City Under the Stars completes a journey undertaken by Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick 25 years ago, when they published the novella The City of God. Over two decades later, the two realized there was more to the story, and began the work of expanding it. Now, after Gardner Dozois' tragic passing, the story can be told in full.
God was in his Heaven ― which was fifteen miles away, due east.
Far in Earth's future, in a post-utopian hell-hole, Hanson works ten solid back-breaking hours a day, shoveling endless mountains of coal, within sight of the iridescent wall that separates what’s left of humanity from their gods.
One day, after a tragedy of his own making, Hanson leaves York, not knowing what he will do, or how he will survive in the wilderness without work. He finds himself drawn to the wall, to the elusive promise of God. And when the impossible happens, he steps through, into the city beyond.
The impossible was only the beginning.
Michael Swanwick (born 1950) is an American science fiction author. Swanwick is one of the most acclaimed science fiction and fantasy short story writers of his generation, having received the Hugo Award for short fiction five times in six years. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo: Michael Swanwick at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow, August 2005. Picture taken by Szymon Sokół. Source: Wikimedia Commons.