Looking for Jake: Stories

( 15 )

Overview

What William Gibson did for science fiction, China Miéville has done for fantasy, shattering old paradigms with fiercely imaginative works of startling, often shocking, intensity. 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 ...

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Looking for Jake: Stories

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Overview

What William Gibson did for science fiction, China Miéville has done for fantasy, shattering old paradigms with fiercely imaginative works of startling, often shocking, intensity. 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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
China Miéville's first short story collection contains 14 works, including 5 previously unpublished stories. This paperback original includes Miéville's award-winning novella "Tain" and a graphic short story illustrated by artist Liam Sharp.
Publishers Weekly
London is a dangerous and demon-haunted place, at least for the characters in the dark, finely crafted tales presented in Mieville's first story collection. Mieville, who has won Arthur C. Clarke, British Science Fiction and British Fantasy awards, writes of a city besieged by exotic forms of urban decay, monsters, sadistic and ghostly children, as well as, on a lighter note, the Gay Men's Radical Singing Caucus. In the novella "The Tain," the city has been conquered by vengeful creatures who have erupted from every mirror and reflective surface. In "Details," a story with subtle connections to H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, a young boy meets an elderly woman who has looked too deeply into the patterns that underlie the universe. In "Foundation," perhaps the most powerful story in the book, a veteran must come to terms with the horrors he helped perpetrate during the first Gulf War. Though lacking the baroque complexity and extravagance of Mieville's novels (Iron Council, etc.), these 14 stories, including one in graphic-novel form, serve as a powerful introduction to the work of one of the most important new fantasy writers of the past decade. Agent, Mic Cheetham. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
While more often found in lonely houses and deserted moors, horror can turn up in ordinary places, as these stories by critically acclaimed sf author Mieville reveal. Subways, mirrors, basements, an antique window, a day care center, a loaf of bread: all contain nasty surprises. Mieville's talent for immersing the reader in an intricately detailed world is better served in his New Crobuzon novels (e.g., The Scar; Perdido Street Station), but these 15 tales will still evoke in the reader a sense of being swallowed up by the story. Standouts include "Foundation," in which soldiers buried alive in the first Gulf War haunt a U.S. Army veteran; and "Reports of Certain Events in London," in which documents supposedly misdelivered to the author slowly reveal that some London streets may have unusual habits. Four of the stories were written for this collection, one in graphic-novel format; the others have been previously published elsewhere. Recommended for most sf collections.-Jenne Bergstrom, San Diego Cty. Lib. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Mieville's novels mix Dickensian settings, Lovecraftian terrors, and political theory, showcasing a style uniquely his own. This collection, which brings together a number of pieces previously unavailable in the U.S., displays an even broader range of styles and interests. The weakest offerings are those based solely on the author's political ideas. "'Tis the Season," for example, is set in a futuristic London at Christmastime, and absolutely everything related to the holiday requires a license of some sort to participate. Although the story is a fun satirical read, it is not likely to be revisited. The author shows his true skill and imagination in the horror-oriented pieces. He has that rare gift of identifying those fears that flicker and lurk within the deepest recesses of our minds and dropping them down right in front of us. "The Ball Room" turns an everyday playroom in a furniture store into a haunted space of accidents, death, and mystery. "The Tain," the longest and probably strongest story, features creatures living in a parallel world who are forced to mimic us as our reflections-until they burst free of their reflective prisons and start a violent war that threatens to destroy humanity. These tales all make wonderful use of elegantly described yet terrifying scenes, lifting them a notch above the standard horror fare. Fans may grumble that only one story is set in New Crobuzon, the fantasyland featured in the novels. Despite some of its flaws, Jake is well worth seeking out.-Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Miéville moves effortlessly into the first division of those who use the tools and weapons of the fantastic to define and create the fiction of the coming century.”
–Neil Gaiman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307971494
  • Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/20/2011
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

China Mieville
China Mieville

China Miéville is the author of King Rat; Perdido Street Station, which won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Fantasy Award; The Scar, which won the Locus Award and the British Fantasy Award; Iron Council, which won the Locus Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award; and a collection of short stories, Looking for Jake. He lives and works in London.

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Read an Excerpt

I don't know how I lost you. I remember there was that long time of searching for you, frantic and sick-making . . . I was almost ecstatic with anxiety. And then I found you, so that was alright. Only I lost you again. And I can't make out how it happened.

I'm sitting out here on the flat roof you must remember, looking out over this dangerous city. There is, you remember, a dull view from my roof. There are no parks to break up the urban monotony, no towers worth a damn. Just an endless, featureless cross-hatching of brick and concrete, a drab chaos of interlacing backstreets stretching out interminably behind my house. I was disappointed when I first moved here; I didn't see what I had in that view. Not until Bonfire Night.

I just caught a buffet of cold air and the sound of wet cloth in the wind. I saw nothing, of course, but I know that an early riser flew right past me. I can see dusk welling up behind the gas towers.

That night, November the fifth, I climbed up and watched the cheap fireworks roar up all around me. They burst at the level of my eyes, and I traced their routes in reverse to mark all the tiny gardens and balconies from which they flew. There was no way I could keep track; there were just too many. So I sat up there in the midst of all that red and gold and gawped in awe. That washed-out grey city I had ignored for days spewed out all that power, that sheer beautiful energy.

I was seduced then. I never forgot that display, I was never again fooled by the quiescence of the backstreets I saw from my bedroom window. They were dangerous. They remain dangerous.

But of course it's a different kind of dangerous now. Everything's changed. I floundered, I found you, I lost you again, and I'm stuck above these pavements with no one to help me.

I can hear hissing and gentle gibbering on the wind. They're roosting close by, and with the creeping dark they're stirring, and waking.

You never came round enough. There was I with my new flat above the betting shops and cheap hardware stores and grocers of Kilburn High Road. It was cheap and lively. I was a pig in shit. I was happy as Larry. I ate at the local Indian and went to work and self-consciously patronised the poky little independent bookshop, despite its pathetic stock. And we spoke on the phone and you even came by, a few times. Which was always excellent.

I know I never came to you. You lived in fucking Barnet. I'm only human.

What were you up to, anyway? How could I be so close to someone, love someone so much, and know so little about their life? You wafted into northwest London with your plastic bags, vague about where you'd been, vague about where you were going, who you were seeing, what you were up to. I still don't know how you had the money to indulge your tastes for books and music. I still don't understand what happened with you and that woman you had that fucked-up affair with.

I always liked how little our love-lives impacted on our relationship. We would spend the day playing arcade games and shooting the shit about x or y film, or comic, or album, or book, and only as an afterthought as you gathered yourself to go, we'd mention the heartache we were suffering, or the blissed-out perfection of our new lovers.

But I had you on tap. We might not speak for weeks, but one phone call was all it would ever need.

That won't work now. I don't dare touch...

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Table of Contents

Looking for Jake 3
Foundation 23
The ball room 35
Reports of certain events in London 53
Familiar 79
Entry taken from a medical encyclopaedia 97
Details 105
Go between 125
Different skies 145
An ENO to hunger 165
'Tis the season 183
Jack 199
On the way to the front 213
The tain 227
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    powerful anthology that runs the gamut of speculative fiction

    The award winning horror and fantasy novelist provides a powerful anthology that runs the gamut of speculative fiction. The collection consists of ten works previously published in the last few years in varying publications and five new tales. One story is a graphic short (¿On the Way to the Front¿), but that was not available for review. Another The Tain is more a short novella while the author breaks the wall as China Mieville is a key character in ¿Reports of Certain Events in London¿ the title now feels eerie even unrelated to the latest horrifying terrorist ahole BS. Though most are set in London, fans who know Iron Council and Perdido Street Station will appreciate that ¿Jack¿ is set in that same realm of New Crobuzon. Each tale is well written, filled with suspense and grips the audience with a sense that nothing is quite the way it first seems, which turns out to be true. Though China Mieville imbues messages including an anti war theme in his submissions that never slows or take away from the entertainment of a fine compilation. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    Alex

    Hi guys um is the funeral goin on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Nicole

    Im 14.....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Sarah's Room

    - Sarah

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Brrok

    Sits next to him "Hey!" She layed her head on his shoulder.... Brook

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Jake

    Im 12. Srry. I was swimming with my friends all day at his brothers house. What state do u live in? (Ignore the spy, he doesnt know me)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 6, 2009

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    Posted August 28, 2009

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