In the Watchful City

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Tom Doherty Associates, Aug 31, 2021 - Fiction - 192 pages

"This masterful work positions Lu among the vanguard of contemporary futurism and speculative fiction."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

In the tradition of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, debut author S. Qiouyi Lu has written a multifaceted story of borders, power, diaspora, and transformation with In the Watchful City.

The city of Ora is watching.


Anima is an extrasensory human tasked with surveilling and protecting Ora’s citizens via a complex living network called the Gleaming. Although r world is restricted to what can see and experience through the Gleaming, Anima takes pride and comfort in keeping Ora safe from harm.

When a mysterious outsider enters the city carrying a cabinet of curiosities from around with the world with a story attached to each item, Anima’s world expands beyond the borders of Ora to places—and possibilities— never before imagined to exist. But such knowledge leaves Anima with a question that throws into doubt r entire purpose: What good is a city if it can’t protect its people?

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In the Watchful City

User Review  - S Qiouyi Lu - Publishers Weekly

Lu’s full-length debut (after the collection Inhalations) combines beautiful prose, a complex structure, and well-wrought Asian-influenced worldbuilding into a powerful, futurist work. Anima, who uses ... Read full review

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About the author (2021)

S. Qiouyi Lu writes and translates between two coasts of the Pacific. r work, including fiction, poetry, and essays, has appeared in several award-winning venues. In the Watchful City is r first novella. You can find out more about S. at r website or on Twitter.

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