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The Years of the City de Frederik Pohl

The Years of the City (original: 1984; edição: 1987)

de Frederik Pohl

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279775,090 (3.4)8
Título:The Years of the City
Autores:Frederik Pohl
Informação:New English Library Ltd (1987), Paperback, 384 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:novel, science fiction

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The Years of the City de Frederik Pohl (1984)


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Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
One of my personal favorites! I try to re-read it every year. A set of stories strung together showing the course of New York and our society's norms. I loved the section where they incorporate a 2 year mandatory community service for every citizen: a brilliant concept. ( )
  tenamouse67 | Jan 13, 2018 |
Not my favorite Pohl, but I am seldom disappointed by his work. Even when the story tends toward the unbelievable, his characters shine. With inter-linked stories, he traces the development of New York City into a flawed utopia. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
This is a collection of five novellas. The first two were originally published in "The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction" in 1984. There is no credit given in this book, which I find surprising, but I verified my memory with the canonical site, the ISFDB.


When New York Hit the Fan
The Greening of Bed-Stuy
The Blister
Second-hand Sky
Gwenanda and the Supremes

"The Greening of Bed-Stuy" was nominated for the Nebula.

My personal favorite is "Second-hand Sky" but the last one "Gwenanda and the Supremes" is a good time. ( )
  Lyndatrue | Dec 7, 2013 |
My impressions on reading this novel in 1989.

I primarily read this book as a utopia, and it reads favorably in the light as well as a work of sf extrapolation. Like most utopian writers -- with the exception of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward -- Pohl feels the need to tamper with the family and sexuality. Utopian writers perhaps, and correctly, view sexuality and the family unit as a basic political, social, and economic building block of society. Pohl is relatively staid in utopian terms. He just proposes communes (for some -- Pohl is a humanitarian, libertarian whose utopian ideal has people following individual paths to happiness), group marriages, and some homosexuality.

Pohl expresses his interest in science and technology in his utopia. Computers, innovative urban architecture (Fuller domes and underground construction), and alternative energy schemes form the technological basis of society. There are many utopian novels which naively see technology as the key to utopia or propose silly methods of altering human nature. Pohl is not guilty of either. His concern is proposing political and social solutions to modern ills. While the book is too libertarian and pro-democratic for me, I liked it a lot and liked some of his proposals: civil service draft, a cafeteria approach to paying for services, and I particularly liked the proposal of paying five percent more in taxes and being able to determine where it all goes. Government agencies would, in effect, have to advertise.).

Pohl does what no other utopian writer I've read dared to: he tells in detail how we get from today's world to his utopia. Pohl doesn't isolate his utopia like Thomas More's Utopia or B.F. Skinner's Walden Two or lightly gloss over its founding like Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward. He takes a whole city in the beginning with its drugs, murderers, racism, child molesters, mobsters, and corrupt and obstructionist unions and gives us his vision. Along the way Pohl takes justified shots at lawyers and reveals a knowledge of political, economic, and legal detail that's impressive. I may not disagree with his faith in the common man, the saving value of his Universal Town Meeting and common man Supreme Court, the value of legalizing prostitution and drugs, but I admire Pohl for his daring, inventiveess, and ability.

Pohl also shows his world is not perfect. Pohl's punishment for criminals doesn't always work, his computer administration is open to corruption. As in The Age of the Pussyfoot, cryogenics changes peoples' mind on punishment for murder since the crime no longer has such permanent effect. Pohl gives a map for getting to near utopia. I may think the route sketchy and, in some parts, unworkable, but I admire him for being the only one to draw that map.
Litterarily, the novel is good. Pohl's clean, conversational style with its casual extrapolation (loved the cyborg and cybernetic judges and all they imply) looks easy but is very hard to emulate. The novel develops from grim, crime-ridden urban decay to urban paradise (with the cliched person of the future calling us barbarians). The first part of the novel has a bit of the blatantly artificial style of Pohl's "Day Million" along with its wit and smoothness. I liked the voices of people from the city's past. It fit in well with the epic grandeur of the novel's last paragraph. The novel's characters were not always pleasant but were real. ( )
  RandyStafford | Jun 27, 2012 |
A series of novellas linking present day NYC to a far future with the city under a dome and cryo-resuscitation bringing an old-timer into conflict with a new and improved justice system. The concept of the new Supreme Court stays with one.
  2wonderY | Sep 12, 2011 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Frederik Pohlautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Lehr, PaulArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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