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Perdido Street Station





violetgnu
Unbelievably terrible and beautiful at the same time, Perdido Street Station is probably one of my favorite books. The world is just incredibly detailed, fantastic and horrible at the same time, and the resolution and entanglement of all the various plotlines is pretty ingenious as well. Even small points are great. Take Very Tea, for example, a drug in Bas Lag. Very Tea, and verity, truth. I thought it was clever.

Anyone else ever read Perdido Street Station?
Obake
I have it sitting on one of my bookshelves, but I haven't read it yet--probably will sometime over the holidays in the next few months. I have, however, read the sequel, The Scar (never let it be said that I start a series from the right end), which I can wholeheartedly recommend (Pirate boat cities! Kidnappings! All kinds of Possbilities! At least two different kinds of vampire!--Am I the only one amused by his fascination with vampires?). I need to get hold of Iron Council too.

China's also written a short story collection, Looking for Jake and Other Stories. It's interesting--there are some great stories and ideas there--but I get the feeling he's at his best when he's got a lot more room to move and develop his ideas than a few thousand words.
violetgnu
I never knew about Looking for Jake! I'll have to find that and the Iron Council. I've read the Scar, but the plotline in Perdido is only referenced a few times, so the books can be read in pretty much any order it seems. The Scar is a great book, Uther Doul and Silas Fennec being two of my favourite characters, but Perdido's even better Very Happy (in my opinion). P.S.S is a little darker, though, and grittier.
Obake
violetgnu wrote:
I never knew about Looking for Jake!


Very Happy Glad to be able to introduce you to it. It was released, I believe, late last year--most bookstores with a halfway decent sf section should be able to order it in for you, even if they don't still stock it on the shelves (and some of them will still stock it).

violetgnu wrote:
I've read the Scar, but the plotline in Perdido is only referenced a few times, so the books can be read in pretty much any order it seems.


Yeah, and where it was referenced, it wasn't in a way that either over-explained stuff that went on in the other book, or required you to have read it to get the point. I tend to think that the best book series are written with each part as stand-alone as possible--it's a courtesy to the reader, who may be a newbie at the third volume or an old hand, and it shows greater skill in writing than "he took the magic sword and went to rescue the princess. END BOOK ONE. BUY BOOK TWO TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT."

Come to that, that's probably one of the reasons I'm so enamoured of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Each book's more or less stand-alone--and that's got to get difficult when you've got over thirty books' worth of canon to catch new readers up on without boring the old ones--so I can pretend to myself that I'm not really hooked; I can stop reading whenever I like, because Pterry can be trusted not to leave me hanging.

violetgnu wrote:
P.S.S is a little darker, though, and grittier.


Yeah, I kind of got that idea from some of the references in The Scar. That's good though--part of what defines Mieville's writing is the darkness and not-quite-exactly cynicism of it (although many of his characters are extremely cynical). That and the depth of his world-building.
pedrothelion
Miéville's magnificent. I picked up Perdido Street Station about two years back, got the Scar when it was released here and then waited a bit for Iron Council. The originality of his work is nothing short of astonishing, I have yet to find any other author with the kind of gritty realism and reinvention of the genre that he's capable of.

I wasn't to sure but I got King Rat a couple of months before christmas and it to blew me away. It's set in London so it's not set in the same universe as the three other mentioned books. The piper is fantastic and the way Miéville ties the characters together is just awesome.
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