Rear cover synopsis: `In the 21st Century, when urbanization is reaching its limits, the population suddenly slumps... The city is killing man- strangling and crushing humanity as effectively as the jungle destroyed the civilizations of the past. The Characters- zombies, slum-dwellers, a pop star and an architect- move like tiny incests through the vast empty steel and concrete landscape of the city. The Loners decided to opt out of civilization... The Civics dare not venture beyond the city limits... which will survive?'
Included in City Dwellers is a collection of four short stories which follow the decay of man and its relationship with city life. Written in 1970, the subject matter is fairly typical of the age- free sex, mild drug use and over-population. No marks for originality there, but kudos go to the development of the last two stories, which nicely rounds out a lackluster first two stories.
Part One - 3/5 - A 19 year-old pop-star popular with the preteens (on stage and in bed, supposedly [high eek factor]) meets a woman six years his senior and together pursue a brief romance which finds them at odds on where to spend `quality' time- in the city's Pleasure Palace or at the riverside. 52 pages
Part Two - 3/5 - A couple who have fled to the countryside to escape the urban life find that their life has become stagnant. A convoy of city friends visits the bucolic homestead and insists on a party, like old times. Through some drug use and stupor, the next day reveals a couple at odds and the world in a population slump. 28 pages
Part Three - 4/5 - Some Loners (who stay in the decaying cities) find a Civic, who is oddly not in his acropolis like the rest of his type. The Loners grudgingly accept the Civic's story and flee the pursuing Civics who are out for the kill. They must work out differences between the two camps if they are to survive the night. 43 pages
Part Four - 4/5 - A further festering city hosts a remaining few Loners who run wild raiding a military camp, speed junk cars through the streets and kidnap women. The social degradation is such that the one elderly man in the story toys with the idea of cleaning up the city. 29 pages