Download City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, Book 1) by Robert Jackson Bennett PDF

By Robert Jackson Bennett

A densely atmospheric and intrigue-filled myth novel of dwelling spies, lifeless gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, ever-changing city-from certainly one of America's such a lot acclaimed younger SF writers.

Years in the past, town of Bulikov wielded the powers of the Gods to beat the realm. yet after its divine protectors have been mysteriously killed, the conqueror has develop into the conquered; the city's proud background has been erased and censored, development has left it at the back of, and it is only one other colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical strength. Into this musty, backward urban steps Shara Divani. formally, the quiet mousy lady is simply one other lowly diplomat despatched through Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, Shara is one in all her country's so much finished spymasters-dispatched to enquire the brutal homicide of a probably risk free historian. As Shara pursues the secret in the course of the ever-shifting actual and political geography of town, she starts off to suspect that the beings who as soon as secure Bulikov will not be as useless as they seem-and that her personal talents can be touched through the divine to boot.

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Additional info for City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, Book 1)

Example text

It is that singular kind of nightmare some of us dream obsessively, in which you encounter a series of terrifying faces, and only gradually do you come to realize that these faces are terrified, and that you are the cause of the terror. Maskull himself is at once the most remarkable and most frightening consciousness upon Tormance, and Maskull after all is technically a lost traveller, cut off in space and Page 14 time. His truest precursor, as I will suggest later, may be Browning's Childe Roland, who is himself far darker than the dark tower he searches out.

He will never see Night-spore again, because Nightspore is his own spiritual form, who cannot function upon Tormance until his natural aspect, embodied in Maskull, has died. And there is not the slightest doubt but that Maskull is doom-eager, in the mode of Shelley's Poet in Alastor, or of Ovid's Narcissus. He is also astonishingly violent, and awesomely capable of enduring the really unbearable climates, regions and beings of the accursed world of Tormance. " Since Maskull is hardly interested in his own delight, but only in his own possible sublimity, a very curious narrative principle goes to work as soon as Maskull starts walking due North upon Tormance.

I know of no book Page 12 that has caused me such an anxiety of influence, an anxiety to be read everywhere in my fantasy imitating it, The Flight to Lucifer. I have a vivid recall still of the surprise and shock I felt when it was republished in 1963, and my friend John Hollander gave me the book to read, quietly telling me it was written for me. Repeated readings have confirmed my initial sense that no other fictional work inflicts such spiritual violence upon its audience. E. H. Visiak, himself the author of a violently effective fantasy in his Medusa, accurately observed this strange tonality of A Voyage to Arcturus: This effect, whatever may be the cause of peculiar subconscious energy that was involved, is violently disturbing.

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