In the Watchful City

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Anima’s (pronouns are æ and ær) whole world is the city of Ora. With the ability to see through the eyes of any animal in Ora, Anima watches over her city. Æ takes pride in helping keep the city safe. When Anima meets Vessel, a traveler with a mysterious cabinet of curiosities, ær whole world changes. Each item in Vessel’s rosewood case comes with its own story. With every story, Anima’s view of the world grows.

In The Watchful City is the debut novella by S. Qiouyi Lu (pronouns are æ and ær). This future cyberpunk superstar has a unique style of storytelling. Within this masterpiece are four finely woven interconnected short stories. Along with the detailed images of Ora the reader sees through Anima’s eyes, we get a greater view of the whole world Lu has created with the short stories. Ær short stories deal with difficult subjects, including depression and suicide.

Lu challenges gender norms by using unique gender-neutral pronouns for the two main characters, whose lives and actions don’t conform to gender expectations. The pronouns work wonderfully, as gender is irrelevant to the stories. For those cyberpunks looking for a beautiful fantasy story, this is a truly amazing novella.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Tordotcom
Publish Date 31-Aug-2021
ISBN 9781250792990 Buy this Book
Issue August 2021
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy