MICHAEL BISHOP & KUDZU PLANET PRODUCTIONS > THE CITY AND THE CYGNETS by Michael Bishop
THE CITY AND THE CYGNETS by Michael Bishop

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Prod. Code: MB 1-19

FORTHCOMING AUGUST 2019

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Cover by Amit Dutta


"[These] stories . . . elliptically chronicle the life of [an alternative] Atlanta, Georgia, 2000-2070. Beneath a huge artificial dome that blocks out the stars, hierarchically stashed on nine subterranean levels with computer-controlled simulations of weather and seasonal change, the citizens of this grim, bureaucracy-ridden sardine tin . . . contrive not just to endure but to prevail. Through 70 years of increasing repression, various free spirts turn a living cubicle into a facsimile of a starship in deep space, experiment with multipartner 'marriages' for the elderly, or dearly earn moments of mutual benison with an unwanted cubicle-mate. . . . bearing witness to the weedlike survival of human instinct and aspiration in the most confining and programmed environment."   [from Kirkus Reviews]




“Michael Bishop’s Urban Nucleus concept was one of the great extrapolative achievements of science fiction in the 1970s. In the novel A Little Knowledge and the accompanying story cycle Catacomb Years, he gave it vivid life. Now, forty years later, he has drawn both books together in revised and re-imagined versions to provide modern readers with a single unified text of this vast vision of the near future.”   

 
     Robert Silverberg, SFWA Grand Master

The City and the Cygnets ranks with the best of literary science fiction, on the level of Cloud Atlas or Life after Life. Set in an alternate-present and near-future dystopia, the book unfolds in a series of dark, detailed, sometimes tragic but often charming life stories. The stories are readable in themselves, and they build to a triumphant denoument merging science, politics, and philosophy in a way few writers can achieve. A Bishop book to savor.”   
 
     Louise Marley, author of The Terrorists of Irustan

The City and the Cygnets introduces itself as a vision of an “alternative America.” But like all the best science fiction, this extraordinary chronicle of a domed Atlanta whose residents retreat to their respective corners like weary boxers, shielded within their regional bubble, is, of course, a vision of our own time and place—a vision all the more remarkable for having appeared, in its original form, almost forty years ago. And like all the best science fiction writers, Michael Bishop understands that what’s important is not the domes, but the people who have to live in them. He tells us their stories in exquisitely crafted prose and with profound insight, compassion, and wisdom. Michael Bishop is one of our very best writers, and Fairwood Press has performed an invaluable service by reminding us, with these beautiful revised editions of his work, that he always has been. If you’ve never read Bishop’s work before, I envy you what you’re about to experience.     
 
     —F. Brett Cox, author of The End of All Our Exploring: Stories

Not all writers can sustain decades of excellence. But Mike can. Mike has. Mike does. This is not a simple book. But it’s a profoundly satisfying one. Satisfying in the answers it gives, and in the questions it asks that will never, ever be resolved.”     

    —Kelly Robson. author of Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach


“Bishop has blended, smoothed, sensitively enhanced and reconfigured all the original Urban Nucleus material from A Little Knowledge and Catacomb Years into one glorious canvas. The City and the Cygnets makes available some of that Young Turk Bishop’s finest writing, in a volume comparable to Disch’s 334 and Ed Bryant’s Cinnabar, allied works from that period, all of which have admirably withstood the passing of time.”

 

     Paul Di Filippo, author of The Big Get-Even
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