Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Perdido Street Station

It takes some cojones to name your own genre.  China Mieville calls his work "weird fiction." Of course when you are a man named China, well you'd better grow some, because with that name I would imagine as a child he got a daily beat down.  Perdido Street Station is really steampunk fantasy.  Set in a the city of  New Crobuzon, well, its pretty wild.  Bird-men, frog-men, cactus-men, beetle-ladies, intelligent robots and scary monsters.  Oh, and humans too, some with cyborg attachments.  I don't think you even have to name this "weird fiction," I mean, we get it. 

Anyway, the book won more fantasy awards than you can shake a wand at and there is a reason. Its is pretty gritty and pretty weird.  But when you think about it, is New Crobuzon all that different than any city?  Modern artists literally chew and spit out works, scientists are poor and fat and the politicians are corrupt and converse with agents of the devil.  Now, Steampunk was kind of fad so hurry up and read this already before it becomes laughable. 

I have a "first world problem" with this book.  The book was written in 2003 right before the kindle thing blew up. There are very detailed descriptions of this city and trying to reference the map on a kindle is difficult.  I know, wah, wah, wah.  China Mieville has purposefully created New Crobuzon as a character so there are a lot of detailed descriptions. I just made up my own map in my mind so I'm pretty sure some of the characters went through a neighborhood called Rascal Flats.  There is a cactus dome full of cactus people. I call that cactus dome.  I know, real creative.  Hey, give me a break, this book is crazy enough on its own.    

Drinks: I recommend the Some Moth Cocktail.  You read that right, Moth.  Such a weird name.  Anyway, its from the Savoy Cocktail Book from the olden times:  2/3 Plymouth Gin, 1/3 French Vermouth and dash of Absinthe.  Add a pearl onion. (I probably won't add the pearl onion because I think that represents the moth's cocoon and that is just nasty). 


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