City on Fire (#2)

Previous: Metropolitan

With her help, Aiah’s lover Constantine has established himself in the metropolis of Caraqui, a nation dominated by corrupt officials, gangsters, and the genetically altered known as the “twisted.” Here they hope to create a revolution in the cosmic order—but first they must fend off treachery, war, and the threat of Taikoen, the “hanged man,” a deadly creature that lives within plasm itself. Aiah must fight not only for her revolution and for her place in the world, but for Constantine’s very soul.


“[CITY ON FIRE] is that rarest of entertainments, a sequel that improves on a successful predecessor […] By leaving [questions] unanswered, the author invites the reader to get beyond the where and the how of the story to the even more interesting questions of who and why. Mr. Williams’s prose is distinguished by a no-nonsense confidence that perfectly matches Constantine’s unshakable faith in his own destiny and in his ability to resist the corruption that notoriously comes with power.”

The New York Times

“Well-drawn, believable characters give emotional force to this fine novel, which walks the line between fantasy and science fiction. Ultimately, however, it is Williams’s complex world-city, more convincing than even Asimov’s in Foundation, and his endlessly inventive use of plasm that will hold readers’ fascinated attention.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“[The] metaphors are lovingly and consistenly literalized – and it is this consistency and rationality (not primarily the technological furniture) that give the books their science-fictional feel. Whatever you call it, though, CITY ON FIRE is a splendid, riveting novel in which the most powerful magic is that of a writer directing the twin streams of reason and intuition to produce a dream with the texture of reality.”


“If [Metropolitan] is even half as good as the sequel, it must be wonderful […] CITY ON FIRE is fully satisfying in its own right.”

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

“CITY ON FIRE offers something for just about every kind of reader. It’s fantasy […] Williams blends all the elements into a well-written, fast-paced book […] All in all, CITY ON FIRE is even better than Williams’ other book, which was a finalist for the Nebula Award. Williams really gives the readers hours of entertainment with polished style, twisty plots, action and vivid characters.”

Louisville Courier-Journal

Awards & Accolades


Hugo Award Nominee


Nebula Award Nominee