Perdido Street Station
Copyright 2000 by
I first read this on the 8th February 2002.
In another reality, in a magical steampunk world, there's a city,
"New Crobuzon". It's a Victorian mixing pot of humans, cyborgs and alien
races mired in degradation and ruled by callous and brutal government.
Our primary protagonist is Isaac Grimnebulin, a ambitious but
undisciplined scientist. His unconventional ideas have led him to be
partially ostracised by the scientific establishment. Now his laboratory
is a loft filled with equipment stolen from his university. He buys his
experimental materials from the criminal underworld. His friends are
artists and his lover is an alien khepri - a half-human, half-insect
female. Still he's working away on his unified field theory as best he
can in these difficult circumstances,
But now he has a new patron, a commission and some serious funds.
His lover Lin has also found a new patron, or rather the patron
has found her.
But there's some serious danger, life-threatening danger, in both of
these commissions for the two lovers. The city itself will be under
threat, Isaac and his accomplices will face horror, death and betrayal
in their attempts to save themselves and their city.
Horrible, horrible. No, not the book of course, that's excellent. I'm
talking about the intricate world Mieville's created. It's a tar pit of
betrayal, disfigurement and death. He does go on a little self-indulgently
about how grimy and grotty everything is. And there are just too many
monsters and aliens. It's as though he's making them up whenever he
needs a touch more griminess or grottiness.
There are great characters: Isaac himself of course, Lin his lover,
Derkhan, Yagharek, Motley, Lemuel Pigeon and the alien Weaver.
It's a very good book. I enjoyed reading it and especially look
forward to reading it again in a year or two, and in the meantime I'll
dream sometimes of New Crobuzon's dark streets and colourful people.
Loaded on the 17th February 2002.