9+ quotes from Railsea by China Miéville

Quotes from Railsea

China Miéville ·  424 pages

Rating: (9.8K votes)


“People have wanted to narrate since first we banged rocks together & wondered about fire. There’ll be tellings as long as there are any of us here, until the stars disappear one by one like turned-out lights.”
― China Miéville, quote from Railsea


“Technically, our name, to those who speak science, is Homo sapiens— wise person. But we have been described in many other ways. Homo narrans, juridicus, ludens, diaspora: we are storytelling, legal, game-playing, scattered people, too. True but incomplete. That old phrase has the secret. We are all, have always been, will always be, Homo vorago aperientis: person before whom opens a vast & awesome hole.”
― China Miéville, quote from Railsea


“Do please,” said Captain Naphi, “expedite this journey relevance-ward.”
― China Miéville, quote from Railsea


“Heaven might not be what everyone thinks it is, but that don’t mean it’s a myth.”
― China Miéville, quote from Railsea


“Humans like nothing more than to pigeonhole the events & phenomena that punctuate their lives.”
― China Miéville, quote from Railsea


“There were times, Sham felt, when the captains regretted there being only two types of limb they could lose to their obsessions.”
― China Miéville, quote from Railsea


“There was a time when wen we did not form all our words as we do now, in writing on a page. There was a time when the word "&" was written with several distinct & separate letters. It seems madness now. But there it is, & there is nothing we can do about it.

Humanity learned to ride the rails, & that motion made us what we are, a ferromaritime people. The lines of the railsea go everywhere but from one place straight to another. It is always switchback, junction, coils around & over our own train-trails.

What word better could there be to symbolize the railsea that connects & separates all lands, than “&” itself? Where else does the railsea take us, but to one place & that one & that one & that one, & so on? & what better embodies, in the sweep of the pen, the recurved motion of trains, than “&”?

An efficient route from where we start to where we end would make the word the tiniest line. But it takes a veering route, up & backwards, overshooting & correcting, back down again south & west, crossing its own earlier path, changing direction, another overlap, to stop, finally, a few hairs’ width from where we began.

& tacks & yaws, switches on its way to where it’s going, as we all must do.”
― China Miéville, quote from Railsea


“History seemed meaningless here, or at least bewildered.”
― China Miéville, quote from Railsea


“Standing there on his new perch, Sham was overwhelmingly bored of feeling overwhelmed. The more he worked, he realized, the quicker he worked.”
― China Miéville, quote from Railsea


About the author

China Miéville
Born place: in Norwich, England, The United Kingdom
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