Fans of China Miéville have been wondering for some time when the author would return to his fascinating world of Bas-Lag - the last novel set in that world was 2004's Iron Council (which seems to be generally regarded as something of a disappointment). Miéville then decided to move away from the setting, citing in an interview that he didn't want to become 'the guy that wrote Bas-Lag novels.'
Nothing wrong with wanting to try something a little different, but it was a rather curious move to risk potentially alienating some of the fans he'd gained through the Bas-Lag books. The move arguably caused a degree of pressure, since his two subsequent novels - Un Lun Dun and The City and the City - received mixed reviews.
However, it finally looks like us Miéville fan-boys are getting what we want - a return to the world of Bas-Lag with his new novel Kraken. While it's not yet definitely been confirmed as a Bas-Lag novel, the blurb - to me - seems reminiscent of Bas-Lag:
"The Natural History Museum's prize exhibit - a giant squid - suddenly disappears. This audacious theft leads Clem, the research scientist who has recently finished preserving the exhibit, into a dark urban underworld of warring cults and surreal magic. It seems that for some, the squid represents a god and should be worshiped as such. Clem gradually comes to realise that someone may be attempting to use the squid to trigger an apocalypse. And so it is now up to him and a renegade squid-worshiper named Dean to find a way of stopping the destruction of the world as they know it whilst themselves surviving the all out-gang warfare that they have unwittingly been drawn into..."
Three words - bring it on. This blurb has got me rather excited; it's vintage Miéville. No cover art yet, but no doubt it'll materialise soon. Release date has been slated as 7 May 2010. Can't wait for this one, The Scar is one of the best fantasy novels I've ever read, so my expectations are pretty high (especially since I was rather disappointed by The City and the City).
Must try and read Perdido Street Station and Iron Council before Kraken is released...
Edit: I've emailed Pan Mac for confirmation on whether Kraken is a Bas-Lag novel, will let you know if I find out anything...