Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Future City: A Vision of Man's Urban Future in All New Stories by 24 Leading Writers of Science Fiction Hardcover – July 25, 1973
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Silent Corner" by Dean Koontz
A dazzling new series, a pure adrenaline rush, debuts with Jane Hawk, a remarkable heroine certain to become an icon of suspense. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Roger Elwood gained some degree of notoriety as a dedicated assembler and editor of large numbers of shoddy anthologies in the 70s, clearing a path for the late Martin Greenberg to launch his own career as Mega-Editor of more than 1200 anthologies.
But `Future City' is reasonably good, particularly as an example of the Eco-catastrophe and Population Bomb themes prevalent in early 70s sf. Its stories evoke the dystopian, entropy-centered sensibility characteristic of the New Wave sensibility.
Among the best entries are Ben Bova's `The Sightseer' (a short-short story that Bova expanded into his 1976 novel `City of Darkness', which in turn was the spiritual predecessor of John Carpenter's 1981 film `Escape from New York', arguably the ultimate evocation of Future City).
Barry Malzburg's `Culture Lock' posits a disturbing Future City in which practicing `alternative' lifestyles is mandatory.....very shocking at the time it was published, and still very politically incorrect today.
Also very good is `In Dark Places' by Joe L. Hensley, a gritty, grim tale of racial warfare in a decrepit Future City. This one exhibits an offbeat, proto-Cyberpunk sensibility
Thomas N. Scortia's `The Weariest River', about a man whose immortality loses its appeal when endured in a dystopian Future City, is not the most accessible story, but also presents with a proto-Cyberpunk atmosphere.
`Apartment Hunting' by Harvey and Audrey Bilker; `Meanwhile, We Eliminate' by Andrew J. Offutt ; `The Undercity' by Dean R. Koontz; `Violation' by William F. Nolan; `Assassins of Air' by George Zebrowski; `Chicago' by Thomas F. Monteleone; `The Most Primitive' by Ray Russell; and `5,000,000 AD' by Miriam Allen deFord, all ably deliver dark, entropic visions of the Future City.
There are some clunkers in the anthology. An entry from Frank Herbert is dull and uninspired. `The World As Will and Wallpaper', by R. A. Lafferty, tries to mimic a Thomas Pynchon -esque style of writing, and fails. `City Lights, City Nights' by K. M. O'Donnell, is an underwhelming tale of an arrogant young director whose low-budget film production recruits city residents.
`Revolution' by Robin Schaeffer, is a confused allegory of robots and their human charges. `Hindsight: 480 Seconds' by Harlan Ellison, tries to go for pathos, and instead seems pedestrian.
Robert Silverberg's `Getting Across', a novelette about a man confronting the breakdown of his section of the global mega-city, is reasonably entertaining, but, as a story about Relationships, seems weak in comparison to the more downbeat and dystopian entries in the anthology.
There are a few poems included in `Future City': `In Praise of New York' by Thomas Disch, `As A Drop' by D. M. Price, and `Abendlandes' by Virginia Kidd. None of them are particularly noteworthy.
Clifford Simak and Frederik Pohl provide the Foreward and Afterward essays, respectively.
Summing up, `Future City' is one of the better Elwood anthologies.
Along with the films `Death Wish' and `The Warriors', the Kitty Genovese murder, the blackout riots in NYC in the Summer of '77, and the Rolling Stone's `Shatter', it's a good cultural signpost of the anomie and despair that began to be associated with urban life in America in the 70s.
I found this compilation at the library. It was free and it had a picture of a skyscraper on the cover. I'm like, "Score!" Wrong. I thought it would be short stories about life in the city, or cities, in the future, but it had nothing to do with getting out on one's own and exploring bright, sunny downtowns and going to museums and baseball games and festive afternoons in the park or evenings at outdoor cafes. It was the complete opposite. I should have known by the presence of the words "science" and "fiction" together in the subtitle. I wouldn't say it made me not want to live in a city, but it definitely made me not want to read this disgusting atrocity.
You know that expression, "Write what you know"? The writers of these stories don't know about cities, and they seem to write with zero affection for cities, as if they avoid cities altogether in reality. Sure, like I want to get my urban fiction from them.
Future City is just a bunch of science fiction about a dystopian world of yucky misery. I forced my way through it because I'm OCD that way. But I wouldn't do it again, nor would I advise anyone else to. If you hate big cities as much as these authors apparently do, it might appeal to you more, but if you know better, and know how beautiful the big cities actually are, you won't find a grain of truth in any of the stories, and it will be exceedingly difficult to suspend disbelief. I'm glad I didn't have to pay money for this migraine of an anthology.