Railsea - China Miéville The whale is a moldeywarpe, the ocean is an endless expanse of rail and Captain Ahab is gender switched and anagrammed to become Abacat Naphi. Once again, Mieville delivers an outstanding tale- this time in a re-imagined version of Moby Dick. A tribute to the near anagrammed Melville.

However, this is no Ctrl F, Replace with cut and paste job. Melville adds new themes and motivations. The most ingenious is taking the metaphor of Moby Dick and making Railsea‘s Captain Naphi aware of it by describing her own hunt for Mocker-Jack as her “philosophy.”

Unsurprising to Mieville fans, he again delights in wordplay and bold new worlds. Railsea is a bit less dense than some of his other works and has been tagged as a Young Adult novel by many. I’m not sure I would describe it as Young Adult, but there is definitely an innocence to it; though it should not deter even the self-described hardcore who enjoy speculative fiction.