I listened to this because I thought that the first METAtropolis was fresh and interesting, and I hoped that this one would take it further.
On the contrary, although a couple of the stories were intriguing, most were bland and flat. They did not really take the take the METAtropolis forward, but instead seemed to take it back.
Characters longed for the the good old days of the 20th century, drove "antique pickups", listened to old time rock, and even fired an "antique revolver." Who now listens to music that is 70-80 years old? The authors seemed to have a difficult time dragging themselves into the future world.
The authors also used trite and stale ideas, bashing Christianity while stealing from it the things that are powerful: Tyger as the new Messiah with a new "Gospel". It was all a bit tired.
While this is a great sequel for the METAtropolis series, 2 stories seem to have missed the discussion of when the stories were to take place. In the intro, Jay Lake says that, "though no particular date was given in the first book, most of the stories take place around the date 2030."... "METAtropolis: Cascadia picks up the threads about 4 decades later." With this in mind, the stories "Byways" and "Deodand" take place in what is roughly guessed as a year or two after the origin stories in METAtropolis.
For someone who is paying attention (Read: OCD), this causes a minor head scratch.
If this much time has based, how in the world is Gennady in "Deodand" still be stuck in immigration limbo after the events in "To Hie from Far Cilenia"?
"Byways" doesn't blatantly tell you that the origin story was just a few years ago.
This small, and only noticeable because I have listened through this and the first anthology more times than I feel comfortable admitting to, does not diminish the works in this anthology.
Yep! After the inital METAtropolis book, I slammed through 'Cascadia' at the same speed. I love how the authors take time to set up the cities and places that these stories take places in. I guess that is a big selling point for me: literature that takes the time to create a descriptive setting for the characters to interact with and exist in.
Definitely the setting. I have never lived anywhere near the pacific northwest, and so the sum total of my conceptual experiences stem from Twin Peaks. I enjoyed the rich portrayals of what I assume to be a beautiful part of the US. And as always the characters and plots are outstanding.
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.
This does not quite live up to the original Metatropolis. The individual stories are not linked together as well. There are a couple of novellas that are harder to get into, and a few are not read as well. That being said, it is still very enjoyable. If you are a fan of Metatropplis, then this will be a welcome continuation. Just do not expect quite the same level of writing or performance.
I bought this on the strength of the first book, METAtropolis, which I found very good in conception and narration, although there was some unevenness in the actual stories.
I wasn't wowed by M:Cascadia as much as by its predecessor. Although the concentration on Cascadia in this sequel might be considered a weakness, the stories had enough variety to keep my interest in spite of the quality of the narration, which was not up to the standard of the first METAtropolis. Jonathan Frakes attempt at a Slavic accent was at best uneven, and his pronunciation of several key names in the story made me wonder at the quality of the production and the change of narrator from Stefan Rudnicki for this part of the sequel.
LeVar Burton was OK, but I kept thinking that Scott Brick could have brought more depth to the presentation. Wil Wheaton's work just didn't make an impression on me. Not every actor makes a good narrator, no matter what TV series they performed in.
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.
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.
Some of these stories are good, some not so much. But overall an interesting read. If you are a dyed in the wool sci-fi fan, you may want to pass on this series. Most of these stories don't rate as sci-fi, and are primarily intended as thought-provokers with underlying social commentary.
If you are seeking good science based sci-fy I would suggest not spending the time (or credits).
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.