China Mieville is part of the so called "New Weird" movement of writing and the logo is well applied. Perhaps his most famous novels take place in the world of Bas-Lag. Though a fantasy trilogy, Mieville defies the staples of the genre, and tends to draw influence from horror and science fiction instead. For one, Bas-Lag itself is a setting you're more likely to find in your fevered dreams and nightmares than anywhere else. Instead of taking place in the times of armoured knights and stupid pants, the world is an industrialized, adaptive place, but straining at the seams and peopled by a myriad of bizarre, inhuman races and twisted cultures and its heroes are scientists and unionist, in fact a group of "adventurers" hired in the first book are shown as sociopaths and killers. Though the setting is wildly inventive, the author doesn't go for the traditional approach to world building, instead scattering details of far off locations, such as the nation of High Cromlech and its zombie factories or the long dead and transdimensional Ghosthead Empire, who mined and monetized probability.
Humanity in the unreal
Using the works of sci-fi and fantasy to reflect our own world
Entries in Books (3)
Many science fiction novels take place in realistic simulacra of our own future, tackling modern day issues from an advanced, but also parallel perspective. Not Iain M. Banks Culture novels, a loosely connected series of titles that documents a largely humanoid (but not terran) society that has transcended scarcity, taboo, internal strife and, if its citizens so choose, death. A utopia in the truest sense, the Culture is an anarcho-socialist civilization with no currency or even real government. Disease and genetic disabilities are unheard of and, though the average lifespan is 400 years, individuals can choose to forgo death or go into stasis with the order to be woken when something interesting happens.
The Malazan Book of the Fallen is a fantasy series written by Canadian author and archeologist Steven Erikson and it is a big one. I mean really big. The series is ten books long, each novel is roughly a thousand pages and there are spin off stories written by him and the world's co-creator, Ian Cameron Esslemont. Though the last book isn't out yet, Erikson has already been signed on to write a pair of trilogies and an encyclopedia of the world. It may all seem excessive but no cash grab this; it's worth it.