A GLOSSARY OF RAILSEA BY CHINA MIÉVILLE

01 May 2012

By James Luscombe

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railsea_1 Great Southern Moldywarpe, Talpa ferox rex

 

Antlion, Myrmeleon deinos

noun

Man-eating eruchthonous insect of great size, with compound eyes & two scything beetlecoloured chitin mandibles.

 

Daybat, Vespertilio diei

noun

Seen flitting around between dawn and dusk, the Daybat is often ginger-pelted or multicoloured. Its favourite source of food are crickets, which they can be seen crunching as they return after a day of hunting.

 

Earwig, Dermaptera monstruosus

noun

Gruesome monster, with a shiny segmented shell & pincers - the bumjaws - on its rear. Terrifies its prey with a howl like a kettle screaming &/or an electrical short.

 

Great Southern Moldywarpe, Talpa ferox rex

noun

The leviathan monster of the Moldywarpe family, dwarfing the Baby Bottletop, Moonpanther & Wriggly Tarfoots. This is the  true giant among Moldywarpes, the burrowers also known as Underminers, Talpas, Mudlvarps & Moles.

 

Naked Mole Rat, Heterocephalus smilodon glaber

noun

A thing of pale, wrinkled corpsy skin with scissoring & dreadful incisors, nailless hands & eyes like raisons shoved in dough. Comparable to a hairless, wrinkled mammal newborn, swollen to dog-size & part of a hive mind.

 

Shamus Yes ap Soorap

noun

The protagonist of our story, an apprentice moletrain doctor, who goes by the name of Sham. A big, lumpy young man. Thickset, not always unclumsy, with brown hair kept short & out of trouble.

 

Tundra Worm, Lumbricus frigidinculta

noun

Huge & sluggish, these enormous peeled-looking loops of wormness are prey for Moldywarpes. The largest Tundra Worms are found out west & south-west, where the largest Moldywarpes feed.

 

Read the prologue and chapter one of RAILSEA

Read an A-Z of China Miéville