September 17, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

”The trains that enter London arrive like ships sailing across the roofs. They pass between towers jutting into the sky like long-necked sea beasts and the great gas-cylinders wallowing in dirty scrub like whales.” From CHINA MIEVILLE‘s novel King Rat

”Today is my forty-seventh birthday. Over breakfast, my blue-eyed spouse declares her summer vacation plans might not include a husband. Two friends of mine may be sleeping with the same mysterious woman. Packs of rabid beasts are roaming free. My father’s ghost abides. And it’s not even eleven o’clock.” From JOHN S. TARLTON‘s novel A Window Facing West

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