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City of the Living Dead & The Long View by Fletcher Pratt and Laurence Manning

City of the Living Dead & The Long View by Fletcher Pratt & Laurence Manning

Civilizations are messy things. Everyone has their own ideas on how to run them. How do you go about building a Utopia? Who should run them? Politicians? Scientists? Psychologists? Artists? And what do you do with a civilization when you are running it? And what do you do if you are running The City of the Living Dead?

Book Details

Book Details

Civilizations are messy things. Everyone has their own ideas on how to run them. How do you go about building a Utopia? Who should run them? Politicians? Scientists? Psychologists? Artists? And what do you do with a civilization when you are running it?

The City of the Living Dead is the first exploration of the concept of virtual reality. What happens when an entire civilization lives their entire lives plugged into machines? This classic dystopian novelette has been called the prefiguring story or the inspiration for the Matrix series of films.

matrix City of the Living Dead & The Long View by Fletcher Pratt & Laurence Manning

The City of the Living Dead (1930) There was only one living person in that great city . . . the man in the metal mask who told a fearful story
Chapter II – Beyond the Mountain
Chapter III – The Man with the Metal Mask
Chapter IV – Adventure is Dead
Chapter V – A Drastic Experiment

The Long View pits several elite groups against one another, each arguing that their way of running a civilization is best. Espionage and naked power grabs ensue as each group tries to outmaneuver the other to dictate the rules of life.

The Long View (1952) There was nothing to hold them together except knowing they might be the very last people on Uller — or, perhaps the first. A novel in thirteen chapters.

Murray Fletcher Pratt (1897–1956) was an American writer of science fiction, fantasy and history. He is best known for his works on naval history and on the American Civil War and for the fiction he wrote with L. Sprague de Camp. Pratt collaborated with a number of other authors on various fantasy and science fiction stories. Among those was Laurence Manning.

Laurence Manning (1899–1972) was a Canadian science fiction author. After losing his brothers at a young age, one in World War I, the other in an industrial accident soon after, Manning became quite fascinated by the concept of Utopia. Manning became good friends with David Lasser, the managing editor at Science Wonder Stories. Over lunch one day Manning pitched a story to Lasser who suggested that Manning bring on Fletcher Pratt to co-write it. The result was The City of the Living Dead.

The City of the Living Dead & The Long View contains 10 illustrations.

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Science Wonder Stories 1930-05

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Excerpt: The City of the Living Dead

Chapter I

THE sun sank slowly behind the far-off, torn and rocky crags, throwing up a last red glare like a shout of defiance as the white tooth of Herjehogmen mountain blotted the last beams from Alvrosdale. A deep-toned copper bell rang across the evening, and the young men and girls, leaving their dancing on the ice, came trooping up the path in little groups to the Hall of Assembly, laughing and talking. Their gay-colored clothes stood out brilliantly against the white background of the snow in the Northern twilight that often seems like day.

At the door of the Hall they parted—not without sadness, since for many it was the last parting—some going into the Hall, others passing on up the path to the line of houses. Those who entered were grave, though they had smiled not long before. Yet they were a goodly company for all that, some three-score in number and all in the fire of youth.

Within the hall might be seen benches; a great fire against one wall, and against the other the mouldering remains of those Machines that were the last relics of the days of old. At the center was a dais with places for the elders of Alvros, and midmost among these sat a man full of years, but in no wise feeble. Strong, stern, white-headed, he bore on one arm the silver band of authority, and in his hand he held a small, shiny Machine, round in shape and with a white face which bore twelve characters written in black. As the youth took their places, he twisted this Machine, so that it rang a bell, loud and stridently. Then there was silence, and the old man rose to speak.

“My friends,” said he, “you will leave Alvrosdale tomorrow. Your skis are even now prepared; your glider wings await you outside. In this Hall of Assembly, which was once the House of Power, we are met tonight, as is the custom of our people, that I may tell the story of the last of the Anglesk and warn you of the dangers you will meet. Some of you— God grant it may be treacherous winds and flung against the Mountain of the South to die. Some may be caught by the Demon Power, whom the Anglesk worshipped. Some will find green fields and prosperity, and will meet the others of our folk who have gone before. . . But a few of you will wish to return. To these I now say—stay behind! You are better off here! And I cannot go on with my tale till I have asked whether there are any among you who would prefer the life of this quiet dale to that of the outer world, with its Power, its mountains, and its living dead.”

HE made a pause, and for a breathing space none stirred. Then a maid of the company arose, sobbing; she cast her shawl over her face and said she would live and die in Alvrosdale; then she went forth from the Hall. With her went likewise the young man of her choice, and as the door of the Hall clanged to behind them, the rest sat the closer and gave ear to the voice of the old man.

“There are none now left alive,” he said, “who remember Hal Hallstrom in his youth; but I give you my word that it was as lusty a youth as any of yours. I was light and gay and would roll the flavor of adventure under my tongue. In those days, before the year 4060 A. D., as was the reckoning, there were legends of the lords of old, and how the Demon Power drove them through the skies and over the waters and under the earth. But they were the rusty legends of those who tell a tale without understanding its meaning. This very Hall of Assembly was held to be the home of the Demon Power, a place so accursed that none dare approach it. This Demon was believed to be the same who had so dealt with the Mountain of the South that it fell across the neck of our dale and cut it off from the world in long past ages. We know now that this is not true; but men thought otherwise then.

“In those days I heard also legends that came down from my fathers’ fathers, how, when the Mountain of the South closed off the dale, the Anglesk sent men through the air to bring us this thing and that; but such tales were held foolish beyond words. Now, lo!—we ourselves fly through the air, though not as the Anglesk with the aid of the Demon Power.

“Also there were legends of the splendor of the villages of the Anglesk: how they piled stone on stone to make mountainous dwellings in which the night was bright as day by suns of their own contriving; how they quarreled and slew each other from afar with thunderbolts; how the voices of men long dead spoke to them from Machines, and the voices of men far away spoke to them through the clouds.

“Old wives’ tales? But I was young, and youth must ever test the false and true by the touchstone of experience, even as you now go forth to do. . . . One who has reached my age seeks neither for truth nor beauty any more, but only for rest.” Herewith, one of the elders touched the arm of the old man, who thereupon looked around and, as one who has been recalled to his narrative, went on.

Excerpt From: Fletcher Pratt. “City of the Living Dead & The Long View.”

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City of the Living Dead & The Long View by Fletcher Pratt & Laurence Manning
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