Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Silent City

Over at Eve's Alexandria, Nic Clarke has posted about Elisabeth Vonarburg's The Silent City.
The overriding image I've retained from the book is of the titular City itself: a vast, gleaming sanctuary for knowledge and the knowledgeable, last bastion of civilisation in a post-apocalyptic landscape to offer "clear, clean life that knows neither rust nor rot". As is the way of such things, it is also a sterile, echoing place, whose few remaining inhabitants have, for several hundred years, barricaded themselves away from the Outside, withering into madness even as they force their bodies to stay forever young through a battery of rejuvenation treatments. With nothing left to live for except to have sex and get on each other's nerves, they still grasp - to no avail - after immortality, "the malevolent dream of the Cities".

Or else they conduct strange experiments upon the one genuinely young person left among them: curious, trusting Elisa, the last child born in the City....

Read the rest of her post here.

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