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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User Review  - inquisitrix - LibraryThing

The city of Ora is a place of beauty grown from unbearable trauma. Its tangles of vines, structurally integral trees, and streets named for flowers and painted with their namesake floral motifs to ... Read full review

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User Review  - MontzaleeW - LibraryThing

In the Watchful City by S. Qiouyi Lu This is a very hard book to review. It's odd, schizophrenic, a mosaic of ideas, confusing to me a bit of the time, and boring a bit of the time. It was also ... 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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