’The sun shone through uneven cloud cover with a bright grey light. Below the basket the stalls and barrows lay like untidy spillage. The city reeked. But today was market day in Aspic Hole, and the pungent slick of dung smell and rot that rolled over New Crobuzon was, in these streets, for these hours, improved with paprika and fresh tomato, hot oil and fish and cinammon, cured meat, banana and onion.
The food stalls stretched the noisy length of Shadrach Street. Books and manuscripts and pictures filled up Selchit Pass, an avenue of desultory banyans and crumbling concrete a little way to the east. The rows of merchandise converged crookedly on Aspic Hole like spokes on a broken wheel.
In the Hole itself all distinctions broke down – members of strange races bought peculiar things, and there the lascivious costermonger, Bartok the Beetle merchant, traded in all things creepy and crawling from his Emporium of Insects.
Aspic Bazaar, a blaring mess of goods, grease and tallymen. Mercantile law ruled: Let the buyer beware.’
An illustration inspired by Perdido Street Station by China Mieville