Railsea: A Review

Look at the acknowledgments at the end of the book & you’ll see just how wide a base of influences this work of art has drawn from. The influence from Herman Melville is the most prominent of the lengthy list of writers Miéville has acknowledged, being another author who wrote a book about a great white beast, a hunter’s obsession, & a life at sea.

But this is no ordinary sea. Railsea is, quite literally, a sea of rails.  A great, sprawling expanse of train tracks that criss-cross, weave, & spread out in a tangle of wood & iron. On these rails (you guessed it) are trains of all varieties. Salvage hunters searching for the shiny detritus of a world long gone, an armada of sail-powered wooden trains, & mole-trains which bristle with hunters & their harpoons.

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The City & The City: A Review

This isn’t the first time I’ve reviewed a novel by China Miéville, and it won’t be the last time either.

China Miéville is one of the finest writers of science-fantasy I have ever read. Whether it is the imagined world of Bas-Lag, which three of his most ambitious novels envisage, to the grimy streets of contemporary London in King Rat, China Miéville is consistently creating tales with puissant imagery, poetic prose, and a confident voice. The thing I love about China Mieville is his ability to make an impossible premise feel real, and that is exactly what he has done with The City & The City.

In fact, I could just gush about how overwhelmingly fantastic he is, and how almost every book he’s written I’ve loved from start to finish (except the census-taker), but that wouldn’t make for a very entertaining blog post now, would it?

So, here is some photographic evidence of my fandom so we can move along with this post:

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It’s not an entire shelf of Miéville. . .

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Perdido Street Station Review

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The first book I’ve read that I could’ve read just for the setting. Miéville’s New Crobuzon, the city in which Perdido Street Station is set, is teeming with thousands of nooks and crannies that, on reading this book, felt like turning over suspect rocks on the beach. The city in this book is so well imagined, so perfectly laid out, and so well described. I am fairly sure that if I were pulled from my chair right now and dropped in the middle of it, I would know exactly where I was.

There is something to be said for Miéville’s world building. It is so utterly precise, sharp, evocative. For the first three-hundred pages, of what turned out to be a marathon 880 pages, I felt like a newcomer in this corrupt city. A city awash with corrosive effluent both figurative and literal.

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A Word on Rejectamenta: Why I Chose a New Tagline

Having just polished off another fantastic novel by China Miéville, Perdido Street Station, I found myself Googling him. Miéville has captured my mind in a way many authors fail to. I had to know more about him. On the first list of results, I stumbled across his personal blog titled Rejectamentalist Manifesto: China Miéville’s Waste Books. It’s a humble little website with threads of philosophical insight weaved throughout it.

What really struck me was the title. Having no idea what a rejectamentalist was I once again turned to Google, and here is what I found:

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