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altheaann

altheaann

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Nighttime in Caeli-Amur: A Tor.Com Original

Nighttime in Caeli-Amur - Rjurik Davidson I'm in the middle of reading 'Unwrapped Sky,' Davidson's novel set in his fictional city of Caeli-Amur. I noticed that Tor Books is providing free access to this short story, as a 'teaser,' so thought I'd check it out (since I'm loving the novel.)
Here (even more than in the book), Caeli-Amur puts me in mind of Tanith Lee's Paradis - a complex, teeming metropolis full of beauty and evil, poverty and wealth, human foibles and inexplicable hauntings.
In this story, the city is merely the lush and atmospheric backdrop to a very human story. The narrator is a mid-level bureaucrat caught in a mid-life crisis, suffering discontent with his comfortable life and family, feeling the urge to throw away everything that he's achieved on his proper track, and regretting the loss of the carefree life he had as a theater student in his university days.
A finely-crafted character study. Davidson seems to excel at creating characters where the reader has to closely consider whether they are deserving of condemnation, empathy - or both.