1. Perdido Street Station (2000)

The New Crobuzon series by China Miéville. This series is also known as:

  • Bas-Lag
  • Svět Bas-Lagu
  • Noul Crobuzon

Genres and Sub-Genres[edit | edit source]

Urban Fantasy, Sci-UF, "Weird Fiction", "Fantastic Fiction", 

  • influenced by the themes and tropes of multiple genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror and steampunk

Series Description or Overview[edit | edit source]

❖ New Crobuzon is a fictional city-state created by China Miéville and located in his fictional world of Bas-Lag. It is prominently featured in both Perdido Street Station and Iron Council, and serves as a plot device and background for The Scar. ~ Goodreads | New Crobuzon series

❖ Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none—not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory. Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger. While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger -- and more consuming—by the day. What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon -- and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes. (WorldCat) ~ Bibliography: Perdido Street Station ~ ISFdb

❖ The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre of its own bewildering world. Humans and mutants and arcane races throng the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the rivers are sluggish with unnatural effluent, and factories and foundries pound into the night. For more than a thousand years, the parliament and its brutal militia have ruled over a vast array of workers and artists, spies, magicians, junkies and whores. Now a stranger has come, with a pocketful of gold and an impossible demand, and inadvertently something unthinkable is released. Soon the city is gripped by an alien terror—and the fate of millions depends on a clutch of outcasts on the run from lawmakers and crime-lords alike. The urban nightscape becomes a hunting ground as battles rage in the shadows of bizarre buildings. And a reckoning is due at the city's heart, in the vast edifice of Perdido Street Station. It is too late to escape. ~ Perdido Street Station - Pan MacMillan: China Mieville

Books in Series[edit | edit source]

New Crobuzon series: — won awards 

  1. Perdido Street Station (2000)
  2. The Scar (2002)
  3. Iron Council (2004)

Shorts, Anthologies, etc. [edit | edit source]

  • "Jack" (2005) in Looking for Jack short story collection (see Bas-Lag Wiki)

World Building[edit | edit source]

Setting[edit | edit source]

Fictional world of Bas-Lag

Places:[edit | edit source]


  • Rohagi
  • Bered Kai Nev
  • Islands and other landmasses

~ Geography: Bas-Lag - Wikipedia

KNOWN STATES: New Crobuzon, The Brothers, Gharcheltist, The Gengris, Hell, High Cromlech, Khadoh, Maru'ahm, Qé Banssa, Salkrikaltor, Suroch, Tarmuth, Troglodopolis, Vadaunk, Yoraketche

Supernatural Elements[edit | edit source]

Re-mades, arcane races, Xenians, zombies, vampire, pirate wars, magicians, Re-mades, arcane races, half-bird, half-human creature, lab specimens, thaumaturgy, steampunk technology, xenian species, fantastic instances of science,

Glossary:[edit | edit source]

  • Garuda — half-bird, half-human creature
  • xenian species: humanoid beings that are part insect, part bird, part cactus, etc

Groups & Organizations:[edit | edit source]

Races:[edit | edit source]

  • Anophelii
  • Cactacae
  • Cray
  • Elementals
  • Garuda
  • Grindylow
  • Handlingers
  • Humans
  • Khepri
  • Remade
  • Scabmettler
  • Stiltspear
  • Thanati
  • Vampir
  • Vodyanoi
  • Weavers
  • Wiremen

Known Races of  Bas-Lag - Wikipedia

World[edit | edit source]

Bas-Lag is a world where both magic (referred to as "thaumaturgy") and steampunk technology exist, and is home to many intelligent races. Bas-Lag possesses a number of continents. Two landmasses, Rohagi and Bered Kai Nev, are named in the three novels, though numerous other landmasses and unique structures play important roles in the novels. ~ More:  Bas-Lag - Wikipedia

New Crobuzon is a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. ~ Goodreads

Crobuzon is a city-state in a strange world inhabited not only by humans but also by a wide variety of "xenians"—humanoid beings that are part insect, part bird, part cactus, etc. Humans are the dominant species, although the other species live, work and even, to varying degrees, interact socially and commercially with humans and with each other. New Crobuzon includes many ghettos where xenian species live. The origins of these species are never discussed—this is simply the way of the world. Actually, much about the background is left mysterious. ~ Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Technology on Bas-Lag is wide and varied and evolves over the course of the books. In Perdido Street Station the primary piece of weaponry is the flintlock musket; by the time of Iron Council militia are armed with what appears to be percussion cap weaponry in the form of motorguns and pepperpot revolvers. On pg. 229 of Perdido Street Station Isaac states: "That's where they dropped the colourbomb in 1545. That's what they said put an end to the Pirate Wars, but to be honest with you, Yag, they'd been over for a year before that [...]". Interestingly, in Iron Council, the science behind colourbombs is referred to as a "lost science."

Another power source is The Torque, mentioned on pg. 225, a mysterious energy plaguing the Cacotopic Stain that might be compared to radiation. Torque leads to strange mutations, altering both living creatures and the inanimate environment: for example, during Iron Council, a railway carriage and its three occupants are transmogrified by the Torque into a blob of semi-solid matter containing three nuclei. Another implication of dropping the colourbomb is that it was done to hide the extent of the torque weapon's devastation of city of Suroch, which later revealed to be the unnamed opponent in the Pirate Wars.

In all three novels there are also several mentions of clockwork gems, metaclockwork, sentient robot-like constructs operating with difference engines, and many other inexplicable or fantastic instances of science, magic and combination of both.

In Iron Council, Miéville dedicates a lot of attention to the magic art of golemancy, explaining the logic behind the art and its difference to the calling and control of elementals. ~ Bas-Lag  Technology- Wikipedia

History, Ages:[edit | edit source]

  • Ghosthead Empire
  • Malarial Queendom
  • First Umbric Age
  • Full Years
  • Pirate Wars
  • The Ravening
  • 1779–1780
  • 1804

~ History of Bas-Lag - Wikipedia

❖ Politics and Societies:[edit | edit source]

  • The Brothers
  • Gharcheltist
  • The Gengris
  • Hell
  • High Cromlech
  • Khadoh
  • Maru'ahm
  • New Crobuzon
  • Qé Banssa
  • Salkrikaltor
  • Suroch
  • Tarmuth
  • Troglodopolis
  • Vadaunk
  • Yoraketche

Protagonist[edit | edit source]

Isaac, a brilliant scientist, is asked by a bird-man Garuda to restore his power of flight.

Sidekick[edit | edit source]

  • Name: / What: / Sidekick-to: / About: / Book First Seen:

Characters Chart[edit | edit source]

More Names: New Crobuzon Series ~ Shelfari

Characters What About
Isaac brilliant human scientist obsessed with his pet theory of "crisis energy"; Lover: Lin; close friend: Derkhan Blueday;
Garuda bird-man asks Isaac to restore his power of flight
Ms. Lin Isaac's lover Khepri artist
Derkhan Blueday middle-aged lesbian and seditionist co-editor of the Runagate Rampant (an underground newspaper)
Lemuel Pigeon small criminal helps Grimnebulin
Weaver spiderlike entity
David Serachin: Grimnebulin's coleague
Mayor Bentham Rudgutter: mayor of New Crobuzon
Lucky Gazid drug dealer addict and wannabe artists' agent
Lublamai Dadscatt Grimnebulin's coleague
Bellis Coldwine linguist cold, reserved, fleeing for her life for her alleged connection to the events in Perdido Street Station
Tanner Sack Remade criminal bound for slavery; his body surgically and magically altered as punishment for his crime
Shekel young cabin boy befriends Tanner
Johannes Tearfly scientist interests lie in megafauna and underwater sealife
Silas Fennec New Crobuzonian spy
Uther Doul bodyguard mysterious, scarred leader of Armada
Carrianne citizen of Armada press-ganged citizen; Coworker and friend to Bellis
Angevine Servant/bodyguard to one of the foremost scientists in Armada; lover: Shekel
Sister Meriope neurotic/pregnant shipmate to Bellis Press-ganged and taken to Armada at the same time as Bellis Coldwine
Sengka Cactae Pirate Captain commissioned to take a warning to New Crobuzon by Tanner Sack
Bastard John police/guard dolphin patrols beneath Armada
Hedrigall former Cactae Pirate Captain trader that lives aboard Armada and has considerable influence
Judah Low Golem maker this book starts with him in his later days (say about 50), but then details his life from his late teens. A hopeful, smiling, saintlike True Believer. Loves men and women equally but always distantly. He seems to be being called from afar, and he infuriates his male lover, Cutter, who also stars as a major character, by his lack of attachment
Cutter friend, disciple, and lover to Judah during Judah’s return to New Crobuzon
Ori revolutionary cannot abide the endless talk of his fellow Runagaters
Ann-Hari prostitute joins Judah and Uzman to lead a revolution in which the rail workers drive the overseers away
Qurabin: disciple of a Teshi religious tradition whom Cutter and Judah met on the journey to Iron Council

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column. Or, in Source Mode: copy-paste rows.

Author[edit | edit source]

China Miéville (

China Miéville

  •  Website:  China Mieville
  •  Genres: "Weird Fiction", "Fantastic Fiction", Urban Fsntasy

Bio: A British "fantastic fiction" writer. He is fond of describing his work as "weird fiction" (after early 20th century pulp and horror writers such as H. P. Lovecraft), and belongs to a loose group of writers sometimes called New Weird who consciously attempt to move fantasy away from commercial, genre clichés of Tolkien epigons. He is also active in left-wing politics as a member of the Socialist Workers Party. He has stood for the House of Commons for the Socialist Alliance, and published a book on Marxism and international law. ~ Goodreads via Wikipedia

❖ China Miéville lives and works in London. He is three-time winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award and has also won the British Fantasy Award twice. The City & The City, an existential thriller, was published to dazzling critical acclaim and drew comparison with the works of Kafka and Orwell and Philip K. Dick. His previous novel, Embassytown, was a first and widely praised foray into science fiction (published in 2011). ~ panmacmillan

Quote: 'My job is not to try to give readers what they want but to try to make readers want what I give' ~ China Mieville:| theguardian.com

Cover Artist[edit | edit source]

1. Perdido Street Station (2000)

  • Artist: Edward Miller (2000 & 2011—Macmillan UK)
  • Artist: David Stevenson (2001—Del Rey / Ballantine)
  • Artist: Ludovic Moulin, John Lofaso (2003—Del Rey / Ballantine)
  • Artist: Crush (2011) (Pan Books)

2. The Scar (2002)

  • Artist: Edward Miller (2002—Macmillan UK) (2003—Pan Books)
  • Artist: Ashley Wood (2002 & 2004—Del Rey / Ballantine)
  • Artist: Crush (2011—Pan Books)

3. Iron Council (2004)

  • Artist: David Stevenson, Carl D. Galian (2004—Del Rey / Ballantine)
  • Artist: David Stevenson, Carl D. Galian (2005—Pan Books)
  • Artist: Crush (2011—Pan Books)

~ Sources:

Publishing Information[edit | edit source]

Publishers: Del Rey

Book Cover Blurbs[edit | edit source]

BOOK ONE BLURB—Perdido Street Station (2000): New Crobuzon is a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. Isaac, a brilliant scientist, is asked by a bird-man Garuda to restore his power of flight. But one lab specimen threatens the whole city. A vividly colored caterpillar eating a hallucinatory drug grows in order to consume all. ~ Goodreads | Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag, #1)

BOOK TWO BLURB—The Scar (2002): 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. ~ Goodreads | The Scar (Bas-Lag, #2) by China Miéville

BOOK THREE BLURB—Iron Council (2004): Following Perdido Street Station and The Scar, acclaimed author China Miéville returns with his hugely anticipated Del Rey hardcover debut. With a fresh and fantastical band of characters, he carries us back to the decadent squalor of New Crobuzon—this time, decades later. It is a time of wars and revolutions, conflict and intrigue. New Crobuzon is being ripped apart from without and within. War with the shadowy city-state of Tesh and rioting on the streets at home are pushing the teeming city to the brink. A mysterious masked figure spurs strange rebellion, while treachery and violence incubate in unexpected places. In desperation, a small group of renegades escapes from the city and crosses strange and alien continents in the search for a lost hope. In the blood and violence of New Crobuzon’s most dangerous hour, there are whispers. It is the time of the iron council. . . .

The bold originality that broke Miéville out as a new force of the genre is here once more in Iron Council: the voluminous, lyrical novel that is destined to seal his reputation as perhaps the edgiest mythmaker of the day. ~ Goodreads | Iron Council (Bas-Lag, #3) by China Miéville

First Sentences[edit | edit source]

  • Book #1: Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from earth. ~ Shelfari
  • Book #2: It is only ten miles beyond the city that the river loses its momentum, drooling into the brackish estuary that feeds Iron Bay.
  • Book #3: A MAN RUNS.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"I turn away from him and step into the vastness of New Crobuzon, this towering edifice of architecture and history, this complexitude of money and slum, this profane steam-powered god."

The Scar:

Trivia[edit | edit source]

~ ranked #29 on Goodreads Best UF List


Goodreads | Lists That Contain Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag, #1) by China Miéville

Goodreads | Lists That Contain The Scar (Bas-Lag, #2) by China Miéville

Goodreads | Lists That Contain Iron Council (Bas-Lag, #3) by China Miéville

Awards[edit | edit source]

❖ China Miéville: List of Honours - Wikipedia

❖ He is three-time winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award and has also won the British Fantasy Award twice. The City & The City, an existential thriller, was published to dazzling critical acclaim and drew comparison with the works of Kafka and Orwell and Philip K. Dick. His previous novel, Embassytown, was a first and widely praised foray into science fiction (published in 2011). ~ China Mieville ~ Pan Macmillan


Perdido Street Station:

  • 2002 - Nebula Award for Best Novel
  • 2002 - Hugo Award for Best Novel
  • 2001 - Arthur C. Clarke Award
  • 2001 - British Fantasy Society's August Derleth Award
  • 2001 - Amazon.com Editor's Choice Award in Fantasy
  • 2002 - Premio Ignotus Award for Best Foreign Novel (for the Spanish translation)
  • 2002 - Kurd Lasswitz Award for Best Foreign Novel (for the German translation)

Read Alikes (similar elements)[edit | edit source]

  • See Category links at bottom of page

Notes[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Category links at bottom of page

External References[edit | edit source]


Wikipedia Book Pages:  


Devoted  Sites

The World, Characters, etc:





Art Reveals


Author, Misc:

Community, Fan Sites

Gallery of Book Covers[edit | edit source]

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