If reports are to be believed, Peter Jackson is at work right now on his next movie and it’s another fantasy novel adaptation. Mortal Engines is the first film in a series of (so far) five books by Phillip Reeve that also collectively go by the Mortal Engines handle. They’re set in a post-apocalyptic world where moving city states – or Traction Cities, in the books – roam nomadically, eating up resources and occasionally one another. Think Howl’s Moving Castle but very much bigger, meaner and with more of a sci-fi bent.

The original Mortal Engines novel was nominated for a Whitbread and won a Smarties award and for a few months, it seemed that everybody between three and five feet tall was reading a copy.

It’s said that Weta are currently working on the designs for these roaming municipalities. The main setting for the story is the Traction City of London and I can only imagine what they’d be able to make of it. This London is built like a multi-tiered, step-tapering tower, with the poor folk living in the broad belly level, against the noisy, polluting ‘Gut’, and the richer noblefolk living at the top, where the city is topped with St Paul’s Cathedral, the only pre-apocalyptic structure known to still remain.

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