Railsea: A Novel

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“Other names besides [Herman] Melville’s will surely come to mind as you read this thrilling tale—there’s Dune’s Frank Herbert. . . . But in this, as in all of his works, Miéville has that special knack for evoking other writers even while making the story wholly his own.”—Los Angeles Times
 
On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death & the other’s glory. Spectacular as it is, Sham can’t shake the sense that there is more to life than the endless rails of the railsea—even if his captain thinks only of hunting the ivory-colored mole that took her arm years ago. But when they come across a wrecked train, Sham finds something—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—that leads to considerably more than he’d bargained for. Soon he’s hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters & salvage-scrabblers. & it might not be just Sham’s life that’s about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
“[Miéville] gives all readers a lot to dig into here, be it emotional drama, Godzilla-esque monster carnage, or the high adventure that comes only with riding the rails.”—USA Today
 
“Superb . . . massively imaginative.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Riveting . . . a great adventure.”—NPR
 
“Wildly inventive . . . Every sentence is packed with wit.”—The Guardian (London)
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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from China Miéville’s Embassytown.

With this outrageous new novel, China Miéville has written one of the strangest, funniest, and flat-out scariest books you will read this—or any other—year. The London that comes to life in Kraken is a weird metropolis awash in secret currents of myth and magic, where criminals, police, cultists, and wizards are locked in a war to bring about—or prevent—the End of All Things.

In the Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre’s prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis dux—better known as the Giant Squid. But Billy’s tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air.

As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizens—human and otherwise—are adept in magic and murder.

There is the Congregation of God Kraken, a sect of squid worshippers whose roots go back to the dawn of humanity—and beyond. There is the criminal mastermind known as the Tattoo, a merciless maniac inked onto the flesh of a hapless victim. There is the FSRC—the Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unit—a branch of London’s finest that fights sorcery with sorcery. There is Wati, a spirit from ancient Egypt who leads a ragtag union of magical familiars. There are the Londonmancers, who read the future in the city’s entrails. There is Grisamentum, London’s greatest wizard, whose shadow lingers long after his death. And then there is Goss and Subby, an ageless old man and a cretinous boy who, together, constitute a terrifying—yet darkly charismatic—demonic duo.

All of them—and others—are in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Del Rey
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Published on
May 15, 2012
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9780345524546
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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All aboard the Quadrail for three tales of nonstop action from the #1 New York Times–bestselling and Hugo Award–winning author of Star Wars: Thrawn.

It is the Quadrail—a miracle of design that connects all twelve of the galaxy’s inhabited empires, allowing diverse alien species and cultures to exchange ideas, inspire imaginations, build bridges of understanding . . . and orchestrate the subjugation of all living things.
 
Night Train to Rigel: Frank Compton used to be an operative for Western Allied Intelligence. Then he blew the whistle on some shady dealings and got himself fired. Nowadays he just wants to lay low and let someone else do the galaxy’s dirty work. Unfortunately, no one does dirty work quite like Frank. And the robotic alien Spiders who maintain the Quadrail know it—which is why he’s going to work for them whether he likes it or not.
 
The Third Lynx: After barely surviving his last mission, Compton just wants to relax with his gorgeous half-human partner, Bayta. But their reverie aboard the Quadrail is broken by a persistent human going on about alien artifacts. Then someone shuts him up permanently, and what begins as a murder leads Compton to uncover a conspiracy that threatens to engulf the entire galaxy.
 
Odd Girl Out: Finally back on Earth, Compton is confronted in his apartment by a woman demanding that he rescue her ten-year-old sister. He brusquely shows her the door, only to be accused of her murder the next day. Determined to make things right, he heads to the world of New Tigris to find the little girl. But his adversaries, the mind-enslaving Mohdri, are waiting for him there.
 
Together in a single volume, here are the first three books in the Quadrail series from a writer New York Times–bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson calls “a master of tactics [who] puts his own edge on complex hard-SF thrillers.”
For readers of George Saunders, Kelly Link, David Mitchell, and Karen Russell, This Census-Taker is a stunning, uncanny, and profoundly moving novella from multiple-award-winning and bestselling author China Miéville.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR

In a remote house on a hilltop, a lonely boy witnesses a profoundly traumatic event. He tries—and fails—to flee. Left alone with his increasingly deranged parent, he dreams of safety, of joining the other children in the town below, of escape.

When at last a stranger knocks at his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation might be over.

But by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? What is the purpose behind his questions? Is he friend? Enemy? Or something else altogether?

Filled with beauty, terror, and strangeness, This Census-Taker is a poignant and riveting exploration of memory and identity.

Praise for This Census-Taker

“China Miéville is a magician . . . who can both blow your mind with ideas as big as the universe and break your heart with language so precise and polished, it’s like he’s writing with diamonds.”—NPR

“The book haunts the reader; what actually happened seems always just out of reach, glimpsed in shadow as it rounds a corner ahead of our vision.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Mieville’s] been compared to Karen Russell and George Saunders, and rightfully so.”—The Huffington Post

“Marvellous.”—The Guardian

“Lingers in the mind like an unsettling dream.”—Financial Times

“A thought-provoking fairy tale for adults . . . [This Census-Taker] resembles the narrative style, quirkiness, and plotting found in the works of Karen Russell, Aimee Bender, or Steven Millhauser.”—Booklist

“Brief and dreamlike . . . a deceptively simple story whose plot could be taken as a symbolic representation of an aspect of humanity as big as an entire society and as small as a single soul.”—Kirkus Reviews
A thriller of war that never was—of survival in an impossible city—of surreal cataclysm. In The Last Days of New Paris, China Miéville entwines true historical events and people with his daring, uniquely imaginative brand of fiction, reconfiguring history and art into something new.

“Beauty will be convulsive. . . .”

1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer—and occult disciple—Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.

1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts—and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.

But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties—to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.

Praise for The Last Days of New Paris

“Beautiful, stunningly realized . . . [The Last Days of New Paris] is a brief vacation in alien latitudes, a midnight layover in an imaginary place.”—NPR

“A thoughtful, highbrow novella . . . Miéville’s self-assured style offers up a strong sense of humanity, while the strange Surrealist monsters give Last Days a fun and complementary mad-science component.”—USA Today

“[A] testament to the necessary, progressive power of art . . . Both moving and disturbingly timely.”—Newsday

“A novel both unhinged and utterly compelling, a kind of guerrilla warfare waged by art itself, combining both meticulous historical research and Miéville’s unparalleled inventiveness.”—Chicago Tribune 

“An extraordinarily original work that foregrounds Mieville’s considerable ingenuity and innovation.”—The Millions

“Hauntingly poetic, strangely beautiful, and erratically intense.”—San Francisco Book Review

“Dazzling . . . quite a feat.”—The Guardian
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