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Perdido Street Station

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Perdido Street Station

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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...
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...
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  • 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.

  • Chapter One A window burst open high above the market. A basket flew from it and arced
    towards the oblivious crowd. It spasmed in mid-air, then spun and
    continued earthwards at a slower, uneven pace. Dancing precariously as it
    descended, its wire-mesh caught and skittered on the building's rough
    hide. It scrabbled at the wall, sending paint and concrete dust plummeting
    before it.

    The sun shone through uneven cloud-cover with a bright grey light. Below
    the basket the stalls and barrows lay like untidy spillage. The city
    reeked. But today was market day down in Aspic Hole, and the pungent slick
    of dung-smell and rot that rolled over New Crobuzon was, in these streets,
    for these hours, improved with paprika and fresh tomato, hot oil and fish
    and cinnamon, cured meat, banana and onion.

    The food stalls stretched the noisy length of Shadrach Street. Books and
    manuscripts and pictures filled up Selchit Pass, an avenue of desultory
    banyans and crumbling concrete a little way to the east. There were
    earthenware products spilling down the road to Barrackham in the south;
    engine parts to the west; toys down one side street; clothes between two
    more; and countless other goods filling all the alleys. The rows of
    merchandise converged crookedly on Aspic Hole like spokes on a broken

    In the Hole itself all distinctions broke down. In the shadow
    of old walls and unsafe towers were a pile of gears, a ramshackle
    table of broken crockery and crude clay ornaments, a case of mouldering
    textbooks. Antiques, sex, flea-powder. Between the stalls stomped hissing
    constructs. Beggars argued in the bowels of deserted buildings. Members of
    strange races bought peculiar things. Aspic Bazaar, a blaring mess of
    goods, grease and tallymen. Mercantile law ruled: let the buyer beware.

    The costermonger below the descending basket looked up into flat sunlight
    and a shower of brick particles. He wiped his eye. He plucked the frayed
    thing from the air above his head, pulling at the cord which bore it until
    it went slack in his hand. Inside the basket was a brass shekel and a note
    in careful, ornamented italics. The food-vendor scratched his nose as he
    scanned the paper. He rummaged in the piles of produce before him, placed
    eggs and fruit and root vegetables into the container, checking against
    the list. He stopped and read one item again, then smiled lasciviously and
    cut a slice of pork. When he was done he put the shekel in his pocket and
    felt for change, hesitating as he calculated his delivery cost, eventually
    depositing four stivers in with the food.

    He wiped his hands against his trousers and thought for a minute, then
    scribbled something on the list with a stub of charcoal and tossed it
    after the coins.

    He tugged three times at the rope and the basket began a bobbing journey
    into the air. It rose above the lower roofs of surrounding buildings,
    buoyed upwards by noise. It startled the roosting jackdaws in the deserted
    storey and inscribed the wall with another scrawled trail among many,
    before it disappeared again into the window from which it had emerged.

    Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin had just realized that he was dreaming. He had
    been aghast to find himself employed once again at the university,
    parading in front of a huge blackboard covered in vague representations of
    levers and forces and stress. Introductory Material Science. Isaac had
    been staring anxiously at the class when that unctuous bastard Vermishank
    had looked in.

    "I can't teach this class," whispered Isaac loudly. "The market's too
    loud." He gestured at the...
About the Author-
  • China Miéville is currently reading for his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics. His first novel, King Rat, was published in 1998. He lives in England.

    From the Trade Paperback edition.

    "[A] phantasmagoric masterpiece . . . The book left me breathless with admiration."

  • PETER HAMILTON "China Miéville's cool style has conjured up a triumphantly macabre technoslip metropolis with a unique atmosphere of horror and fascination."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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