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BONUS: This edition contains a The City & The City discussion guide and excerpts from China Miéville's Kraken and Embassytown.NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE SEATTLE TIMES, AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. To investigate, Borlú must travel from the decaying Beszel to its equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the vibrant city of Ul Qoma. But this is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a seeing of the unseen. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, Borlú is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one. As the detectives uncover the dead woman's secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them more than their lives. What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.
China Miéville doesn't follow trends, he sets them. Relentlessly pushing his own boundaries as a writer--and in the process expanding the boundaries of the entire field--with Embassytown, Miéville has crafted an extraordinary novel that is not only a moving personal drama but a gripping adventure of alien contact and war. In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak. Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language. When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties--to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her.From the Hardcover edition.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from China Miéville's Embassytown. Following Perdido Street Station and The Scar, acclaimed author China Miéville returns with his hugely anticipated Del Rey hardcover debut. With a fresh and fantastical band of characters, he carries us back to the decadent squalor of New Crobuzon--this time, decades later. It is a time of wars and revolutions, conflict and intrigue. New Crobuzon is being ripped apart from without and within. War with the shadowy city-state of Tesh and rioting on the streets at home are pushing the teeming city to the brink. A mysterious masked figure spurs strange rebellion, while treachery and violence incubate in unexpected places. In desperation, a small group of renegades escapes from the city and crosses strange and alien continents in the search for a lost hope. In the blood and violence of New Crobuzon's most dangerous hour, there are whispers. It is the time of the iron council. . . . The bold originality that broke Miéville out as a new force of the genre is here once more in Iron Council: the voluminous, lyrical novel that is destined to seal his reputation as perhaps the edgiest mythmaker of the day.
With this outrageous new novel, China Miéville has written one of the strangest, funniest, and flat-out scariest books you will read this--or any other--year. The London that comes to life in Kraken is a weird metropolis awash in secret currents of myth and magic, where criminals, police, cultists, and wizards are locked in a war to bring about--or prevent--the End of All Things.In the Darwin Centre at London's Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre's prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis dux--better known as the Giant Squid. But Billy's tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air.As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizens--human and otherwise--are adept in magic and murder.There is the Congregation of God Kraken, a sect of squid worshippers whose roots go back to the dawn of humanity--and beyond. There is the criminal mastermind known as the Tattoo, a merciless maniac inked onto the flesh of a hapless victim. There is the FSRC--the Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unit--a branch of London's finest that fights sorcery with sorcery. There is Wati, a spirit from ancient Egypt who leads a ragtag union of magical familiars. There are the Londonmancers, who read the future in the city's entrails. There is Grisamentum, London's greatest wizard, whose shadow lingers long after his death. And then there is Goss and Subby, an ageless old man and a cretinous boy who, together, constitute a terrifying--yet darkly charismatic--demonic duo.All of them--and others--are in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be. From the Hardcover edition.
Now from this brilliant young writer comes a groundbreaking collection of stories, many of them previously unavailable in the United States, and including four never-before-published tales-one set in Miéville's signature fantasy world of New Crobuzon. Among the fourteen superb fictions are "Jack"-Following the events of his acclaimed novel Perdido Street Station, this tale of twisted attachment and horrific revenge traces the rise and fall of the Remade Robin Hood known as Jack Half-a-Prayer. "Familiar"-Spurned by its creator, a sorceress's familiar embarks on a strange and unsettling odyssey of self-discovery in a coming-of-age story like no other.
A final statement from the greatest clairvoyant of twentieth-century literature. Never before published in America, this revelatory autobiography--hailed as "fascinating [and] amazingly lucid" (Guardian)--charts the remarkable story of James Graham Ballard, a man described by Martin Amis as "the most original English writer of the last century." Beginning with his Shanghai childhood, Miracles of Life guides us from the deprivations of Lunghua Camp during World War II, which provide the back story for his best-selling Empire of the Sun, to his arrival in war-torn England and his emergence as "the ideal chronicler of our disturbed modernity" (Observer). With prose of characteristic precision, Ballard movingly recalls his first attempts at science fiction, the 1970 American pulping of The Atrocity Exhibition--which sprang from his fascination with JFK conspiracy theories--and his life as a single father after the premature death of his wife. "This book should make yet more converts to a cause that Ballard's devotees have been pleading for years" (Independent).
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from China Mieville's Embassytown. 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. 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 . . . A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader's imagination.
On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one's death and the other's glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can't shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea-even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she's been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it's a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict--a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible--leads to considerably more than he'd bargained for. Soon he's hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham's life that's about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea. From China Miéville comes a novel for readers of all ages, a gripping and brilliantly imagined take on Herman Melville's Moby-Dick that confirms his status as "the most original and talented voice to appear in several years." (Science Fiction Chronicle)From the Hardcover edition.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from China Miéville's Embassytown. A mythmaker of the highest order, China Miéville has emblazoned the fantasy novel with fresh language, startling images, and stunning originality. Set in the same sprawling world of Miéville's Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel, Perdido Street Station, this latest epic introduces a whole new cast of intriguing characters and dazzling creations. Aboard a vast seafaring vessel, a band of prisoners and slaves, their bodies remade into grotesque biological oddities, is being transported to the fledgling colony of New Crobuzon. But the journey is not theirs alone. They are joined by a handful of travelers, each with a reason for fleeing the city. Among them is Bellis Coldwine, a renowned linguist whose services as an interpreter grant her passage--and escape from horrific punishment. For she is linked to Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin, the brilliant renegade scientist who has unwittingly unleashed a nightmare upon New Crobuzon. For Bellis, the plan is clear: live among the new frontiersmen of the colony until it is safe to return home. But when the ship is besieged by pirates on the Swollen Ocean, the senior officers are summarily executed. The surviving passengers are brought to Armada, a city constructed from the hulls of pirated ships, a floating, landless mass ruled by the bizarre duality called the Lovers. On Armada, everyone is given work, and even Remades live as equals to humans, Cactae, and Cray. Yet no one may ever leave. Lonely and embittered in her captivity, Bellis knows that to show dissent is a death sentence. Instead, she must furtively seek information about Armada's agenda. The answer lies in the dark, amorphous shapes that float undetected miles below the waters--terrifying entities with a singular, chilling mission. . . . China Miéville is a writer for a new era--and The Scar is a luminous, brilliantly imagined novel that is nothing short of spectacular.
For readers of George Saunders, Kelly Link, David Mitchell, and Karen Russell, This Census-Taker is a stunning, uncanny, and profoundly moving novella from multiple-award-winning and bestselling author China Miéville. In a remote house on a hilltop, a lonely boy witnesses a profoundly traumatic event. He tries--and fails--to flee. Left alone with his increasingly deranged parent, he dreams of safety, of joining the other children in the town below, of escape. When at last a stranger knocks at his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation might be over. But by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? What is the purpose behind his questions? Is he friend? Enemy? Or something else altogether? Filled with beauty, terror, and strangeness, This Census-Taker is a poignant and riveting exploration of memory and identity.Advance praise for This Census-Taker "A thought-provoking fairy tale for adults . . . [This Census-Taker] resembles the narrative style, quirkiness, and plotting found in the works of Karen Russell, Aimee Bender, or Steven Millhauser."--Booklist "Brief and dreamlike . . . a deceptively simple story whose plot could be taken as a symbolic representation of an aspect of humanity as big as an entire society and as small as a single soul."--Kirkus ReviewsPraise for China Miéville "Even when he is orbiting somewhere in a galaxy too far away for normal human comprehension . . . Miéville is dazzling."--The New York Times "[Miéville's] wit dazzles, his humour is lively, and the pure vitality of his imagination is astonishing."--Ursula K. Le GuinFrom the Hardcover edition.
The fiction of multiple award-winning author China Miéville is powered by intelligence and imagination. Like George Saunders, Karen Russell, and David Mitchell, he pulls from a variety of genres with equal facility, employing the fantastic not to escape from reality but instead to interrogate it in provocative, unexpected ways. London awakes one morning to find itself besieged by a sky full of floating icebergs. Destroyed oil rigs, mysteriously reborn, clamber from the sea and onto the land, driven by an obscure but violent purpose. An anatomy student cuts open a cadaver to discover impossibly intricate designs carved into a corpse's bones--designs clearly present from birth, bearing mute testimony to . . . what? Of such concepts and unforgettable images are made the twenty-eight stories in this collection--many published here for the first time. By turns speculative, satirical, and heart-wrenching, fresh in form and language, and featuring a cast of damaged yet hopeful seekers who come face-to-face with the deep weirdness of the world--and at times the deeper weirdness of themselves--Three Moments of an Explosion is a fitting showcase for one of literature's most original voices.Advance praise for Three Moments of an Explosion "Horror, noir, fantasy, politics, and poetry swirl into combinations as satisfying intellectually as they are emotionally. . . . Bradbury meets Borges, with Lovecraft gibbering tumultuously just out of hearing."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Miéville moves effortlessly among realism, fantasy, and surrealism in this dark, sometimes horrific short story collection. . . . His characters, whether ordinary witnesses to extraordinary events or lunatics operating out of inexplicable compulsions, are invariably well drawn and compelling. Above all, what the stories have in common is a sense that the world is not just strange, but stranger than we can ever really comprehend."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)From the Hardcover edition. even while making the story wholly his own."--Los Angeles Times Perdido Street Station "Compulsively readable . . . impossible to expunge from memory."--The Washington Post Book WorldFrom the Hardcover edition.
What is Un Lun Dun? It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up ... and some of its lost and broken people, too--including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book.When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong.