May 23rd, 2004


Cities, edited by Peter Crowther

Finished Cities yesterday. It's a collection of 4 fantasy novellas, all set in an urban environment.

Paul Di Filippo, A Year in the Linear City
The first story was my favorite. Di Filippo creates a world that has one street, and millions of short side streets that lead to the river and train tracks alongside the city. That only provides an interesting setting though. The characters are exceptionally well-written and the story, based around a young up and coming writer of cosmologic fiction. He deals with his friends' drug use, his father's upcoming death from terminal cancer, and his girlfriend's sudden rise after rescuing the borough's mayor from discovery in a bordello.
China Miéville, The Tain
I was disappointed in this story. Humans in London are at war against their own reflections, freed from mirrors by some sort of sorcery. I just didn't get it. Sorry China, but for once I am not enthused about your work.
Michael Moorcock, Firing the Cathedral
I gave up reading this one. Way to disconnected a story-telling style for me.
Geoff Ryman, V.A.O.
An excellent story. Our protagonist lives in a rest home. The world is highly automated. Toilets remind the residents to take their medicine after drug-testing their urine. The residents of this particular home are monitored 24 hours per day. Meanwhile out in the real world, a band of criminals is exacting revenge on behalf of the aged by stealing from many people by turning the Victim Activated Offense against the people they are supposed to protect. Suspicion falls on the main character, because he once worked for SecureIT, a leading supplier of lethal protection equipment.