Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The City & The City

In April, I finished reading The City & The City. Perusing the list of Hugo and Nebula awards winners, I saw that this book was nominated for 2009 Nebula Award for Best Novel. I was familar with the author China MiƩville, but had never read any of his books. On a whim, I ordered the book from Amazon. In April 2010, the novel was named a 2010 Hugo Award nominee in the Best Novel category.

When I ordered the book, I did not realize it is essentially a detective story, but with an unusual twist. The murder is set in the fictional twin southern European cities of Beszel and Ul Qoma. The two cities coexist in the same physical location, separated by their citizens' determination to see only one city at a time. Citizens in each city are raised from birth to "unsee" the other city. Ignoring the separation between the two cities, even by accident, is viewed as a crime.

The author does a nice job of executing a very original idea. Although not the more traditional science fiction novel I was expecting, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.

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