Saturday, June 22, 2024

Eight adventure-filled books set on trains

Sarah Brooks is the author of The Cautious Traveller's Guide to the Wastelands. She won the Lucy Cavendish Prize in 2019 and a Northern Debut Award from New Writing North in 2021. She works in East Asian Studies at the University of Leeds, where she helps run the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing. She is coeditor of Samovar, a bilingual online magazine for translated speculative fiction. She lives in Leeds, England.

At Electric Lit Brooks tagged eight books that have "a sense of adventure, and an exploration of the sometimes contradictory promises of escape and of connection that the railway offers." One title on the list:
Iron Council by China Miéville

Outlandish creatures and gigantic structures have always been a key element in Miéville’s novels, and Iron Council — ‘the perpetual train’ — is no exception. The story is set in the imagined world of Bas-lag, and moves back and forth through time, from the beginnings of train as it sets out to map the land and wipe out its inhabitants to make way for the rails, to the rebellion of the rail workers, and the attempts by a corrupt parliament and militia to destroy such a dangerous symbol of revolution. The ever moving, ever growing train provides great opportunities not only to explore the weird and wonderful landscapes of Bas-Lag, but also the febrile onboard world, with its renegades and ‘Remade’.
Read about another title on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue