Post by benedictjjones on Jun 26, 2008 10:36:52 GMT
Looking For Jake 1998 Written in the style of a letter, from the unnamed narrator to the mysterious Jake (with whom the narrator has some vaguely-described relationship or friendship), this story chronicles what is described as a "breakdown" of London, in which a large portion of the population suddenly disappears and supernatural occurrences affect the remaining population - including the appearance of strange predatory creatures. The nature of these supernatural events is never explained. The story, while original, does betray the influence of M. John Harrison, in particular the Viriconium sequence -i enjoyed this but wanted more from it, the influence of this early story can be seen in some of the others (notably the novella 'the tain')
Foundation 2003 This is a story about a man who is haunted by past war-time atrocities in which he had a small part. Working now as a building inspector, he sees and hears the dead continuously in the foundations of buildings - countless mutilated bodies stacked together like bricks and mortar - and tries desperately to appease them so he will be left alone. -not a massive fan of this one thought it was trying too hard to make a point. after a reread though i enjoyed it more as a story.
The Ball Room (original to this collection) This, the most straight-forward horror story in the collection, is a classically-crafted ghost story, relocated to a modern setting. It is narrated by a security guard working at an Ikea-like furniture store, who tells of events surrounding the store's play area, which features a ball pit with an insidiously creepy secret. This story was co-written with Emma Bircham and Max Schaefer. -i'd read this one in the years best horror before i bought this collection and really enjoyed it.
Reports Of Certain Events In London 2004 This short story, in the form of a collection of fictional documents supposedly "received" by the author, presents the idea that there exist certain autonomous streets which phase in and out of existence, living complex and mysterious lives of their own, and even having romances and violent feuds amongst their alley selves. The street that is the focus of the story (Varmin Way) is also mentioned in Un Lun Dun briefly. -i really liked this one, a very original and fresh story to me.
Familiar 2002 This story begins with an urban witch who has regretfully conjured a hideous familiar from his own body. After the witch attempts to dispose of the creature in a canal the familiar begins to explore London on its own, developing into something more dangerous and powerful than its creator had imagined. -enjoyable and a bit different.
Entry Taken From A Medical Encyclopaedia 2003 This story was original published as "Buscard's Murrain" in The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases. Taking, as the title suggests, the form of an encyclopedic entry on a disease, the story describes a strange disease known as Buscard's Murrain (also, "Wormword"). The disease is contracted entirely via uttering of a certain word (which the story gives but never reveals its proper pronunciation). The disease causes insanity and the need to repeat the word over and over to large crowds. This sometimes causes spectators to repeat the word and thus becoming infected themselves. See motif of harmful sensation. -one of my favourites as well which makes me want to buy the collection it came from.
Details 2002 A boy, charged with caring for a mysterious old woman, discovers that strange and frightening forces live hidden in the lines, cracks and creases of our world. This tale also appeared in The Children of Cthulhu: Chilling New Tales Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft (edited by John Pelan and Benjamin Adams). Go Between (original to this collection) A man begins receiving anonymous instructions to courier seemingly unimportant items from location to location. Intrigued, he follows the instructions, but soon starts to agonise over whether his actions (or inactions) have any consequences in the real world. -very cthulhuesque and entertaining.
Different Skies 1999 Written as a series of diary entries by an elderly man who buys a strange, colored window pane and installs it in his study, only to realise that the old glass looks out upon a different version of London, where a gang of children have decided to torment him with increasing viciousness. -nastily urban very much in a vein i enjoy.
An End To Hunger 2000 A man relates the story of how he became friends with an enigmatic computer hacker named Aykan, who wages a virtual war against the website of a charity called An End To Hunger, which seems to fight back using unexpected means. -clever and brought to mind the dogmatic nature of charity groups and the like.
'Tis The Season 2004 Originally written for the Socialist Review, this humorous and political story takes place in a somewhat dystopian London in which holidays, including Christmas, have been privatized and certain holiday phrases are copyrighted. Only the rich can afford to celebrate "Christmas™", and the masses are made to choose between cheaper imitations such as XmasTym, JingleMas or Coca-Crissmas. -read like one of the old 2000AD future shocks-which i loved!!
Jack (original to this collection) This is the only story of the collection set in New Crobuzon, a city in Mieville's created world Bas-Lag and the setting of Perdido Street Station and Iron Council. It takes place after the capture of the infamous New Crobuzon criminal/terrorist, Jack Half-a-Prayer, and is narrated by one of his former associates. -a welcome addition to the bas lag world stories (perdido street station etc.)
On The Way To The Front (original to this collection) This is a graphic story illustrated by Liam Sharp, which features only sparse descriptive text and dialogue. It tells the story of a London man witnessing spectres of soldiers from multiple wars, and his frustration at being stuck "on the way to the front" while the soldiers, as well as other people, are "passing through". -took a couple of reads but i really liked this. seen a couple of reviewers saying how this was pointless or that they didnt get it, definitly a story you have to read and then have a think about .
The Tain 2002 This is a novella set in a post-apocalyptic version of London where the fauna of mirrors have rebelled against their imprisonment. It was originally published in 2002 as a limited edition book by PS Publishing. -enjoyed the twist in the tale.
i copied the above from wikipedia and added my own comments. Mieville is an author that i really want to see more of. plus i think his novel 'perdido street station' is an absoloute must have for any fantasy fan.
Post by benedictjjones on Jul 30, 2008 13:04:14 GMT
his first novel was "King Rat" which is a contemporary fantsy/horror style set in London with a drum n bass background. it stands alone.
"perdido street staion" (his 2nd and my favourite) is steampunk as are "the scar" and "iron council" they vaguely follow each other in that order but can be read alone as thy are set in the same world but not with the same characters.
i haven't got his new one yet "UnLunDun" but i think that is stand alone.