Books by China Miéville

OCTOBER by China Miéville
Released: May 9, 2017

"An intriguing march to revolution, told here with clarity and insight."
The award-winning fiction writer revisits the exciting, messy story of an explosive Russia on the brink of civil war. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A brilliant, original, infinitely rereadable book that can sit alongside Sendak and Dahl. (Picture book. 3 & up)"
A young black girl tells her little sister that the breakfast before them reminds her of the worst breakfast, but her sister has no recollection of that terrible meal. Read full book review >
Released: June 9, 2016

"Despite its clever concept, this novella feels a little too much like listening to someone go on and on about his dreams."
A surrealist collage of a novella: part fantasy, part alternate history, part catalogue raisonné. Read full book review >
THIS CENSUS-TAKER by China Miéville
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"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."
Miéville (Three Moments of an Explosion, 2015, etc.) has two main modes: the pyrotechnics of a puzzle maker and the austere depth of a mythmaker. Brief and dreamlike, his latest novel is in his simpler, stronger style.Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Bradbury meets Borges, with Lovecraft gibbering tumultuously just out of hearing."
Horror, noir, fantasy, politics, and poetry swirl into combinations as satisfying intellectually as they are emotionally. Read full book review >
RAILSEA by China Miéville
Released: May 15, 2012

" Eye-bulging escapades tempered with invention and mordant wit, perfectly complemented by the author's own pen-and-ink drawings of the Railsea's weird denizens."
Moby-Dick meets Kidnapped by way of the Strugatsky brothers' Roadside Picnic: Another astonishing blend of cyberpunk, steampunk, fantasy and science fiction, from the hugely talented author of Embassytown (2011, etc.). Read full book review >
EMBASSYTOWN by China Miéville
Released: May 17, 2011

"A major intellectual achievement that, despite all difficulties, persuades and enthralls."
A new venture into science fiction from the talented British author (Kraken, 2010, etc.) best known for his extraordinary steampunk-style fantasies. Read full book review >
KRAKEN by China Miéville
Released: June 29, 2010

"Likely reaction: raised eyebrows, head-scratching bewilderment."
New, hefty urban fantasy with a London setting—sort of—from Miéville (The City & The City, 2009, etc.). Read full book review >
THE CITY & THE CITY by China Miéville
Released: June 1, 2009

"Grimy, gritty reality occasionally spills over into unintelligible hypercomplexity, but this spectacularly, intricately paranoid yarn is worth the effort."
Fantasy veteran Miéville (Iron Council, 2004, etc.) adds a murder mystery to the mix in his tale of two fiercely independent East European cities coexisting in the same physical location, the denizens of one willfully imperceptible to the other. Read full book review >
UN LUN DUN by China Miéville
Released: March 1, 2007

Acclaimed fantasist Miéville's first foray into youth literature starts predictably but progresses to match his reputation. The overlong first section, in which two girls (chosen Zanna and sidekick Deeba) travel to UnLondon, a dream-logic London (houses made of obsolete technology; walking bushes; feral giraffes) where sentient smog threatens the populace, will entice imaginations. Unfortunately, it is also too reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's work (particularly MirrorMask). Zanna fails and has her memory wiped, but Deeba can't forget their adventures, especially when she discovers the threat is worse than anyone thought. She returns to UnLondon, flouting destiny and distressing all, especially the talking book of prophecy, which becomes highly and comically insecure. Deeba must journey through this truly fantastic world, with no guidance except her own wits. Intrigue with London officials, a half-ghost ally and fighting "unbrellas" all play a role, as does a definite but not heavy-handed message about pollution and the environment. Ultimately, this is a compelling tale of heroism from someone foretold as merely "the funny one," and a well-evoked dreamscape that readers will embrace. (Fantasy. 10+)Read full book review >
IRON COUNCIL by China Miéville
Released: July 1, 2004

"Prodigiously inventive—Miéville dreams up and throws away more astonishing ideas in a paragraph than most writers manage in a lifetime—but bogged down with sheer tonnage; the hardworking experimental prose doesn't help."
Third foray into the fantasy world of New Crobuzon (The Scar, 2002, etc.), a city unlike any other. Think Calcutta, then add magic, aliens, alchemy, and other disciplines almost unimaginably strange and alarming. Read full book review >
THE SCAR by China Miéville
Released: July 1, 2002

"Again, panoramic and stunningly inventive, but awash with half-baked experimental passages, irritatingly manipulative, overstuffed, and hastily constructed: as frustrating as it is astonishing."
Another beefy fantasy set in the same world as Miéville's landmark Perdido Street Station (2001), where recent upheavals in the city New Crobuzon have caused linguist Bellis Coldwine to fear for her life; she hopes to find sanctuary and anonymity in the colony Nova Esperium, a long ocean voyage distant. But before reaching the colony, her ship's intercepted by pirates from Armada, a huge floating city composed of the hulls of captured vessels. Armada's population, human and nonhuman, is governed by the Lovers, a sadomasochistic pair with momentous but arcane plans, and their assistant, Uther Doul, an unmatchable warrior with artifacts from the ancient, vanished, nonhuman Ghosthead Empire. Also aboard, and opposing the Lovers' plans, is the Brucolac, leader of a vampire cadre, and sinister New Crobuzon superspy Silas Fennec. In addition to the ships, Armada has captured a New Crobuzon drilling rig to extract oil and rockmilk, source of vast thaumaturgic power. The Lovers seek a book written in a language only Bellis can interpret: the book contains the knowledge they need to help them harness an avanc, a vast, half-unreal denizen of the abyssal oceans, strong enough to tow Armada across half the face of the world. But to what purpose? Uther Doul and the Brucolac know, but disagree. And amid the swirling plots, machinations, and secret agendas, Armada's being stalked by a group of shadowy, ocean-dwelling, utterly merciless beings. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 27, 2001

"Earthy, sometimes outright disgusting—imagine finding your toilet blocked up by diamonds—but, amazingly in a book of this length, flawlessly plotted and relentlessly, stunningly inventive: a conceptual breakthrough of the highest order."
Doorstopper steampunk fantasy from the author of King Rat (1999). In the stinking, teeming, rotting city of New Crobuzon, magic, science, and alchemy all work. Humans, aliens, sentient floor-mops, and other entities even more bizarre maintain an uneasy coexistence; criminals may be sentenced to have their heads grafted on to coal-burning machines. Overweight, talented but erratic scientist Isaac—his girlfriend is a khepri, with the red-skinned body of human female and a head resembling a huge scarab—accepts the flying humanoid Yagharek as a client. Yagharek, having had his wings hacked from his body as punishment for a crime Isaac cannot comprehend, desperately yearns to fly again. Isaac considers the magical grafting of new wings, or mechanical devices to reproduce flight. To assist his research, he gathers samples of every imaginable creature capable of flight—including a mysterious giant caterpillar that feeds only on "dreamshit," a weird new drug that's ravaging the city. Finally, Isaac makes a scientific breakthrough in the field of crisis energy, but, meanwhile, the caterpillar matures and escapes. The creature, a slake-moth, frees others of its kind kept by the hideous gangster Motley as a source of the drug. The slake-moths are desperately hard to kill and, with their hypnotic powers, feed by consuming dreams, leaving their victims mindless drooling hulks. Soon the city quakes in terror. Somehow the slake-moths must be destroyed—but even the devil himself declines to assist. . . . Read full book review >
KING RAT by China Miéville
Released: Sept. 8, 1999

Distinctive grunge fantasy from a British newcomer. Saul Garamond, bewilderingly arrested for the murder of his father, is spirited out of jail by an oddball who claims to be the King of the Rats. Saul's mother, apparently, was King Rat's sister. She fled rat-kind, preferring to join humanity, and married Saul's father. As King Rat conducts him through London's reeking underbelly, Saul finds latent rat-abilities stirring: he can eat garbage, move soundlessly and unseen, squeeze through impossibly tiny openings, and climb vertical walls. One individual alone daunts King Rat: the Piper of Hamelin, who, playing his flute, can force all rats, even King Rat, to dance to his tune. The Piper murdered Saul's father, mistaking him for Saul. But why? Saul, being half-rat, half-human, is immune to the Piper's summons'so the Piper must kill him. King Rat was the sole survivor of the debacle at Hamelin, and the rats have refused to obey him since. Saul encounters and barely escapes the stronger, quicker Piper, but he does learn that King Rat lied: he raped Saul's mother, and he is Saul's father. (Problem is, Saul's therefore all rat'so why is he immune to the Piper's call?) Having enslaved Saul's musician friends Natasha and Fabian, the Piper forces them to record new and irresistible music—and challenges Saul and King Rat to a showdown. Provided you can ignore the troublesome flaw: a bold, pounding, down-and-dirty debut. A working knowledge of Cockney rhyming slang helps. Read full book review >