by China Miéville. The Sadocratic Impulse Two women sit leaning against a wall, wrapped in dirty clothes. Their hair is raddled, their faces filthy. One holds a bottle, the other a cardboard sign on which is scrawled a slogan both plaintive and defiant. But their smiles are arch, and the schmutz on their faces is as artlessly precise as a child’s clown makeup – easy on, easy off. Halloween. This is a fancy-dress party, and the women have come as the destitute.