City is made up of stories originally written between 1944 and 1951 and combined into a single volume in 1952, and looking at a future that seemed reasonable then, but in some ways very strange today. Certainly Simak did not foresee the energy crisis—his starting world is based on ultra-cheap transportation and acres per person, and it is the dogs and their robots who are telling the story.
Friday: “Who shall number the years of half of eternity?” – Mary Shelley. Context?
Not Frankenstein! This is from a short story, “The Mortal Immortal,” reprinted in Asimov’s The Birth of Science Fiction. Originally published in 1834, well after her famous novel, Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus, published in 1818.
These lines are from the song, preserved in the records of the Harper Hall, that inspired Lessa in her journey through time in Dragonflight.
Sunday: “A whale with the strength of a cavalry regiment would be a pretty whale.” Jules Verne. Context?
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. At this point in the story the Nautilus is still thought to be a giant narwhal. It has just been sighted and outrun the Abraham Lincoln, and Professor Aronnax has just compared it to an engine of two thousand horsepower—hence the regiment of cavalry. (The quote is from the Mercier Lewis translation.)
From Icerigger. Skua September is explaining how he came to be in the lifeboat that made a crash landing on Tran-ky-ky.
This is from Witch World: the meeting of Simon Tregarth, on the run on Earth, with Dr. Jorge Petronius, guardian of the Siege Perilous.
Wednesday: “Home,” she said aloud. “I can go home. I may die, but I’ll die with a Riyan wind in my hair.” Bowling. Context?
Homecoming. Marna is still on the isolation satellite, but has just realized that her only reason for staying there is meaningless if she is to die.