Announcing The City Under the Stars by Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick Publishing is delighted to announce the publication of The City Under the Stars by Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick.

This short novel began life as the novella The City of God, which was originally published in Omni online. The story was expanded by both authors prior to Dozois’ untimely death last year and completed by Swanwick, and will be presented for the first time by in paperback and ebook.

From editor Lee Harris:

To say that I am excited to be working on The City Under the Stars is an understatement. I was not fortunate enough to have met Gardner while he was still with us, but, like many editors in my field, he was an inspiration to me in so many ways. Knowing that I am working on the last piece of fiction he ever wrote in the same year that I share a Hugo ballot with him… well, I’m still pinching myself.

And I also get to work with Michael Swanwick, a writer I have admired for decades! Truly, I am being rewarded for some reason.

This is a great story, and when it is published you should reward yourselves with it, too.

From Michael Swanwick:

Almost a quarter century ago, Gardner Dozois and I published “The City of God,” now the first half of this novel. It ended with a slam, seemingly precluding any sequels. But over the decades Gardner and I talked over what might come next. We planned to write two more novellas, “The City of Angels” and “The City of Men,” which would tell one long, complete story. One with a happy ending.

Don’t laugh.

Yes, Gardner could be a bleak writer. Yes, the novella was dark even for him. But he had an uplifting idea for how the book would end. We discussed it often. We were midway through the second novella and aiming at that happy ending when, without warning, Gardner died.

I knew I would never write that third novella without his input, his genius. Nevertheless I wanted the world to see this genuinely happy ending. So I changed the direction of the work in progress, combined both novellas, divided them into chapters, and made of them a novel I think Gardner would have been pleased with.

The ending is exactly what Gardner envisioned all those decades ago. A happy one. For everyone.

When I wrote the last words of it, I cried.

The City Under the Stars will be published in Summer 2020.


Gardner Dozois at ClarionWest in 1998; photo credit: Ellen Levy Finch

Gardner Dozois is one of the most important editors in the history of science-fiction. His editorial work earned more than 40 Hugo Awards, 40 Nebula Awards, and 30 Locus Awards, and he was awarded the Hugo for Best Professional Editor fifteen times between 1988 and his retirement from Asimov’s in 2004, having edited the magazine for 20 years! He also served as the editor of The Year’s Best Science Fiction anthologies and co-editor of the Warrior anthologies, Songs of the Dying Earth, and many others. As a writer, Dozois twice won the Nebula Award for best short story. He was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2011 and received the Skylark Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Michael Swanwick; photo credit: Michael VanHelder

Michael Swanwick has received the Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, World Fantasy and Hugo Awards, and has the pleasant distinction of having been nominated for and lost more of these same awards than any other writer. He has written ten novels, over a hundred and fifty short stories, and countless works of flash fiction. His latest novel The Iron Dragon’s Mother, was recently published by Tor Books.

He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Marianne Porter.


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