It looked like the past, on Earth. But times had changed...and changed...and changed.
There were ghosts and chimeras and phastasies everywhere about. A burly thick-thighed swordsman appeared on the porch of the temple of Poseidon holding a Gorgon's severed head and waved it in a wide arc, grinning broadly. In the street below the hotel gate, three small pink sphinxes, no bigger than housecats, stretched and yawned and began to prowl the curbside. A larger one, lion-sized, watched warily from an alleyway: their mother, surely. Even at this distance he could hear her loud purring....
"A beautifully worded novella from a highly respected author is made even more enjoyable by the reading of Tom Parker. His precise, cultured voice adds to the wonder felt by the protagonist, and his calmly assured tones give the listener a feeling of comfort." (AudioFile)
This is a very poetical, allegorical tale of eternal life coupled with spiritual death of a society. Hoards of immortal citizens flock cities created for their sheer amusement, recreating the past. But are they equipped to handle an all-too-human problem? Strangely enough, it is one of their recreations of the past that shows them humanity. The performance is adequate.
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A really excellent and imaginative sci-fi novella which well deserved the Nebula which it won in 1986. Silverberg creates a mysterious and fascinating world of the far future, exploring interesting themes including that of personal identity and the dilemma of boredom in utopia. Mr. Parker reads in a clear voice and does an excellent job with all the male and female characters.
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