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S - Science Fiction
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
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Adams, Douglas (S)
Asher, Neal (S)
Aylett, Steve (S)
Banks, Iain M (S)
Barclay, James (F)
Barker, Clive (H)
Baxter, Stephen (S)
Brin, David (S)
Bury, Stephen (S)
Card, Orson Scott (S)
Cherryh, CJ (S/F)
Clute, John (S)
Cockayne, Steve (F)
Cook, Glen (F)
Danielewski, Mark (H)
Dick, Philip K (S)
Egan, Greg (S)
Feist, Raymond (F)
Gaiman, Neil (F)
Gibson, William (S)
Goodkind, Terry (F)
Grimwood, Jon C (S)
Hamilton, Peter (S)
Jeter, K.W. (S)
Jordan, Robert (F)
Lethem, Jonathan (S)
McAuley, Paul (S)
MacLeod, Ken (S)
Martin, George RR (F)
McMullen, Sean (S)
Miéville, China (S)
Moran, Daniel K (S)
Morgan, Richard K (S)
Nagata, Linda (S)
Niven, Larry (S)
Noon, Jeff (S)
Robinson, Kim S. (S)
Rucker, Rudy (S)
Simmons, Dan (S)
Smith, Michael Marshall (S)
Stephenson, Neal (S)
Sterling, Bruce (S)
Vinge, Vernor (S)
Westerfeld, Scott (S)
Williams, Sean (S)
Williams, Tad (S/F)

Collections (S/F)

The Classics
Bradbury, Ray (S/H)
Burgess, Anthony (S)
Tolkien, JRR (F)
China Miéville
Author Information Reviewed Books Other Books
Notes: (L) - Limited Release (only 500 copies)
Perdido Street Station
King Rat
The Scar
The Tain (L)
Perdido Street Station Added 7/23/00
Perdido Street Station China MiévilleOur RankingI found Perdido Street Station mostly by chance while browsing through Amazon.com/uk and really bought it on a whim. The description sounded interesting enough and Miéville was a new author to me so I figured I'd give it a shot. Well, to my very pleasant surprise, this turned out to be over 700 pages that I just couldn't put down. Miéville creates a world that is a very nice blend of science fiction and fantasy. Even after finishing the book you never really have a sense of where the city of New Crobuzon really stands as far as time period. On one hand you have scientists creating spectacular devices and railway stations and even possibly the births of artificial intelligent life forms, but on the other, you have a world of magic and mostly primitive weaponry. This blending of periods was done extremely well, and it made for a very interesting, refreshing and complete setting for the novel. In addition, Miéville showed an incredible ability to create a wide array of fascinating and mystical creatures to fill the book. Throughout the pages you are introduced to entirely new races, but natural and also a slew of man made creations. He introduces the concept of the Remades, a form of punishment where the criminals body is molded, by a blend of science and magic, into a form that most cruelly punishes you for the crime you committed. The wide range of Remades Miéville describes, to me, were some of the most imaginative parts of the book. He leaves you with enough information to really understand the creatures, but leaves enough out to let your own imagination really go wild with it. He also does a fairly good job of actually describing the cultures and background of the individual races. In some areas this was lacking, but for the most part you were left with a good understanding of where they came from. The plot itself was very engrossing. It is basically a flat out action/adventure novel that really manages to keep you on the edge of your seat. The first 200 pages are really set up, but you are drawn in enough by the world that you don't really notice it is taking so long to set up the remainder of the book. Then the action really kicks in, and from there on it is pretty unrelenting, concluding with pretty much another 200 pages of non-stop action. For the most part everything was well told and the action sequences were incredible. If I had any small problems with it, it was that the creatures who represented the unbeatable villains in the tale seemed to go down a bit too easy. While their demises were very creative, it did just seem a bit too easy to what it was built up to be. In addition to the terrific plot was a fine cast of characters that were well developed. The main core of adventurers were done very well, leaving you with a complete grasp of their emotions, motivations and able to anticipate their actions and sympathize with their plights. Along with the main group, he did an excellent job of creating the surrounding cast, providing you with enough information to really get into them. Looking back, he really does get quite involved with the characters and really provided a ton of them to move the plot along. All in all, this was an excellent read and I will be sure to pick up his first book King Rat. Surprisingly, he is only 25 I believe, so we could be seeing a lot of good stuff coming from him over the years. If you're in the mood for a terrific adventure tale, pick this one up.
King Rat Added 1/17/01
King Rat - China MiévilleOur RankingAfter reading Miéville's second novel, Perdido Street Station, I figured I had to give his first one a try. It wound up being a bit different than I expected. It really isn't science fiction or fantasy to be honest. One of the reviewers on the back of the book referred to it as "Subterranean Fantasy" (whatever that is) so I'll go with that. It is basically a modern day novel with a fantasyish twist. Nevertheless, I was not disappointed, and King Rat kept me just as engaged as Perdido did. Basically, King Rat is set in a present day London. There are actually a lot of London references in the book, and while not required, it helps paint the setting quite a bit if you know London a little. (Especially the scene in the Tube station, which is particularly evil if you've ever driven through the station, but I digress....) Fairly quickly into the plot, Miéville introduces you to a mystical world that is tied to London (and Europe actually) but most people are oblivious to its existence. After the main character, Saul, is accused of murdering his own father, he is brought into this world by a mysterious figure who refers to himself simply as King Rat. Saul is introduced to all of the hidden wonders of this new world and realizes that there really is no going back to the old London that he knew. However, it's not until he realizes that one of the main evils of this new world is after him does the plot really grow wicked. For the most part, the characters are well written. As with Perdido, Miéville displays a great knack for really differentiating his characters. Each one has wonderful unique twists, flairs and habits about them. The surprising thing (and one of my few issues), is that the main character Saul is probably the least interesting of all of the characters. His motivations just seem a bit haphazard and I think you are left a bit confused as to why he acts certain ways. However, this is fairly minor, especially when you take in the plot. The plot is fantastic. The desperation that Saul is dragged into unwittingly develops with some wonderful twists and turns. Miéville reveals details slowly, building the plot and adding to the tension. This turned out to be a very rough story to put down and luckily for me I had a nice long plane trip to allow me to read it in almost one sitting. In particular the action scenes are wonderfully described and will leave you on the edge of your seat. His description of music and the way he weaves it into the plot is also very well done (sometime a bit overdone, but you can't blame him for loving his music can you?!) Overall, with this and Perdido, it is very obvious we have a new talent on our hands and yet another one from England. I highly recommend this one to any fantasy or science fiction fan. I will be waiting eagerly for Miéville's next release. I also hope the States notice this guy so that someone here will pick him up and make my life a whole lot easier in getting his books.
The Scar Added 8/1/02
The Scar - China MiévilleOur RankingYou have to read this book. Without question, just go out now and buy this. Why you might ask? Well, for starters it is just flat out incredible. It's basically Miéville's third novel and wow, did he explode and hit the next level writing wise. Let me relax a minute and actually tell you a bit about it first. To start with, The Scar is set in the same world/reality that Perdido Street Station was. In fact it is set a few months after the explosive events of Perdido, but to be honest it has little to do with the first book. The Scar is its own stand alone novel, but I do recommend reading Perdido first. While they have nothing to do with each other plot wise, there are some insights to the characters and their problems, as well as the setting itself that enhance the experience a bit if you have already read Perdido. (and along with the fact that Perdido is a terrific book in its own right, there's no reason not to read it) That said, The Scar completely expands and enhances the world that Miéville touched upon in Perdido. After reading Perdido, I was very impressed with New Crobuzon, the main city the story was based in, but it truly pales in comparison to what he does here. The floating city of Armada is the main focus of the book, and is a wonderful creation, that never ceases to surprise you throughout the whole book. But along with Armada Miéville describes other continents, islands and nations that are just breath taking in there imagination. The island of the anophelii is one that really stood out creatively but in all honesty, it was like everything was painstakingly and expertly created. This went for the characters as well. Miéville pulled off what I consider one of the hardest things to do in writing; created a main character that was cold and distant, but yet somehow engaging. Most times it is hard to relate and care about characters like this and it takes away from the tale. Not Bellis. Even while so cold, she was still mysterious enough and curious enough and devoted enough that you cared about her plight and you wind up just being pulled in. What's even more is that every character, is unique and extremely well written. I don't want to describe them too much because learning about them and unpeeling their various layers is one of the things that make this book so enjoyable. One that I will say though is that Doul is simply incredible. Probably in the top 3 characters of all time, up there with Trent the Uncatchable and Hiro Protaganist. I think after describing the setting and the characters it's almost redundant to say how well this book is written. The plot is solid, well drawn out and will keep you hooked. This is a fairly large book and I finished it in four days, more or less unable to put it down. I wound up pulling a marathon once I got to the last 250 pages, staying up to 5AM to finish it. (work was a bit rough the next morning though). I can say with all honesty I am utterly jealous of Miéville's writing talent. He's only around 27 so he can only get better and that just boggles my mind. After this book, Miéville has pulled himself up into the upper echelon of must read authors, right beside Ken MacLeod and knocking on Michael Marshall Smith's and Jeff Noon's door. Of course Banks is still safe at the top, but it could be a fight. Without a doubt pick this one up.
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