Two good novellas by well established authors.
Sailing to Byzantium Robert Silverberg
This story has also been published as a stand-alone, but it is quite short, so Im only counting this as half a book!
In the fiftieth century, there are only five cities. Staffed by temporaries and constantly destroyed and re-built by robots, the cities exist only for the pleasure of the citizens, who live in a seemingly endless round of leisure and pleasure Alexandria, Asgard, Timbuctoo history and mythology blend together in these vacation-resort-like creations. Somewhat lost in this land is Charles Phillips a man who believes he was torn from his life in 1984 and who found himself in this far-future fantasyland. He finds himself strangely vague and uncurious about the details of his past, but now he has fallen in love with the beautiful Gioia, a citizen of the future who seems like yet unlike all the others
Interesting ideas, but the story doesnt let the reader know how things resolve which I always find slightly frustrating.
Seven American Nights Gene Wolfe
Another story with an unexplained, what do YOU think the truth was? kind of ending maybe thats why the editors put these two together.
In the future, the family of a young Iranian man is searching for him. A journal is discovered, which shows that he traveled to the dangerous land of America as a tourist. Through the pages of the journal, we discover his impressions of a week in the former Washington D.C. now a wild no-mans land of ruins, mutants and the remnants of a civilization. The young man, Nadan, upon his arrival, quickly falls into the pursuit of the degenerate pleasures of this land, playing Russian Roulette with a possibly dangerous hallucinogen (which renders him a rather unreliable narrator), and quickly developing an obsession with a pretty entertainer whom, he hopes, may be a prostitute.