City on Fire (Metropolitan 2)by Walter Jon Williams
With her help, Aiah's lover Constantine has established himself in the metropolis of Caraqui, a nation dominated by corrupt officials, gangsters, and the genetically
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Nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula Award, City on Fire returns to the world-city of Metropolitan, a city dominated by plasm, the magical substance capable of both creation and destruction.
With her help, Aiah's lover Constantine has established himself in the metropolis of Caraqui, a nation dominated by corrupt officials, gangsters, and the genetically altered known as the "twisted." Here they hope to create a revolution in the cosmic order--- but first they must fend off treachery, war, and the threat of Taikoen, the "hanged man," a deadly creature that lives within plasm itself. Aiah must fight not only for her revolution and for her place in the world, but for Constantine's very soul.
"City on Fire is a splendid, riveting novel in which the most powerful magic is that of a writer directing the twin streams of reason and intuition to produce a dream within the texture of reality."
--- Russell Letson, Locus, April 1997
"City on Fire, by Walter Jon Williams, is that rarest of entertainments, a sequel that improves on a successful predecessor . . . Mr. Williams' prose is distinguished by a no-nonsense confidence that perfectly matches Constantine's unshakable faith in his own destiny and in his ability to resist the corruption that notoriously comes with power."
---Gerald Jonas, NY Times Book Review, Feb 23, 1997
"City on Fire offers something for just about every kind of reader . . . Williams really gives the reader hours of entertainment with polished style, twisty plots, action and vivid characters."
"Williams [creates] a magnificent world-city, its entire surface urbanized by a multitude of civilizations that draw their very existence from plasm, the mysterious energy contained in all matter . . . Well-drawn, believable characters give emotional force to this fine novel . . . Ultimately, however, it is Williams's complex world-city, more convincing than even Asimov in Foundation, and his endlessly inventive use of plasm that will hold readers' fascinated attention.
--- Publishers Weekly, Dec 30, 1996./
Meet the Author
Walter Jon Williams is an author, traveler, kenpo fiend, and scuba maven. After an early career as a historical novelist, he switched to science fiction. His first novel to attract serious public attention was "Hardwired" (1986), described by Roger Zelazny as "a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe-light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars." In 2001 he won a Nebula Award for his novelette, "Daddy's World," and in 2005 another Nebula for “The Green Leopard Plague.”
Walter's subject matter has an unusually wide range, and include the glittering surfaces of Hardwired, the opulent tapestries of Aristoi, the bleak science-tinged roman policier Days of Atonement, and the pensive young Mary Shelley of the novella "Wall, Stone, Craft," which was nominated for a Hugo, Nebula, and a World Fantasy Award.
The fantasy Metropolitan, which was nominated for a Nebula Award, begins a sequence continued in a Nebula- and Hugo-nominated second novel, City on Fire. Of these works, Norman Spinrad wrote, "There's a Jules Verne solidity to it, all girders and ductwork and massively clanking machineries, a Victorian feel of iron and stone and steam somehow,beautifully and cunningly rendered. . . not only a well-realized work but a hopeful landmark of sorts . . ."
Walter has written numerous works of alternate history, featuring Edgar Allan Poe ("No Spot of Ground"), Mary Shelley ("Wall, Stone, Craft"), Elvis Presley ("Red Elvis"), and the Empress Dowager of China ("Foreign Devils.") He has also contributed to the alternate history science fantasy series, Wild Cards.
His latest work is "The Fourth Wall," the third book in his series of near-future thrillers featuring game designer Dagmar Shaw.
Walter=s web page may be found at
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I escaped into Aiah's world (this is the second of the series) and was transported into rich tapestries of intrigue and humanities frailties - all nearly 1400 pages worth! A definite jewel of a novel. The characters come alive, and are complex and conflicted, much like their surroundings. Thank you, Mr. Williams.
There is nothing to say, just read it