cut a slice of pork. When he was done he put the shekel in his pocket and
felt for change, hesitating as he calculated his delivery cost, eventually
depositing four stivers in with the food.