City of Truth
Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novella: In a bizarre future metropolis where even the most trivial fib cannot be uttered, a man must learn to lie—or lose what he loves most
Truth reigns supreme in the city-state of Veritas. Not even politicians lie, and weirdly frank notices abound—such as warning: this elevator maintained by people who hate their jobs: ride at your own risk. In this dystopia of mandatory candor, every preadolescent citizen is ruthlessly conditioned, through a Skinnerian ordeal called a “brainburn,” to speak truthfully under all circumstances.
Jack Sperry wouldn’t dream of questioning the norms of Veritas; he’s happy with his life and his respectable job as a “deconstructionist,” destroying “mendacious” works of art—relics from a less honest era. But when his adored son, Toby, falls gravely ill, the truth becomes Jack’s greatest enemy. Somehow our hero must overcome his brainburn and attempt to heal his child with beautiful lies.
Alternately hilarious and moving, City of Truth thoughtfully explores the pitfalls inherent in any attempt to engineer a perfect society.
- Pub Date
- Open Road Integrated Media
- Science Fiction and Fantasy
“A bitingly funny satire.” —Science Fiction Chronicle
“Witty . . . compulsively readable.” —Publishers Weekly
“A quick and delightful read, with a sharp, unmerciful edge that would have pleased old Jonathan Swift.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“In the novella City of Truth, James Morrow wields a darkly glittering scalpel . . . The cavortings of Morrow’s Veritasians and Dissemblers are hilariously petty as all humanity, and poignant as a dying child.” —Locus
About the author
Born in 1947, James Morrow has been writing fiction ever since he, as a seven-year-old living in the Philadelphia suburbs, dictated “The Story of the Dog Family” to his mother, who dutifully typed it up and bound the pages with yarn. This three-page, six-chapter fantasy is still in the author’s private archives. Upon reaching adulthood, Jim produced nine novels of speculative fiction, including the critically acclaimed Godhead Trilogy. He has won the World Fantasy Award (for Only Begotten Daughter and Towing Jehovah), the Nebula Award (for “Bible Stories for Adults, No. 17: The Deluge” and the novella City of Truth), and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award (for the novella Shambling Towards Hiroshima). A fulltime fiction writer, Jim makes his home in State College, Pennsylvania, with his wife, his son, an enigmatic sheepdog, and a loopy beagle. He is hard at work on a novel about Darwinism and its discontents.