Monday, August 2, 2010

Dispatches from a Troubled City: Art Inspired by the Works of China Mieville

China Mieville, one of my favorite authors, has a brand new book coming out at the end of the month called Kraken. In honor of the book, I invited a few artists to create art based on his novels. But before getting to the art, here's a brief introduction courtesy of Wikipedia:

His first novel, King Rat, was nominated for both an International Horror Guild and a Bram Stoker award.

His second novel, Perdido Street Station, won the 2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 2001 British Fantasy Award, and was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Locus and British Science Fiction awards.

His third novel, The Scar, won the 2003 British Fantasy Award and the 2003 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, was nominated for the Hugo, Arthur C. Clarke, World Fantasy, Locus, Philip K. Dick, and British Science Fiction awards, and received a Philip K. Dick Award special citation.

His fourth novel, Iron Council, won the 2005 Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 2005 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and was nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.
His short story "Reports of Certain Events in London" (featured in the anthology McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories) was nominated for a 2005 World Fantasy Award and tied for the 2005 Locus Award for Best Novelette.

His fifth novel, Un Lun Dun, won the 2008 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book.

The City & the City won the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award and is a 2010 Hugo Award and Nebula Award nominee in the Best Novel category.
You can read substantial excerpts from his novels and full short stories at these links:
Perdido Street Station
The Scar
Reports of Certain Events in London
'Tis The Season
Like any good art show, there's a giveaway as described below, but first, without further ado, the art:



Obaday Fing sculpture by Paul Pape, who takes commissions as described here.



Spiral Jacobs art show flyer by Steve Thomas, who has art on sale here.



Avanc propaganda leaflet by Steve Thomas.




Human and Khepri couple by Chris Haley on sale here.







Weaver/handlinger box by Myke Amend. The complete "Red Hand Assemblage," as well as prints of "Red Right Hand" and "Weaving Spiders Come Not Here" are available here.




Remade militia assault team by Rory Phillips.





Grindylow Idol and alternate cover for The Scar by Jason Chalker, who has art on sale here.






Kraken bookmark by Greg Gilday, who has art on sale here and is selling the bookmarks for $1 each, shipping included.




Armada by Franco Brambilla, who has art on sale here.




Silas Fennec and Uther Doul by M.S. Corley.







Armada, Iron Council, New Crobuzon and Salkrikaltor City posters by Joe D!, who has art on sale here.



Grossbottle by Rick Sardinha, who has art on sale here.




Yagharek by Shane Parker.



The Lovers by Amanda Chronister.




Obaday Fing by JSalvador, who has art on sale here.

If you've enjoyed this terrific artwork and especially if you're tired of the endless 80's nostalgia art shows dominating galleries right now, then please send this link to your friends and support the participating artists. And to show my thanks to you, the reader, I'll give a $50 Threadless credit to a random commenter on this post. For a chance to win, simply comment and tell me which work of art is your favorite. Make sure your comment includes your email so I can get in touch.

If you've been inspired to create your own Mieville fan art, send it to me and I'll post it here.

And of course, please try Mieville's books. They're available at a discount at Amazon.

UPDATE: Here's more.


The Clock and Cockerel by Cormac McEvoy.



Perdido Street Station Memento Box by Jared Axelrod, featuring der Grimnebulin’s notebook, Dreamshit vials, scissors (for the Weaver) and more.

59 comments:

  1. I've never read any Mieville, but if he can inspire all this art, I'm going to check him out. I really like Joe D!'s posters; I'd hang them in my house even without knowing about the books that inspired them.

    Plus I love Threadless!

    e.cordes1213@gmail.com

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  2. Wow, these are great! I did a China Miéville Swamp Thing illustration in mourning (celebration?) of his canceled Swamp Thing project a couple of months ago...

    http://bryantpauljohnson.com/2010/06/17/a-hypothetical-china-mieville-swamp-thing/

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  3. The illustration of Silas Fennec and Uther Doul by M.S. Corley is brilliant. I've never read Mieville either, but there's something kinetic about that panel, the movement and the bandages. It's intriguing!

    jigglephysicsblog @ gmail . com :)

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  4. (psst, Elizabeth, they're available to download for free at
    http://SecretUndergroundHeadquarters.com/

    Just click on any one, then go to the largest size on flickr, they should all fit a 11x17 poster. Enjoy!)

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  5. I love this. Mieville's worlds are so rich and detailed, I've always wanted to to see artist interpretations of them.

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  6. Wait -- Joe, when we download these, should we be downloading the "large" or the "original" size for the 11x17 print?

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  7. I've also never read Mieville, but these art works provide a compelling case to start doing so. I really liked Jason Chalker's alternate cover; it reminds me of a hookworm parasite, and those little suckers (get it?) are real-life scary.

    gisellasakian@aol.com

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  8. I love Chris Haley's piece, because Lin was one of my very favorite characters (I cried buckets over her eventual fate), but I also think Franco Brambilla's armada piece is a close second, because it very closely matches the way I imagined it would be...agh but I also love Steve Thomas'! I WANT THEM ALL. Scratch that, I just want to live in China Mieville's brain. I hope someone does a piece for my favorite Mieville short story: Reports of Certain Events in London...CHILLS!

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  9. Wow, amazing. I had no idea this was going on. My favourite pieces are the posters by Joe D, especially the Iron Council one

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  10. I'd have to echo Elizabeth....while I've not read any Mieville yet if he's inspiring this quality of artwork I'll be adding him to my short list. While Obaday Fing and Scar both peak my interest I'd have to give my overall vote to Franco Brambilla's Armada. That vibrant sky sold me. It didn't hurt that I remembered Mr. Brambilla from some of your previous posts of his Star Wars work, but I'm a sucker for a quality sky. And that sky soars.

    hellboy08@hotmail.com

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  11. The "Original" should fit 11x17 prints. Even though they are 72dpi (low res) when you get them off flickr, they're super duper huge, so when they are printed on 11x17 paper they come out at 300dpi (high res). I'd explain the math, but math is boring.





    El

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  12. I love the propaganda art by Steve Thomas; I have a passion for posters like this, especially ones that depict interesting ways of looking at my favorite authors and books.

    moongirli at hotmail dot com

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  13. I like the Grindylow idol! and the Armada poster by Brambilla looks great. I've only read Scar, but it was great, and his other books are on my list! Came here from Twitter/@neilhimself. email is bevula(at)gmail.com

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  14. Gah, all lovely stuff. I would say that the dual-print box is my favorite -- incredible style! -- but I have SUCH a soft spot for travel posters. As soon as I finish my move across the country, I think I'm going to have to add some of those to my WPA National Parks collection and my Firefly/Serenity travel poster set. Meanwhile, I've decided upon The City & The City for my plane reading book, and it's taking quite a lot of effort to not cheat and start reading it early.

    After reading Perdido Street Station I started a painting (http://i27.tinypic.com/htcu55.jpg) ... it's progressed a lot since then, but it's still not finished. And it's in a box in another state now, so no updated photo. Ah well!

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  15. Oh, wow. I'm not even sure I can pick a favorite...I love love love the Spiral Jacobs poster and the Avanc propaganda leaflet (even though I haven't read the books those are from), and the Weaver/handlinger box is totally creepy...I suppose the travel posters and the Perdido Street Station memento box would have to be my favorites, though.

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  16. They all made me go wow but Armada by Franco Brambilla made me go holy crap that's good.

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  17. Whoops, no, I guess I have read the one Spiral Jacobs is from, which makes me love and want it even more...just forgot that was in the book, apparently. Am I just missing it or is there no art for The City & The City? Because...that would make for some AWESOME travel/propaganda posters.

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  18. I like all the Armada posters. If you've read China, double your pleasure by getting his audiobooks. They fragging ROCK!

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  19. Man. Tons of cool stuff. If I had to pick, I'd go with the Spiral Jacobs poster, though. Though the Grindylow idol was the thing that most made me think back to the book and shiver a bit.

    johnson.todd at gmail.

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  20. I'm a massive fan of Mieville's work, and I'd kill a man to have Joe D's New Crobuzon poster on my wall. Great collection!

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  21. Absolutely wonderful! And a great idea for a show- really would love to see more art shows based around an author or similar inspiration like this. Must say, I think my favorite is Joe D's Iron Council piece- it's so graphically intense.

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  22. Great stuff. Forgot how much of an impact Perdidio Street Station made on me when I first read it. Genuinely unsettling. Must read more of Mieville's stuff.

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  23. @Leah: every story in "Looking for Jake" gave me chills - even just looking up the story list on Wikipedia brought them back!

    whenever I read Mieville stories I keep thinking "that would look awesome!" and try to draw that scene/object/character, but can never do his descriptions justice. Bravo to those artists who have done so well. in particular I love the Grindylow idol, and want to go play with clay to make one of my own.

    contest contact: joe.flood (at) trioptimum (dot) com

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  24. for more Mieville fan art, check out this collection (not mine): http://www.curufea.com/games/crobuzon/gallery.php

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  25. I love the Perdido Street Memento Box. It was the first book I read by Mievelle, and since, I've read everything he's written voraciously. His universe seems to fit firmly in my own twisted 'life of the brain'. The City and The City is waiting on my bedside table to be read, after I'm finished Boneshaker. Not his, but equally bloody good.

    j.hellum[at]auckland[dot]ac[nz]

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  26. Oh my! That weaver and handlinger box is just amazing! Such a brilliant idea. I want one.

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  27. I think my favourite is the Armada poster by Franco Brambilla, but they're all awesome! I find it fascinating to see how artists have interpreted Miéville's work. My own visions of his characters/scenescapes were quite different, but I really love seeing what images his words infected other people's minds with. Thanks for sharing!

    emeredith86 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  28. These are lovely, lovely things, thank you so much. Tough to chose a favourite, but probably it's the Weaver/Handlinger box, because it's visually delicious and because that handlinger reminds me how damn scared I am of them.

    (vixtruslow [at] yahoo [dot] com)

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  29. What a fabulous collection! Joe D!'s series of location posters really stand out for me, though.

    csiemann at gmail dot com

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  30. I feel so inspired by this wonderful collection! Loving the Armada posters! The Weavers were also one of my favourite characters from Perdido Street Station.

    fan_of_fifties@yahoo.co.uk

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  31. I love the four city posters! This is a great collection of works.

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  32. The city posters really are fabulous, particularly New Crobuzon. The Grossbottle looks exactly as I had imagined it from China's text - nicely executed.

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  33. These are wonderful! My favourite is Joe D!'s New Crobuzon poster - it gives me chills. Fantastic work.

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  34. I'm a huge fan of China's and it's so inspiring to see these amazing art pieces. My faves are by JoeD!: Armada, Iron Council, New Crobuzon and Salkrikaltor City posters.

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  35. Wow, i'm a big China fan, and these things are beautiful - congrats to everyone!

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  36. There are some really fantastic pieces in here. Literary inspired art is a favorite of mine. I especially love the posters Joe D! made, they're graphic and bold.

    Thanks for this post!

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  37. Wow..I'm speechless. I've never read any of China's work, but this art is absolutely stunning. Franco Brambilla's Armada is my favorite.

    traceflan at gmail dot com.

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  38. You mean I have to pick one favorite?! I guess I'd have to go with the grindylow idol, but the 'Raise the Avanc' poster also needs to become mine. Thanks for calling attention to all this awesome work. I'll repost this every-effing-where!

    Contest contact: miles.a.gaborit@gmail.com

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  39. These were FANTASTIC, thank you so much! I'm just now getting into Mieville -- I'm reading PERDIDO and listening to KRAKEN via Audible.com simultaneously -- and I'm already a huge fan. Nearly every page of a Mieville book makes me think, "GOD I wish someone would draw that for me!" because my imagination simply isn't up to the task of painting his worlds in my head. Yet.

    Quite the same feeling I experienced reading NEUROMANCER for the first time, 20 years ago. Just stunning.

    LOVE your site, brand new here and it's already a favorite. Keep up the great work, and please: More, more, more Mieville!

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  40. For me it is a close run thing between Joe D's posters; I will have to go with the one for New Crobuzon.

    I have added a link to this excellent article from our SF book club site
    http://sfbk.blogspot.com

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  41. Great stuff - I particularly like the Raise the Avanc poster!

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  42. The Raise the Avanc poster rocks

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  43. I was really excited to see Chris Haley on the list!

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  44. I like the Obaday Fing by JSalvador. I love threadless. I also love your site, there's always something interesting to look at!

    kutekat@comcast.net

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  45. I love the poster by Steve Thomas and now I need to go read some China Mieville. Your blog is fantastic as well!

    Kat
    anemic.equine@gmail.com

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  46. Mieville is one of my favorite authors, I had no idea there was so much great art based on his work. I love Joe D!'s posters, particularly the Armada poster. And the memento box is amazing.

    Great post.

    Ryan
    ryber3 AT gmail DOT com

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  47. I am a huge Mieville fan. I have always thought his world-building should inspire more art. Glad to see it. Though Perdido Street Station is my favorite book, I think my favorite piece here is Armada. onanista251@yahoo.com

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  48. The posters were brilliant and truly inspired. They are excellent even out of context and would even serve well as Mieville book covers. So Joe D! gets my vote as the best.

    Thanks for setting up this great giveaway.

    rlarue at macDOTcom

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  49. I'm a big fan of The Scar although there was a lot of great stuff.

    sportswriterchick(at)gmail(dot)com

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  50. Om nom nom art and threadless shirts :3

    piggie.rider@gmail.com

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  51. Oh my goodness, these are all AMAZING. I love the sculptures, but I think my favourite piece has to be the weaver/handlinger box - every time I look at it a shiver goes up my spine.

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love Mieville's work :)

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  52. What a great way to promote your favourite writer and a bunch of interesting artists at the same time!!
    You got me very interested in both, thanks a lot!

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  53. The Lovers has to be my favorite!

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  54. Forgot to mention a favorite piece: Spiral Jacobs art show flyer by Steve Thomas.

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  55. Having just read Un Lun Dun, the first Obaday Fing in this post is pretty much just as I pictured him. Love it
    I also happen to love threadless

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  56. I love the travel posters of Salkritor and New Crobuzon. Really nice design work and they'd look great hanging in my office.

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  57. I love M.S. Corley's piece. I love the very cartoony sense of action.

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  58. I think the Salkrikaltor City posters is my fav :)

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  59. I LOVE the weaver artwork. Bought it immediately

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