Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Perdido Street Station

China Mieville

It's not fantasy, it's not horror nor science fiction, but has elements of all three. The vast scabrous city of New Crobuzon comes alive in this monumental tale. Weird and wonderful, I couldn't put it down.

Extract

A movement was reflected in the mirror beside the door
A dark thing rose from the floor at the top of the stairs

Lublamai spoke, emitted some tremulous noise of disbelief, of fear, of confusion, but it dissipated soundlessly after the briefest moment. He stared with an open mouth at the reflection.

The thing unfolded. The sense was of blossoming. An expansion after being enclosed, like a man or woman standing and spreading their arms wide after huddling foetally, but multiplied and made vast. As if the thing's indistinct limbs could bend a thousand times, so that it unhinged like a paper sculpture, standing and spreading arms or legs or tentacles or tails that opened and opened. The thing that had huddled like a dog stood and opened itself, and it was nearly the size of a man.

Parallels
  • The Velocity Gospel by Steve Aylett
  • Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake