"SF looks towards an imaginary future, while fantasy, by and large, looks towards an imaginary past."
This is a very early reference to the idea of a city that is really one large, complex machine. It is self-maintaining; it is designed to exist forever, without any intervention by man.
Readers familiar with Robert Silverberg may recall the city on Lemnos, from his novel The Man in the Maze; also, in Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles he refers to cities that kill invaders and clean up after themselves.
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