Of the City of the Saved...
Roots: The Invincible Man is a classic super-hero in the DC/Marvel vein, with nano-polymer skin. The Skeletons that grow from teeth in the arena are inspired by Jason and the Argonauts. The monolith in 2001 possibly inspires the Timebeast Assault Memorial. There are references to The Flintstones, Humphrey Bogart, Pliny, Nelson Mandela, The Life of Brian, Frankenstein, Fantasia, Greek Myths (Tartarus), (Roman Myth) Ulysses, Spartacus, The Incredible Hulk, Humpty Dumpty, George Bernard Shaw, It's a Wonderful Life, Vivaldi, Alien (the Manfolk life-cycle), Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Dante, Hinduism (Kali), Homer, Virgil, Jung, and Campbell. Actual humans mentioned as Citizens include Jodie Foster, Perikles, Mozart and Salieri, Alan Turing, Claudius I, Philip K. Dick, and Elvis Presley. There are remakes of Sherlock Holmes, Mister Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), and Richard III; Little Brother Edward is blatantly a remake of Edward Scissorhands as played by Johnny Depp.
Dialogue Disasters: "I lived inside her, you retard."
"It's shit. Being born is fucking shit."
And most of Antipathy's dialogue.
Dialogue Triumphs: "What did you to Sinovi? He was here betimes, and scowled as though a behemoth had shitten in his head."
Avatar's response to Laura's "Get the fuck out of my room" is "Ah, yes. The fuck. I shall remove it forthwith."
Continuity: The City of the Saved is Compassion, who has lodged herself between Universes. Compassion was inspired to become the City of the Saved, as a complete record of all human life, by the Universal Machine. Entry to and from the Universe is achieved via the Uptime Gate; there is also a Downtime Gate, which supposedly leads to the next Universe, but actually opens into Antipathy. [At some point after The Gallifrey Chronicles], the Time Lords forced Compassion to breed, to produce the next generation of TARDISes. Cousin Antipathy is her first offspring; he appears to be a huge, eight-foot tall man with a black beard and huge hands, but is actually a TARDIS. He escaped from Gallifrey and attempted to join Faction Paradox, but was expelled by powerful rituals when he betrayed them. Unlike Compassion's later Timeship offspring, Antipathy was imperfect. He hates her for being born and is consumed with a desire for revenge; he entered the City inside a human émigré named Ans gen-Tang, having folded his near-infinite abstractions into a single shift of her perceptions using Faction protocols. Avatar destroys Antipathy (and himself) using a bonded annihilation bomb from his shadow arsenal.
The City of the Saved contains every single human that has ever lived, resurrected after their deaths. Only humans are recreated in the City of the saved, including prehumans such as Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon man, and various posthuman races. Collaterals, the offspring of human and alien parents, are also found within the city; examples seen here include insectoids. Some humans develop precognition with the City. Time Travel is impossible within the City. Visitors from the Universe are occasionally permitted to enter via the Uptime Gate. Ascension is a protectorate of the City in the Universe. Years in the City are numbered AF (After Foundation). Citizens of the City are invulnerable [thanks to Compassion's Temporal Grace circuits (see The Hand of Fear]; this makes teleportation impossible. Clones grown in the City share the invulnerability of the Citizens. Remakes also exist, since Remembrance Tanks exist within the City (Interference). Various guides available in the City include The Megalopolis Guide and Who's Who in the City of the Saved. Newspapers include Megalopolis Today and The Kempes District Advertiser. Films made in the City include It's Another Wonderful Life XIV and the latest music video by Mozart, Salieri Kiss My God-Lovin' Mass. The City contains seas large enough to quench suns. RealSpace is the largest of the City's Great Parks, and is approximately fifty light-years across and twenty deep; it contains thirty-eight star systems containing one hundred and sixty-seven planets, plus moons, comets, asteroids, and a miniature nebula. One of these planets is Quaxis III, an agricultural world populated by low-gravity post-human adapts. Another planet is the Lost Planet of Erath, which conceals the Downtime Gate. Anul is the moon of Erath. Other Great Parks include Thule Marine Park, Oakhay Dustbowl Park, and Mappamundi Great Park. Numerous suns provide heat and light to the City. The Watchtower is roughly as big at its base as Australia.
The Eleven-Day Empire uses the Army and Navy Club in St. James' Square as a billet for Little Brothers and Sisters in training. The Rump Parliament unofficially represents the Faction within the City, despite its rivalry with the orthodox Faction Paradox Mission run by non-resurrected, extra-mural cousins under the authority of the Eleven-Day Empire. Acting Speaker Godmother Jezebel, Godfather Lo, and Godfather Avatar control the Parliament. Godfather Avatar is a loa, a spirit capable of riding a human psyche.
The Houseworlders (Time Lords) see the City as a threat.
The original Laura Tobin (reluctantly known by some as Compassion I) works as a private investigator, based in Paynesdown District. Compassion III reviews media programmes.
Handramit is a Time Lord from House Mirraflex, who left Gallifrey when he was young. He settled on Onesia, becoming a naturalized subject of the Onesian Emirate.
The Manfolk are not native to the Universe's time lines, but were introduced by some time-active power, possible as a means of gaining entry to the City; Antipathy resculpted them in his own image, planning to use them in the City. The Manfolk, or Homo virilis, dwell within Manfold, a District within the City. Manfolk are hormonally predisposed towards violence. Manfolk undergo hermapause when they reach a certain age, the all-male young transforming into reproductively fecund females. Hermapause doesn't happen in the City, due to the invulnerability protocols. Occasionally, hermapause is abortive, leaving the Manfolk a hermaphrodite. The Manfolk foetus is essentially a parasitic creature; gestation harms the mother severely, birth kills her. Male children are born in litters of three to eight; female children are rare and are the result of recessive genes; they are destroyed at birth. Offspring fight amongst themselves for the right to impregnate their father, who has this time undergone the hermapause. Once impregnated, the now-female Manfolk lapses into a coma as her foetuses feed on her. Manfolk don't generally engage in sexual intercourse, except between males. Manfolk wiped themselves out with their own weapons in the Universe, leaving their planet, which they simply called the World, with an eccentric orbit.
Links: The Book of the War introduced the City of the Saved, the Rump Parliament, and the Timebeast Assault. Compassion first appeared in Interference and first became a "Time Ship" in The Shadows of Avalon. Biodata was first mentioned in The Deadly Assassin and elaborated on in Unnatural History. Cook is half-Androgum (The Two Doctors). Archemathics are of course Block Transfer Computations (Logopolis). The giants' bones from which Avatar's armour is made probably come from a Dæmon (Interference).
Location: The City of the Saved.
Future History: The Madagascan military uses mechanised armour in the early sixth millennium AD.
Future posthumans include the dolphin-tailed "merpeople" (who prefer the term "Marine Citizens"), various winged species, a tiger-striped race with furred skin, giants, cyborgs, hermaphrodites, troglodytic species, insectoids who live in the Hive District within the City (and who are distinct from the insectoid Collaterals), Sciopods (which have a single columnar leg with one giant foot), invisible humans, the Entrustine Horde (an obscure barbarian guild of the PostHuman era), and various hive-minds. Following the destruction of Earth (see The Ark), hermaphrodites evolved from humans.
Far, far in the future, near the end of the Universe, (Time Lord) House Mirraflex wipes out the last surviving humans. Mesh Cos is one of the last humans; in order to preserve something of humanity, her people, who existed as a group mind, built the ultimate creation in the form of the Universal Machine, a computer capable of reaching across the history of mankind and perceiving, recording and copying any machine ever built by humans. UniMac was nearly manifested on twenty-first century Earth, but the War prevented this.
The Bottom Line: Ambitious, witty, and hugely imaginative, The City of the Saved is a stunning debut from Purser-Hallard and easily one of the best Doctor Who-related original novels published to date.