On another thread here, Caladan Brood mentioned that China Mieville seems to have a bit of a problem with ending his stories. I though it might be worth discussing this aspect of Mieville's books in a little more detail. Purely from memory, here are the endings of his four novels thus far and my comments (hence the SPOILER WARNING): King Rat: In the end, Saul comes to terms with his part-rodent nature, defeats the Pied Piper and also gives the evil old King Rat his come-uppance, gaining kingship over the rats and then telling the rats that they are now free to goven themselves. Nothing seems unresolved here, and the ending is even rather whimsical ("let's put the 'rat' back in 'fraternity"). Perdido Street Station: Isaac and cohorts do eventually defeat those scary flying dream-eaters. But at great cost - Isaac is now a wanted man in New Crobuzon and must flee, his lover Lin is permanently crippled, mentally and (not as shocking as some people make out, since having one's wings removed brutally as punishment suggests a terrible crime) Yagharek, who was in so many ways the pivot for the plot, and an increasingly engaging character, is revealed as a man guilty of a terrible crime whether by human or Garuda standards. Again, I don't feel much is left hanging - the evil is vanquished, but there's more than one source of evil in the world, and great valour does not always lead to great rewards. Not a happy ending, but it is an ending. The Scar: Possibly the weakest ending. Much of the book centered around the Lovers' Quixotic quest for The Scar, but the book ends in this ambition being thwarted at the last minute, which is probably a good thing but feels like a bit of a let-down. On the hand, there are vivid characters here, and I suspect that the development of Tanner Sack's character does offer a certain sense of completion if not resolution to the overall story. Then again, the book begins with Bellis leaving New Crobuzon for the unknown, and ends with her finally getting to go back, so there is at least a definite end to it for her. Still, feels like a rather open ending, even weak. Iron Council: The whole point of the ending, I think, is the lack of immediate resolution. Realising that the revolt in New Crobuzon is doomed, has already failed and cannot be salvaged at this point, Lowe prevents the Perpetual Train from returning to what can only be a final crushing defeat for the people's cause. Instead, he uses his arcane powers to forever suspend the train and the Iron Council in time, serving as an eternal beacon to the common people of New Crobuzon. I think this may not be the climatic ending one may have expected, but is a definite and acceptable ending, telling us that sometimes, the idea of revolution is more important than the revolution itself. So that's my take on the ways in which Mieville's novels end. There's a certain lack of a traditional tying-all-threads and righting-all-wrongs ending, but I do feel that in each case a vital plot driver and thematic element has been brought to a resolution that makes a statement other than 'good has triumphed' or 'evil never dies' or 'true love prevails' etc, etc. What do you think? Am I being far too kind, and is this something he still needs to work on, as a relatively young writer, or is it worth speculating that some of the in-the-air feeling about his endings is on purpose, and purposeful?