It started with fireballs raining down from the sky and crashing into the oceans’ deeps. Then ships began sinking mysteriously and later ‘sea tanks’ emerged from the deeps to claim people . . . For journalists Mike and Phyllis Watson, what at first appears to be a curiosity becomes a global calamity. Helpless, they watch as humanity struggles to survive now that water – one of the compounds upon which life depends – is turned against them. Finally, sea levels begin their inexorable rise . . . The Kraken Wakes is a brilliant novel of how humankind responds to the threat of its own extinction and, ultimately, asks what we are prepared to do in order to survive.
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. BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from China Miéville’s Embassytown.
The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters
From vampires and demons to ghosts and zombies, interest in monsters in literature, film, and popular culture has never been stronger. This concise Encyclopedia provides scholars and students with a comprehensive and authoritative A-Z of monsters throughout the ages. It is the first major reference book on monsters for the scholarly market. Over 200 entries written by experts in the field are accompanied by an overview introduction by the editor. Generic entries such as 'ghost' and 'vampire' are cross-listed with important specific manifestations of that monster. In addition to monsters appearing in English-language literature and film, the Encyclopedia also includes significant monsters in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, African and Middle Eastern traditions. Alphabetically organized, the entries each feature suggestions for further reading. The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters is an invaluable resource for all students and scholars and an essential addition to library reference shelves.
In myths and legends, squids are portrayed as fearsome sea-monsters, lurking in the watery deeps waiting to devour humans. Even as modern science has tried to turn those monsters of the deep into unremarkable calamari, squids continue to dominate the nightmares of the Western imagination. Taking inspiration from early weird fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft, modern writers such as Jeff VanderMeer depict squids as the absolute Other of human civilization, while non-Western poets such as Daren Kamali depict squids as anything but threats. In Squid, Martin Wallen traces the many different ways humans have thought about and pictured this predatory mollusk: as guardians, harbingers of environmental collapse, or an untapped resource to be exploited. No matter how we have perceived them, squids have always gazed back at us, unblinking, from the dark.
The Dead City unearths meanings from such depictions of ruination and decay, looking at representations of both thriving cities and ones which are struggling, abandoned or simply in transition. It reveals that ruination presents a complex opportunity to envision new futures for a city, whether that is by rewriting its past or throwing off old assumptions and proposing radical change. Seen in a certain light, for example, urban ruin and decay are a challenge to capitalist narratives of unbounded progress. They can equally imply that power structures thought to be deeply ingrained are temporary, contingent and even fragile. Examining ruins in Chernobyl, Detroit, London, Manchester and Varosha, this book demonstrates that how we discuss and depict urban decline is intimately connected to the histories, economic forces, power structures and communities of a given city, as well as to conflicting visions for its future.
Mankind is in the midst of a golden age. Humankind has spread out and colonized planets near and far. There is a coalition of planets, and peace exists. But when a science experiment goes awry and a research ship discovers a sinister object in space, mankind must band together for one final night and take a stand against the most destructive natural and unnatural elements of the galaxy, which seek to end all life as we know it.