endless city

In one of my earlier science-fiction gorges, populated mostly by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, occasionally Philip K. Dick, and a perpetual shallow sea of forgotten genre-ensnared library detritus, there was a story, I think short, about a person trapped in an endless city, layers of apartment blocks laid out on meshes of grids, insurmountable, and sliced by taut wires of train lines. Was a city block detonated, leaving the viscera hanging on the sides of those monstrosities more fortunate, or am I confusing this with my 2000AD Mega-City 1 days?

Anyhow, the protagonist sought to escape by catching a train, which went in an unwavering straight line, yet which took its occupants back to where they started, or to somewhere identical, a burning, heat-slicked municipal hell. The closest a movie got to imagining the miasma this city possessed for me was of course Blade Runner.

Looking out from the 8th floor windows of Park19, windows that a – thankfully – harnessed (though attached to the table by frail hemp rope and mortifying carabiner) air-conditioning repairman had been recently swinging out of, across the the southern districts to the dockyards, the sky a petulant sulphuric haze made vaporous and intangible by rising humidity, I thought of nothing other than this was the city the train ran through.