REVIEW SUMMARY: A wonderfully original story that defies genre categorization.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In his efforts to help a grounded bird-man regain flight, a scientist unleashes a horror so terrible it threatens to consume the entire city of New Crobuzon.
MY REVIEW: While reading PSS I was reminded of other stories, but this book was a thing of it’s own. It perhaps borrows from other books and movies, but in the end, PSS is a brilliant, cohesive work in its own right.
PROS: Great new ideas in every chapter; the dilapidated, run down city of New Crobuzon is a character of its own; great combination of SF, fantasy and horror genres.
CONS: I can think of none.
BOTTOM LINE: A fun read for fans of SF, fantasy OR horror.
Perdido Street Station is a rare work indeed. Part action, part horror, part adventure, SF and a little fantasy to boot.
Isaac der Grimnebulin is a scientist in New Crobuzon working to help give flight to a grounded garuda bird-man. As part of his experimentation, he collects everything he can find that flies. When one of the creatures in his collections, a caterpillar emerges from its cocoon, bad, bad things start happening to New Crobuzon.
As I mentioned in the excerpt, I think that PSS does not really fit nicely into one genre. It says steam-punk on the book, and in some respects it’s like the Gibson/Sterling effort The Difference Engine (pre-electricity punch card computers.)
In other ways, the creatures in the story are completely horrifying, reminiscent of the movie Alien.
I loved the dilapidated city of New Crobuzon, with its various races and look forward to reading his other story set there, The Scar.