China Miéville’s phantasmagoric 2010 novel Kraken revealed the depth of his fascination with cephalopods – if his tentacular tattoo and earrings weren’t enough of a hint.

So Arc sent him to the world-renowned Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole to meet some.

Here’s an extract from the UNRELIABLE NARRATOR report he wrote in our upcoming first issue:

“Woods Hole, on Cape Cod, is small and pretty. It is served by tea shops and swish boutiques. It is stuffed utterly with research institutes. Home to fewer than a thousand inhabitants, it houses the Oceanographic Institution that bears its name, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, a Geological Survey Science Center, the Sea Education Association, and the Marine Biological Laboratory. The ratios of marine-science insight per square foot and per inhabitant are giddying.

“A curious wanderer could, in half a day’s brisk stroll of these streets, find answers to all her abstruse queries about oceanic geology, fluid dynamics, fish morphology and the diet of krill. And cephalopods.

“Off the corridors of Roger Hanlon’s MBL laboratory are pleasant offices that could be in any university wing or administrative building around the world. Computers, personal photos, potted plants, water coolers, noticeboards and name tags. Departmental decor. Another turn, a different route, and you’re in a chamber the size of a small warehouse, where the survivor lives.”

Survivor? Find out in Arc 1.1, coming in late February 2012.

http://www.arcfinity.org

2 years ago
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