New Crobuzon is being ripped apart. At war with the shadowy city-state of Tesh, the city festers with internal rebellion. Rioters, led by a mysterious masked man, strike horror in the streets of the sprawling, slum-ridden metropolis. In desperation, a small cadre of renegades abandon the city in search of a legendary cure to their homeland's woes.
To convey both the weirdness and the familiarity of his vividly elaborated world, [Mieville] peppers his sentences with unusual words (''serein,'' ''strath,'' ''atramentous,'' ''cuneal'') that will send most readers to a good unabridged dictionary -- and back again to this challenging but deeply rewarding novel.
The New York Times
In myriad ways, China Miéville's New Crobuzon is an unweeded garden of unearthly delights, and Iron Council a work of both passionate conviction and the highest artistry.
The Washington Post
In this stunning new novel set mainly in the decadent and magical city of New Crobuzon, British author Mieville (The Scar) charts the course of a proletarian revolution like no other. The capitalists of New Crobuzon are pushing hard. More and more people are being arrested on petty charges and "Remade" into monstrous slaves, some half animal, others half machine. Uniformed militia are patrolling the streets and watching the city from their dirigibles. They turn a blind eye when racists stage pogroms in neighborhoods inhabited by non-humans. An overseas war is going badly, and horrific, seemingly meaningless terrorist acts occur with increasing frequency. Radical groups are springing up across the city. The spark that will ignite the revolution, however, is the Perpetual Train. Workers building the first transcontinental railroad, badly mistreated by their overseers, have literally stolen a train, laying track into the wild back-country west of the great city, tearing up track behind them, fighting off the militia sent to arrest them, even daring to enter the catotopic zone, that transdimensional continental scar where anything is possible. Full of warped and memorable characters, this violent and intensely political novel smoothly combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, horror, even the western. Mieville represents much of what is new and good in contemporary dark fantasy, and his work is must reading for devotees of that genre. Agent, Mic Cheetham. 8-city author tour. (July 27) FYI: Mieville has won Arthur C. Clarke, British Science Fiction and British Fantasy awards. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
As the city of New Crobuzon carries on an interminable war against the wizards of Tesh, life becomes more and more repressive for the many humans, near humans, nonhumans, and "the Remade"-people subjected to magical body reconstruction as a form of punishment. Cutter, a member of the Caucus, an organization of various factions of rebels, sets off on a journey to locate the legendary Iron Council. In his hardcover debut, the award-winning author of Perdido Street Station assaults the reader's senses with a cornucopia of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, bringing his brilliantly imagined world to life. Strongly recommended for most sf or speculative fiction collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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. New Crobuzon's rulers, a quasi-democratic, utterly ruthless capitalist gang, enforce their will through militia equipped with firearms and magic, perhaps mounted upon Remade steeds with steam-piston legs. Citizens who transgress are likely to find their heads and torsos grafted on to a horse's body . . . facing the horse's rear end. The city has chosen to fight a war with remote Tesh, whose utterly mysterious leaders retaliate with terrible, incomprehensible magical weapons. Revolution is in the air. Shopkeeper Cutter treks into the wilderness in search of his lover, the revolutionary Judah Low. Judah intends to bring about the return of the Iron Council, a train with crew and passengers that was expelled from the city years ago and has since inched across the continent, laying track down before, ripping it up behind. Ori Ciuraz yearns to move beyond pamphlets and talk to violent sedition; through the old, half-mad revolutionary Spiral Jacobs, he contacts Toro, whose magical bull's mask can tweak open doorways between dimensions. As usual, however, nothing is what it seems; the unexpected is the norm. Prodigiously inventive-Mieville 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. Agent: Mic Cheetham/Cheetham Agency