So, I am currently in the middle of China Miéville’s The Scar. It’s Book 2 of the Bas-lag series, which I really wouldn’t call a series because the only thing it shares with Perdido Street Station (Book 1) is the universe it is in – aptly called, well, Bas-lag. This is only my second Miéville. Second! It’s very odd to be so involved with a writer after reading only one of his novels, and probably all of his articles and interviews that I could find online. So we need to remedy that. By reading everything in his bibliography, starting of course, with The Scar.
In Part II of The Scar, we are introduced to a pirate city hauled across the ocean – the city of Armada, a forest of ships. It looks like this:
For someone who’s literary background on anything nautical was mostly, errr naughty historical romances, it was daunting for me to picture a city of ships that sails as a conglomerate. I searched for fanart that would give me an idea of what it would look like and Majoh’s interpretation closely resembles how Miéville describes Armada – it’s less than a mile wide, with conjoined ships of all kinds, and bridges that interconnects this whole piratical web of craziness.
Another fanart of the city during the day:
This one looks a lot like Riften – probably my least favorite town in Skyrim because I get lost all time when I need to go to the Thieves headquarters, and because I kept falling from bridges. It is a probable conclusion that I will die if I get press-ganged into Armada. And yes, press-ganged will be the only way I could be there because no city-born would ever spawn someone who keeps falling from bridges.
Here’s another pretty one:
In spite of all these wonderful Armada interpretations, my favorite is still this beautiful cover of the hardbound copy.
The cover shows the true grittiness of Miéville’s pirate city – it is dark, alienating, and mysterious. I wish I discovered China’s works earlier so I would’ve had dibs on the hardcovers but oh well. My cover (reprinted UK edition, first picture) is very, VERY pretty too.