After the end – ours and the universe’s – there is the City of the Saved. A repository for the uploaded souls of all humanity, the City is a technological utopia, a secular heaven. Heroes and villains, angels and monsters may be found in the City, but many ordinary people live here, too.Well, all of them in fact.In these stories, the first by writers other than the City’sAfter the end – ours and the universe’s – there is the City of the Saved. A repository for the uploaded souls of all humanity, the City is a technological utopia, a secular heaven. Heroes and villains, angels and monsters may be found in the City, but many ordinary people live here, too.Well, all of them in fact.In these stories, the first by writers other than the City’s creator Philip Purser-Hallard, we meet six of them. A hitchhiker, a lecturer, a tourist, a socialite, a twin, a cop: ordinary men and women living an extraordinary afterlife.These are their tales....
|Title||:||Tales of the City|
|Number of Pages||:||154 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Tales of the City Reviews
The City of the Saved is one of my favourite science-fiction concepts: a secular afterlife at the end of time, in which every human being is resurrected in an immortal body. Previous entries in the series have tended to focus on the meta-scale of the City: the stories of this collection instead those of the City's ordinary residents. The strongest entries – such as Blair Bidmead's standout "Happily Ever After is a High-Risk Strategy" – are those that utilise the series' unique concept most effectively; examining the effect eternity has on life's assumptions and narratives. The weakest (though there are no truly weak stories in Tales of the City) stray furthest from the central conceit, drifting instead into the sort of genre pastiche that could be equally at home in a number of other series. And some will leave you feeling pretty uncomfortable (I dread my next bruise).
A review to which I add a caveat. I'm not in this book, but 2013 may well raise a question regarding my impartiality when it comes to The City of the Saved. Make of that what you will, but meantime I offer the following thoughts while declaring myself an entirely partial reviewer. The City is a vast, galaxy sized conurbation at the end of time and the universe, in which every human or part-human who ever was or ever will be is resurrected. The storytelling potential is vast, offering a mix of hostorical and fictional characters, technologies, and cultures up like a vast fictional playset. Though grand events have been told in other tomes, this slim collection of tales (part of the Obverse Quarterly - four slim volumes of utterly different speculative fiction per year) is of a more intimate nature. My favourite tale is probably Elizabeth Evershed's 'The Socratic Problem', a lively piece about the primitive Socrates being taken on as a lecturer at a modern philosophy faculty. In contrast, we have 'About A Girl', a deeply uncomfortable read about Kurt Cobain (in this story, a bit of a knob) and his relationship with a six week old baby, metally grown to adulthood but trapped in the body she died in. While other stories don't work as well, and my response to the collection was probably more muted than it might otherwise have been after having just finished the extraordinary Faction Paradox: A Romance in Twelve Parts, this is a deeply imaginative fictional setting and from which we're getting some inspired pieces of fiction.
Supporting Obverse to say it's a great book! Elizabeth Evershed is my favorite DOCTOR WHO author and the BBC need to hire her.
Reviewing short story collections is always hard because I'm psychologically incapable of just saying "I liked it it was good" and moving on with my life, I feel compelled to review each story individually and then do an overview of the collection as a whole. Which is why, having finished this book months ago, it's taken me until now to review it. I suppose in one way that's a plus, if a story's stuck with me for this long it much be either great or memorably bad. So! Lets get started.Akroates - A funny and touching story which deftly introduces the concept of the City of the Saved, every main character in the collection and had an amusing twist at the end. Guess how many pages it took Philip Purser-Hallard to pull this off. Twenty? Ten? Five? Three and two lines. God DAMN it, P-PH. Stop being so great.Happily Ever After Is a High-Risk Strategy - I remember Blair Bidmead's contributions to previous Obverse anthologies being very good, and this is no different. Concerning the life-stories of several hitch-hikers (and the car they're travelling in, don't ask) it has interesting things to say about the nature of the concept of the City and what it means for the people who live there, and also there's a feminist re-imagining of the Battle of Troy as a 1950s bikini beach party, so that's pretty great. very much looking forward to his full-length Faction Paradox novel being released in the New Year.The Socratic Problem - So Socrates turns up at the Philosophy Department of this university and completes fucks shit up. Brilliant, and what's more further evidence my theory that FP/City of the Saved is written with Philosophy grads in mind.Lost Ships and Lost Lands - Sort of Sky Pirates on airships searching for some big secret treasure, if I remember rightly. I think the treasure had some significance in the wider mythos, something to do with DNA augmentation, but I can't really remember. Ooh yeah! And there was this bird dude who the main character wanted to have sex with so we got lots of detailed descriptions of how muscly and handsome he was. Which, while asserting that averting/subverting the male gaze is a noble and worthwhile pursuit, was a bit much.Highbury - A rather savage feminist critique of Austen-style Georgian chamber dramas, with an addition to the mythos that I actually remember. Thinking back I think I need to re-read this one, firstly because it's great and secondly because I've just thought of a way you could read it as anti-working class, and I'd like to be able to reassure myself that I'm just misremembering. About a Girl - *sigh* About a Girl. I have a bit of a dilemma here. These books released by Obverse you see are sufficiently niche and special interest that some of the authors frequent this site; Philip Purser-Hallard has liked my review of 'Of The City of the Saved' for example. So when it comes to a story I absolutely hated with every fibre of my being, I'm reticent to completely slate it and pick apart all of its many, many faults, as there is a chance the author might read my review. Not that I'm scared of them coming round my house and hitting me, you understand, it's just that in this strata of publishing people are obviously writing these stories because they enjoy doing them and because they have an investment in the mythos. So I just feel like slagging them off would be impolite and not incredibly constructive. With that in mind will say that this one... wasn't for me and leave it at that.Bruises -A similar theme to About a Girl and an expansion of the archetypal story dealing with resurrection. Sort of a detective-y thing with a patented BIG TWIST. Quite good.Apocalypse Day - This one confused me a bit, I think its the first story to reference the events of 'Of The City of the Saved', but I couldn't quite place it within that chronology and it left me a bit lost. Still very enjoyable.Overall I enjoyed almost every story in the collection, they all had something interesting and worthwhile to say about the central concept, with one, y'know, notable exception. The cover's great too. There are another... three? books in the series, and I'm intending to buy the rest in the near future. My poor shelves.
No, not the San Francisco ones (though I did quite enjoy their profoundly nineties TV adaptation back in the day). This is the City of the Saved, a non-denominational heaven (or a better-written Riverworld?) in which humanity and all its heirs are reborn at the end of the universe. I think the only contributor here by whom I've read anything before is the City's deviser, Philip Purser-Hallard, but there's still an impressive hit rate. One could complain of a certain inconsequentiality; one story even goes so far as to pastiche that most insubstantial writer of all, Jane Austen. But this is a feature, not a bug - in the City (at least during the era of these tales) nobody can die, or be hurt, or in some senses ever change at all. And humanity (and our heirs) being the perverse creatures we are, obviously not everyone is happy about that.