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The Scarby China Mieville
Shortlisted for the 2002 Arthur C. Clarke Award
Synopses & Reviews
A mythmaker of the highest order, China Miéville has emblazoned the fantasy novel with fresh language, startling images, and stunning originality. Set in the same sprawling world of Miéville?s Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel, Perdido Street Station, this latest epic introduces a whole new cast of intriguing characters and dazzling creations.
Aboard a vast seafaring vessel, a band of prisoners and slaves, their bodies remade into grotesque biological oddities, is being transported to the fledgling colony of New Crobuzon. But the journey is not theirs alone. They are joined by a handful of travelers, each with a reason for fleeing the city. Among them is Bellis Coldwine, a renowned linguist whose services as an interpreter grant her passage — and escape from horrific punishment. For she is linked to Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin, the brilliant renegade scientist who has unwittingly unleashed a nightmare upon New Crobuzon.
For Bellis, the plan is clear: live among the new frontiersmen of the colony until it is safe to return home. But when the ship is besieged by pirates on the Swollen Ocean, the senior officers are summarily executed. The surviving passengers are brought to Armada, a city constructed from the hulls of pirated ships, a floating, landless mass ruled by the bizarre duality called the Lovers. On Armada, everyone is given work, and even Remades live as equals to humans, Cactae, and Cray. Yet no one may ever leave.
Lonely and embittered in her captivity, Bellis knows that to show dissent is a death sentence. Instead, she must furtively seek information about Armada?s agenda. The answer lies in the dark, amorphous shapes that float undetected miles below the waters?terrifying entities with a singular, chilling mission....
China Miéville is a writer for a new era — and The Scar is a luminous, brilliantly imagined novel that is nothing short of spectacular.
"[G]ripping....The author creates a marvelously detailed floating civilization filled with dark, eccentric characters worthy of Mervyn Peake or Charles Dickens....This is state-of-the-art dark fantasy and a likely candidate for any number of award nominations." Publishers Weekly
"Again, panoramic and stunningly inventive, but awash with half-baked experimental passages, irritatingly manipulative, overstuffed, and hastily constructed: as frustrating as it is astonishing." Kirkus Reviews
"All through the first 40 pages or so you can hear the grunts of a writer straining too hard for effect....Once the novel settles down after its ill-judged beginning, Miéville begins to construct an intriguing plot of espionage and deceit....The Scar eventually demonstrates enough invention and brutal energy...to show that Miéville is one of the most imaginative young writers around in any kind of fiction." Steven Poole, The Guardian (U.K.)
"Armada, a vibrant creation, with the uncertainties of its press-ganged residents and the machinations of its politics, makes this compelling reading." Regina Schroeder, Booklist
"Even better than...Perdido Street Station....Sophisticated readers will be engrossed not only by the story but also by the very words used to detail the plot, and they will never think of the fantasy genre...in quite the same way again." School Library Journal
"Miéville's prose has never been tighter or more mellifluous, nor his characters more memorable. This is without a doubt one of the finest works in 21st century literature, and I hope it wins every award imaginable." Jason Erik Lundberg, Green Man Review
"[A] baroque and picaresque odyssey....Less plot- and character-driven than its predecessor, The Scar is nevertheless dense with ideas and inventions, unfolding at a pace that leaves readers in breathless awe, gasping with wonder." Claude Lalumière, The Montreal Gazette
About the Author
China Miéville was born in London in 1972. When he was eighteen, he lived and taught English in Egypt, where he developed an interest in Arab culture and Middle Eastern politics. Miéville has a B.A. in social anthropology from Cambridge and a master?s with distinction from the London School of Economics. His first novel, King Rat, was nominated for both an International Horror Guild Award and the Bram Stoker Prize. Perdido Street Station won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and was nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award. He lives in England.
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