I picked this up in hardback for a great price on the Marketplace. It is part of the Foursight collection, each an anthology of 4 novellas. (Foursight, Futures, Infinities, Cities).
The original introductions to these Novellas are removed when they are combined for the Foursight Anthologies
A Year in the Linear City - Paul di Fillippo
The best depiction of a fantasy city in this anthology. A never-ending straight line of buildings with a river on one side and railway tracks on the other. The actual coming about of such a place is left to the readers imagination as the main character - a budding CF (Cosmogenic Fiction) author - can only speculate on this. Although the foundation isn't really explored and the mysteries remain unexplained, a picture of the city itself can be built. The Yardbulls and Fisherwives are omnipresent and shepherd the dead of the city to rest in the sky. The living occupants witness the bodies taken to either The Wrong Side Of The Tracks or The Other Shore and do not actually know which is preferable. Venturing underground, the city appears to be built on something very strange indeed.
The Tain - China Mieville
Written in 2002, it would be interesting to know if this story came before 28 Days Later (2002) as it begins in a very similar fashion. Waking in a deserted London now inhabited by... Well nothing nice. Altered humans. The culprit is not however a viral menace but an invasion via the tain in mirrors and other reflective surfaces. Shohl must venture to avert the crisis that has befallen London and also everywhere else - maybe he can thwart The Enemy as the Yellow Emperor did, on behalf of humanity, once before. Derived from 'The Fauna of Mirrors' (The Book of Imaginary Beings), this is fantasy fiction with an element of horror.
Firing the Cathedral - Michael Moorcock (This is a Jerry Cornelius story)
I am not familiar with the character although I believe the author has written 4 novels and some shorter fiction featuring him previously. The Editor refers to this as '...a believable take on world affairs... against the backdrop of New York City'. Is this the very brief mention of the leprosy sufferers in South New York? Any kind of New York backdrop is certainly not in evidence. It is difficult to see how this was deemed relevant to include in 'Cities' and unfortunately its disjointed chapters stilted the flow of the anthology as a whole.
VAO - Geoff Ryman
The VAO (Victim Activated Ordinance) is being used against the people it should protect. But by whom?
Again, there is no real city to speak of here - the story is set in an old folk's home in the future. The old people are of the 90's and 00's generation and this makes them seem quite 'cool'. Well worth a read - fluid and interesting SF ideas! This could have been put in an OAP anthology along with Nancy Kress's 'The Erdmann Nexus'.
Other Cities (not included).
Books of Blood, Volume 1 - In the Hills, the Cities - Clive Barker
The City and The Stars - Arthur C. Clarke
Metatropolis - Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Karl Schroeder; Edited by John Scalzi (A collectively-constructed SF world)