_Sunfall_ is a 1981 collection of six stories of six cities known and loved still in "Earth in its great age", when the sun has gone strange. I don't know if these tales originally appeared elsewhere or if this is one of those occassional welcome publishing risks Donald Wollheim took with DAW Books. I do know that if you do manage to get a copy, you'll return to it again over the years. It's in the vein of those quietly disturbing classics like Arthur Clarke's "Againt The Fall Of Night/The City and the Stars", or Jack Vance's "Empyrio", or those long afternoons of Earth visited by Wells' Time Traveler.
The first novella is deliberately reminiscent of Clarke's eternal city, but this being Cherryh the atmosphere is not soft West England mists but Oklahoma twister. The city is Paris, where lovers and enemies reincarnate in endless polymorphous combinations. Diaspar was not always thus... The first case of puppy love in thousands of years by the first mortal in longer is quelle nouvelle, except to the puppy. Little wonder, in a world where all have loved and hated in all possible ways, in so many lives, that there's such fascination with "The Only Death In The City".
Perhaps there are ghosts because some things should never be forgotten. And London, old but by no means doddering, has always been heavy with Time, and things said and done. Bettine walked through it all unseeing, wanting only to be "the Lord Mayor's girl". But none of us get to choose our moments, and hers will come for her even locked away in "The Haunted Tower".
Another age, and yet another, and still there are people living in a Moskva in its longest and perhaps final winter. Still there is color, and the laughter of families around the fire, and brave young men to fare out in mornings through the snow. But Time creaks inward to the soul of one who dares to look too deeply at the relentless inhuman beauty of "Ice". Damn if you can't hear the bailalaikas playing by the time you finish this. Or is that the wind?
New York City, the way we all know it will someday be. Sweeping mountain of glass and steel, self-contained home to millions towering against the night. An enormous interlaced structure of needs and desires and abilities in endless dynamic equilibrium. Few can stand at the edge of a balcony and not collapse in fear at the sheer audacity of such vistas; fewer still can perform the hard necessary construction work on the outer face of this mountain and earn the name "Highliner". Don't try to cross them.
The other two stories here are (sorry) slight: "Nightgame" is the all-too-familiar setting of the decadent imperial court, in Rome this time (for old time's sake, I guess). A Magical Dream Device is used to extract revenge. I remember when the MDD first came out in the '50s, all the kids had 'em. The story just seems to lack the personal impact of the others. The same is true of the last story, "The General". Once you've said "people get reincarnated near each other", you still need a plot. I'd just once like to see a tale of an immortal who just hung around and never knew (or was) a famous historical character. "Napoleom? No, I was in Norway for a few years then..."
But buy this book for the first four. They'll haunt you