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As someone who lives in "Cascadia", I can really see this as a potential for my grand-daughters future. They are 19 and 7 and I suspect the world they will live in is going to be much different than it's been. As for me, I've been a recycler hippy/greenie/recycler since the 1950s and as far a I'm concerned, we should have been living this way for the last 50 years and not doing so is what will lead to the dystopian future as discussed in the two books in the series.
All the stories are interesting and some are better than others. Johathan Frakes (Reiker from Star Trek) is a very bad narrator but LaVar Burton and
Wil Wheaton are both great. I love Wil Wheatons narrations of John Scalzi's novels. If you haven't read them, give yourself a treat-most are very funny...gut laugh funny even with Scalzis inability to write dialog without "He Said" 'She Said" and it happens in his piece in the first of the Metatropolis anthologies. But you get used to it.
I'm going to share these with a few family members-I think they will enjoy them a lot.
I encourage them for those who want to think about a potential new future that could be in our not so distant future!
I guess it's a penalty of getting actors to read books aloud, they often want to act. As a listener all I want is clarity and PUNCTUATION, both of which are in variable supply here. As an example, one of the most irritating things is where a reader changes scene without even pausing for breath, maybe they think that the dislocation is fun, but it's just annoying.
Hats off to the all star cast reading these books, many great performances! Where I thought this series got derailed was veering away from the mix of visions of the future with cities and the environment. That story about wine makers could have been written on its own, and then loosely connected to this series as an after thought. And this dogmatic anti-christian story at the end, really? I loved METAtropolis for its gutsy re-envisioning of the future, based on current trends. That came through again in two stories, but the story about bio experiments also seemed way off. I enjoyed the Bashar storyline, and the different directions people will take, given where life is headed. Too bad you lost focus.
This is the second anthology in a series that began with METAtropolis: the Dawn of Uncivilization. This collection riffs off the first story in that anthology, taking place in a transnational entity that includes the geographical areas formerly known as British Columbia, Washington and Orgeon states. The stories are set around the year 2070 in post-industrial, post-capitalist, post-national world and are all read by actors from various incarnations of Star Trek.
The first story, written by Jay Lake and read by Rene Auberjonois (immediately recognizable as Odo from Deep Space Nine) details a very old, very rich man’s final days as he searches for the answers to an event that occurred forty years earlier. I really enjoyed this story and the chance to revisit some of the characters from the original METAtropolis.
The second story was written by Mary Robinette Kowal and narrated by Kate Mulgrew (Captain Kathryn Janeway of Voyager). This was probably my least favorite of all the stories so far. It was mostly a love letter to the art of wine making that could have been set in any era and lacked a clear connection to the rest of the stories in these anthologies. For instance, as soon as I realized it was going to be about wine, I anticipated an explanation of a concept that has come up in a few of the other stories, where instead of money, some people have currency called ”winos.” But the term never even gets mentioned in this story . . . did Ms. Kowal miss the world-building sessions??
The third story was written by Tobias S. Buckell and read by Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher of The Next Generation). The setting for this story presented another cool idea that was new to me. The main character is part of a crew whose job it is to de-construct expressways and empty suburban housing tracts. Having grown up in one of these anonymous suburbs (and escaped as soon as I could to a densely populated downtown neighborhood) I have to admit that I loved the scenes where the bulldozers crashed through the paperboard houses. If that’s not a big enough hint, other parts of the narrative extoll the virtues of cities, such as that more patents are produced by city-dwellers and city dwellers use less energy, particularly if you can figure out a way to grow food nearby. Like the stories in the first METAtropolis, this one has an extremely positive view of the future of cities, which is not all that common in post-apocalyptic literature.
The next story was by Elizabeth Bear and read by Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher in The Next Generation). This is a bit of a more conventional scifi story involving genetic engineering, combined with a murder mystery plot. The twist at the end is foreshadowed pretty heavily and so was really no shock.
Karl Schroeder once again takes the prize for most cool ideas in one story with his entry here, read by Jonathan Frakes (Comander Riker of The Next Generation). It begins with the protagonist wearing something like Google Glasses. Since he is a visitor to Cascadia without proper paperwork, he is mandated to wear them whenever he is out in public, and the glasses are programmed by the authorities to restrict what he sees. It’s a frightening vision of how state censorship could be implemented on a person-by-person basis in the future, just by using technology. And that’s just a side thought. The overall plot asks how will we recognize when computers and machines become self-aware, and mixes in questions about the rights of corporations . . . and others . . . to be treated as individuals in certain situations. It’s a complex plot that only a master like Schroeder can pull off.
The final story in this collection was by Ken Scholes and narrated by LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge of The Next Generation). This one takes on home-grown terrorism, religious fanatics, and questions of faith in a post-apocalyptic era. A mediocre story that was significantly uplifted by Burton’s fantastic reading.
I've enjoyed mostly all of my audiobooks, but this one is near the top.
The authors came back and followed up on loose ends from the last book that made me so happy. I like how they all can focus on the events going on in the Cascadia area and have linked everything. I can't wait until the next book comes out later this month!
I was also pleasantly surprised by the cast of readers being I listen to books on my commute to work. LeVar Burton brought be back to my childhood sitting in front of the tv watching Reading Rainbow. I loved watching him read to me! But I also recognized Jonathan Flakes which brought me back to Star Trek when my parents watched it. And I investigated and realized all of the readers for these 6 short stories were from that show. Great choices.
All I have to say is WOW! I was drawn to the first METAtropolis because I am a writer and I appreciate several writers coming together to create the world and then branch off to create the characters. I was a bit skeptical and not sure about how I felt about some of those stories. But they are doing a great job at keeping consistency with quality.
Auto Repair shop owner. I love Yoga, and playing my Fender Stratocaster. I Walk my dogs twice a day.
The A-list performances are simply outstanding. The environmental messages are glaring but not in your face.
A book of stories of one possible future was worth the time.
It didn't make me feel like I grew when I listened. It didn't make me feel bad, it simply left me...how do you say...
Maybe leave it like that.
It's ranks with 'The Road' where your captured without needing to know the entire back story.
Learning of how patent law is heading us to this world fast.
Get ready this is the future at the rate were going.
The introduction used to grind a political axe (pointlessly). I enjoyed the stories but strongly disagree with the politics. Back to nature would be wonderful for a world with under 1 billion people - we are rapidly approaching 7 billion. We either need technology (something the characters in the book use) or we need a euthanasia program.
Every book is worth considering. It's the kind of consideration on what to do with the book that differs.
I got this after listening to the original METAtropolis, and my expectations were higher than they probably should have been. It didn't excite me as much as the original did, probably because the thrill of discovering something new wasn't there.
Overall, it's still worth listening to. The world is fleshed out, even if some of the characters felt like caricatures compared to the characters of the original.
The narration was good. The cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation characters did a good job an was a fun touch.
I hadn't read the original METAtropolis. I do want to go back and read those now, but I think that I would have gotten more out of these if I was read that first. Still, a solid read, interesting take on a possible future. Some stories really held back the overall impression of the collection.