I stumbled upon a very interesting blog posting about the trans-speciatiation relation between Margaret Cavendish (17th Century writer of The Blazing World) and China Miéville. Here's a quote from this piece:
A colleague who is an 18th century-ist was reading The Scar along with me, and suggested that there might also be a strong parallel between The Scar and the 17th century utopian text by Margaret Cavendish called The Blazing World (1666), which is about a human woman who is kidnapped by a man who loved her, and taken out to sea. The boat is taken across the ocean in a freak storm, and the men on board all freeze to death as the ship is brought towards the North Pole. But the kidnapped woman is rescued by strange bear-men, and brought to see the Emperor, who is so impressed with her that he marries her and makes her Empress.
Trans-speciation: From Margaret Cavendish to China Miéville