A Tor Double...kind of an interesting concept the doubles. I like the idea of having a couple of novellas packaged together like this. I started with Sailing To Byzantium.
Sailing to Byzantium is a story about a man from the 1980's who was somehow transported some thirty centuries into the future. He is travelling with a group of "citizens" from this future, one of which he is in love with. All they appear to do is travel between one of the five cities in the world. The cities are replicas of historic cities. They are regularly torn down and changed into other city replicas.
I was not particularly enthused upon reading the description of this story and I actually picked this book up for the Gene Wolfe novella (Which as it turned out I have already in a best of collection.) This story, however, was beautifully written, almost stunning. Sailing to Byzantium is essentially a story about alienation. Both the alienation felt by the protagonist, Charles, but also by his lover, Gioia. Very well done.
Seven American Nights was a bit more of a mixed bag. It is a tale about an Iranian tourist, Nadan, who comes to visit the United States after the US was decimated by some kind of plague that appeared to be related to the various chemicals Americans put in...well, everything So the US is not the economic powerhouse it
was recently. The story is written in one of those "found manuscript" styles and Nadan goes traveling around seeing the sights. He becomes involved with a stage actress and hilarity ensues. This was a very well written story but there was a lot going on. I liked it very much; I think I need to read it again in order to get everything. Luckily it is not only a short story but one I want to explore more fully in the future.
These were two of the better novellas I have ever read and has caused me to want to read more Silverberg and Wolfe.