Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Perdido Street Station USA cover Perdido Street Station (2000)
2001 British Fantasy Award winner
2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award winner
2002 Hugo Award nominee

Del Rey USA trade paperback
cover design by David Stevenson
710 pages (left)

Macmillan UK hardback
cover art by Edward Miller
710 pages (right)
Perdido Street Station UK cover

From the inside cover of the USA trade paperback:
       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 gifted and eccentric 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 encountered.  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 becomes more and more consumed with his experiments, one of his lab specimens demands special attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger -- and more voracious -- by the day.  What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon -- and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes . . .
       Reminiscent of Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka, and Neal Stephenson, this magnificent novel, rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader's imagination.

From the inside cover of the UK hardback:
       The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre 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 the factories and foundries pound into the night.  For more than a thousand years, the Parliament and its brutal militia have ruled here over a vast economy of workers and artists, spies and soldiers, magicians, junkies and whores.
       Now a stranger has arrived, with a pocket full of gold and an impossible demand.  And inadvertently, clumsily, something unthinkable is released.
       The city is gripped by an alien terror.  The fate of millions lies within the clutch of renegades on the run from lawmakers and crimelords, outcast and alone.  The urban nightscape has become a hunting ground.  Battles rage in the shadows of uncanny architecture.  And a reckoning is due at the city's heart, in a vast edifice of brick and wood and steel, under the chaotic vaults of Perdido Street Station.
       A nightmare has come to the city. And its too late to escape.

Read for group discussion on May 14, 2003

How we each rated this book
Dan - Amy 9 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri - Barb -
Aaron - Cynthia -
Jackie 8 Ron 6
Christine - Mitch -
Amelia -    

Our book group has also read the following books by China Miéville
-- The Scar   in January 2005 (includes summary)
-- The City & The City   in June 2010

China Miéville (1972-    ) is a UK fantasy writer living in England.   He has written in the New Weird subgenre.

2001 August Derleth Award (British Fantasy) for Perdido Street Station
2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Perdido Street Station
2003 August Derleth Award (British Fantasy) for The Scar
2005 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Iron Council
2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award for The City & The City

Bas-Lag universe books
-- Perdido Street Station (2000)
-- The Scar (2002)
-- Iron Council (2004)

Other novels
-- King Rat (1998), his first novel, dark fantasy or horror
-- The City & The City (2009), mystery science fantasy
-- Kraken (2010), a dark comedy fantasy

Novellas or short novels
--The Tain (2002), post-apocalypse story reprinted in the anthology Cities (2004)

Young Adult books
-- Un Lun Dun (2007), fantasy

Short story collections
-- Looking for Jake (2005), fourteen stories including The Tain

Aaron's review of The Tain on Fantastic Reviews
Our book club's page for The Scar by China Miéville
Our book club's page for The City & The City by China Miéville
China Miéville - Wikipedia
January Magazine Review | Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
The SF Site Featured Review: Perdido Street Station
China Miéville: Perdido Street Station - an infinity plus review
Green Man Review - China Mieville, Perdido Street Station
Locus Online: China Miéville interview excerpts (2002)
China Miéville interviewed - infinity plus non-fiction (2001)
China Mieville interviewed - infinity plus non-fiction (2003)

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This page was last updated July 31, 2010