Welcome to a world where big cities are dying, dead - or transformed into technological megastructures. Where once-thriving suburbs are now treacherous Wilds. Where those who live for technology battle those who would die rather than embrace it. It is a world of zero-footprint cities, virtual nations, and armed camps of eco-survivalists.
Welcome to the dawn of uncivilization.
METAtropolis is an intelligent and stunning creation of five of today's cutting-edge science-fiction writers: 2008 Hugo Award winners John Scalzi and Elizabeth Bear; Campbell Award winner Jay Lake; plus fan favorites Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder. Together they set the ground rules and developed the parameters of this "shared universe", then wrote five original novellas - all linked, but each a separate tale.
Bringing this audiobook to life is a dream team of performers: Battlestar Galactica's Michael Hogan ("Saul Tigh"); Alessandro Juliani ("Felix Gaeta"); and Kandyse McClure ("Anastasia 'Dee' Dualla"); plus legendary audiobook narrators Scott Brick (Dune) and Stefan Rudnicki (Ender's Game).
John Scalzi, who served as Project Editor, introduces each story, offering insight into how the METAtropolis team created this unique project exclusively for digital audio.
©2008 Joseph E. Lake, Jr., Tobias S. Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
“Each story shines on its own; as a group they reinforce one another, building a multifaceted view of a realistic and hopeful urban future.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Scalzi and his contributors/collaborators have created a fascinating shared urban future that each of them evokes with his or her particular strengths.... This stellar collection is a fascinating example of shared world-building.” (Booklist)
"This impressive group of writers imagines what happens when the world moves beyond cities as a locus of human civilization. The range of narrators...brings a unique narrative style to the production. Of the five narrators, all well chosen for the stories, Allessandro Juliani proves to be the best with his rendering of Scalzi's piece." (AudioFile)
Great exercise in world building. These stories fit together well and are highly believable. Every time I listen to it I enjoy it more. The readers were better than expected, given that they initially seemed chosen as the science fiction celebrities of the moment. I don't know if I would search them out as readers but they did not hurt the stories through their narration.
What I learned from buying books read by popular actors is to wait for reviews. The gimmick was to have Battlestar Galatica cast members read short stories. The gimmick worked, I bought it and found that there is a reason the book was marketed that way. It was, by far, the worse Sci-Fi book I have ever listened to/ read, to date. The short stories were hard to follow and seemed to be missing a lot of content. Worse then it being a waste of a credit, it was a waste of my time. I would not recommend this book to anyone, even if purchased at a discount
I had big hopes for this book, some big names on the cast, promoted heavily, etc.
However I was terribly disappointed, the stories seemed to be more agenda driven then story or character driven, and though I forced myself to keep listening and got to the third or fourth story, where it actually got interesting, the self righteous trite lessons that were being spoon fed to the protagonist just reeked of so much condescending naivety that I finally gave up and took the book of my iphone. This is the only audible book I haven't finished, there are so many gems out there don't waste time on this one.
I was skeptical about the concept of collaborative writing after that Chopin Manuscript thing, but the BSG actors as narrators was too strong of a marketing ploy for me to resist.
I was pleasantly surprised. Especially by Alessandro Juliani. WOW! What an incredible performance.
Gaeta may have lost a leg, but Alessandro has gained a fan. No...seriously... He brings the author's world to life as richly as did Paul Giamatti in "A Scanner Darkly."
The tales are engaging, and there is enough overlap between them for you to see a coherent whole.
The other narrators do a fine job (though I'm admittedly not a big Brick fan), but Alessandro really stands out in this audio book. Which is doubly impressive when you consider he's down to one leg.
If you likes you some Sci-Fi, this book will provide hours of entertainment. So bring a towel, 'cause at METAtropolis, it's laid out like 'dat.
I admit it I was pulled in by the narrators, I am a huge battlestar fan so a book narrated by an XO and senior officer I though what could possible go wrong. I did not enjoy this book at all and cannot actually bring myself to listen to any more of it. I found the descriptive nature of places etc annoying it seemed almost every other sentence described things such as "The book was like wading through treacle with concrete shoes on" situations were compared to other situations in overly verbose fashion and for me the book did not really have any sort of rhythm to it.
Sorry but I didn't like it!
well I thought this book sounded great--so I got it on sale. If synergy is where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts this would be best described as antienergy. This book is about eco-terrorism and what hapens when the whole US has been destroyed by over use of resources, not covering our "footprint" etc., etc. Its baseline is that homosexuality is normal, forcing people to be eco friendly is good for them and for some reason there aren't any family units--Mom and Dad with their own children.
I did like Scalzi's part of this book--some authors were better than others, but I wouldn't recommend this book.
Yes, the simplistic idea that the world collapsed because of capitalism, oil and evil industrialists and that open source genomes, bicycles, eco-terror and husbanding gazillions of pigs is where sustainable living answers exist.
I've purchased 5 other Scalzi novels and after finishing METAtropolis as the first, I'm strongly questioning the wisdom of my other purchases.
Absolutely, the narrations were well performed.
I would avoid it like a foreboding superstition.
Disappointing! The narration was great, but the stories are all about glorified eco-terrorist havens within normal cities, set in the near future. Literally. If you dream of lowering your carbon footprint and all your clothing is made of recycled organic hemp, this book is written just for you. But if you're really just looking for good science fiction -- this isn't it. There's no space ships, no cool new worlds or ideas. Just the same stuff you'll hear around any health-food store, writ in an urban setting about 50 or so years into the future. A couple of the stories have a few high-tech toys, but they aren't new concepts and are handled much better elsewhere (for example, the "virtual realities overlaying the real world" theme of the last story was done much better in the book "Rainbow's End"). If you like your sci-fi to be a lecture about sustainability and recycling, then this just might be for you. Otherwise, you might want to skip this one.
I got this primarily because of the narrators, having just watched the Battlefield Galactica series on DVD. Then I read the premise and fell in love with the idea of a shared world! The only problem is the stories are not really sharing very much. IMO there's 1 stinky story, 3 average stories, and the best one is kind of a comedic story and doesn't fit in with the rest at all. The narration was not all that great either. The coolness factor of hearing familiar voices disappates after about 10 minutes.
Not much else to say but as this review is titled. The narration was great, but most of the stories were difficult to really get into.
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