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#CBR4 Maneuver #24 – Palimpsest

Target: Catherynne M. Valente’s Palimpsest

Profile: Fantasy, Weird Fiction

Summary: From goodreads.com, “Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest. To get there is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curse—a voyage permitted only to those who’ve always believed there’s another world than the one that meets the eye. Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single orgasmic night. To this kingdom of ghost trains, lion-priests, living kanji, and cream-filled canals come four travelers: Oleg, a New York locksmith; the beekeeper November; Ludovico, a binder of rare books; and a young Japanese woman named Sei. They’ve each lost something important—a wife, a lover, a sister, a direction in life—and what they will find in Palimpsest is more than they could ever imagine.”

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#CBR4 Maneuver #11 – The City & the City

Target: China Miéville’s The City & the City

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Crime Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Weird Fiction

Summary: From the Back Cover, “When a murdered woman is found in the city of Besźel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad.  To investigate, Borlú must travel from the decaying Besźel to its equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the vibrant city of Ul Qoma.  But this is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a seeing of the unseen.  With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, Borlú is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one.  As the detectives uncover the dead woman’s secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them more than their lives.  What stands against them are murderous powers in Besźel and in Ul Qoma – and most terrifying of all, that which lies between the two cities.”  Read the rest of this entry