Another brilliant, if bleak, effort from Miéville.
If I had to choose one word to tie in all of these short stories (and one novella, [book:The Tain]), I'd have to say "paranoia". Almost every story involves a character fearful of something — often without obvious cause.
Miéville's wordplay is, as always, amazing. The title of [book:The Tain] is hugely obscure, and yet right out of a dictionary: the tain
is the reflective silver backing of a mirror. The creatures that come from the tain call themselves "patchogues". Does that derive from the town on Long Island, NY, of which the Urban Dictionary
says "A place where all of your dreams can come true, or you could get shot dead at a stoplight"?
Or is it simply "patch o' gue
"? I'm sure I'll never know.