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METAtropolis | [Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder]

METAtropolis

Armed camps of eco-survivalists battle purveyors of technology in this exclusive, original production featuring five sci-fi masters and five all-star narrators.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

  • 2009 Hugo Award nominee, Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
  • 2009 Audie Award nominee, Original Work

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (1341 )
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4.0 (585 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Corwin Idaho 09-24-13
    Corwin Idaho 09-24-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Thanks, But No Thanks"
    What would have made METAtropolis better?

    This is a collection of several novellas by different authors, set in the same future world. I managed to hear the first story out -- it took an effort of will -- but when the second story started, after about three minutes' worth, I realized I REALLY didn't want to listen to this stuff anymore. The second author sound just as unappetizing as the first.

    I've read Science Fiction for more than 40 years. While there may be some interesting ideas here for a setting here, the authors -- or at least the first one -- really didn't seem to have much sense of what to do with them. The tale he provided was rather "murky," featuring an almost-nauseatingly "perfect" hero -- big, powerful, handsome, exceptionally strong, a natural-born-leader, and all the rest you'd expect in a truly hackneyed tale. A few religious allusions and overtones are thrown in, apparently to try to suggest there is some "deeper meaning" to the tale. The author came across to me as more than a tad pretentious, overindulgent when it came to adjectives, and overly invested in cliched stereotypes. But hey, maybe that's just me.

    Anyway, I made myself listen to that first story, thinking their must be some redeeming quality to the tale. But when it was over, I was left asking the most deadly question an author ever wants to invoke in a reader: "so what?" The first story was a total waste of time, and the start of the second one seemed to be following in its footsteps. Maybe that's not fair, since I didn't hear it out, but if the lead-off story was so poor, is there really much hope for the encore material?


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?


    What I, at least, consider to be bad writing was aggravated by a performer who seemed to be constantly "sitting on the edge of his chair" throughout his delivery. When the writing itself is already overdone, this style of delivery almost seemed a parody.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 05-03-13
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 05-03-13 Member Since 2011
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    "The world you know - sort of"

    METAtropolis is an interesting take on the future - financial collapse causes social reform among other changes. It makes one think about the future and our part in it. Be aware that this is an anthology of short stories - if you like one, you may not like the others. That having been said, the only bad thing I have to say about this book is that there isn't more of it. Its that good. I suggest you listen to it - if for no other reason than it will make you think. Oh, if you did like it - check out METAtropolis Cascadia - its as well written and arguably better performed.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Andenes, Norway 02-26-13
    Amazon Customer Andenes, Norway 02-26-13

    Between pages

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    "Great extrapolative science fiction"

    Great stories set in a common universe, not far from our own in time. You recognize a lot of the metatrends in our society, and it is cleverly thought out 20 years into the future.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Brisbane, Australia 01-07-13
    Sharon Brisbane, Australia 01-07-13 Member Since 2011

    I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.

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    "Only the second last thrilled me"

    The other stories were just OK. I wouldn't say that they were great. The narrators were reasonable.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrew fredericksburg, TX, United States 10-23-12
    andrew fredericksburg, TX, United States 10-23-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Standout Above and Beyond."
    What did you love best about METAtropolis?

    I really loved that they managed to do something different in a time when everything has already been done. As far as anthologies go this one has the most cohesive feeling and make the most united point. It has a valid message that it transmits in a powerful, convincing and even beautiful way.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tygr Tyger, I think. Hes the sort of person we tend to look for in real life only because we know they dont exist. If we ever found some one like Tygr Tygr in real life I dont think anyone would trust him.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the Completion of Space Ship Detroit. Why I loved this particular scene can really only be explained by personal preference in style.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes it was, And in fact I did. And then I listened to it again. This is one of my very few repeat listens.


    Any additional comments?

    Just give it a try. It may not be your usual thing. But branch out and give it a shot. you may not like the first story or even the second. But one of these will get to you.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CJinMD Maryland, USA 07-25-12
    CJinMD Maryland, USA 07-25-12 Member Since 2011
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    "An entertaining story of a possible future."
    Where does METAtropolis rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    METAtropolis ranks in the upper percent of the audio books that I've purchased from Audible.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Although many of the characters were well written and filled out, I believe my favorite amongst them was Reggie Stratton. Reggie was near to giving up on the state of the world and was awakened to a new purpose and a new fight in a world he thought was beyond him really caring about.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by the narrators?

    Many of the narrators were very good in their performance although the first narrator was very difficult to listen to due to his gravelly voice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Due to the limitations on my time, I cannot listen to any book in one sitting. Hence my turning to audio books. They allow me to still immerse myself in a story yet not be held in one place and limited to one activity while I'm experiencing the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked METAtroplis and if you did, try METAtroplis: Cascadia.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Darfield, New Zealand 07-11-12
    Philip Darfield, New Zealand 07-11-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Good enough that I listened to it a second time..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The variety and the voice quality of the five narrators suited each of the five novellas perfectly. I absolutely love Stefan Rudnicki's and Scott Brick's work, which I know from Orson Scott Card's books. The raspy voice of Michael Hogan (Col. Tigh, Battlestar Galactica) gave just the right tone of cynicism to the opening story, and provided a perfect audible contrast to its myth-making quality.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of METAtropolis?

    While I don't have any particular "memorable moments" from the collection, I found the story arc in each of the novellas satisfying. The settings of Cascadia, Detroit, New St Louis, and cyberspace were realised in just enough detail, and the characters well drawn.
    I enjoyed the whole thing enough that I went back to it almost immediately and listened to the whole thing again--something I have only done with one other audiobook: War and Peace!


    Which character ??? as performed by the narrators ??? was your favorite?

    Again, I can't put a finger on one particular character as a favourite. After the first listening I thought I liked the immature 20-year old in the fourth novella least, but after the second time through I understood better John Scalzi's (the author) depiction of someone who grows up because of the environment in which he is placed.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I suspect that this collection of five novellas wouldn't easily lend itself to movie treatment.


    Any additional comments?

    On the strength of this audiobook, I'm going to listen to the sequel, METAtropolis: Cascadia.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul D. Singleton Dallas, TX, United States 04-26-12
    Paul D. Singleton Dallas, TX, United States 04-26-12 Member Since 2011

    Men's Minister - Hardcore Christian Men

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A troubled beginning..."

    I really enjoyed this book by the end, and I almost didn't hear it. My issue was the first story. This book is based in the fictional future, a future where the US (and world) has fractured to include city states that are outside of the normal governments. The premise was great. The execution was well done (especially Scalzi's story, I loved it!). My issue was the required acceptance of homosexuality as normal and required in the first story. None of the others pushed me to accept anything that violated my beliefs or views, but this one did. I'm not sure who wrote this story, but I would point out, it hurt the collaboration by removing it's accessability to a large portion of the possible readers.

    Beyond this one failure, I recommend this collection (just skip the first chapter!)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Hobart, IN, United States 12-21-11
    Amazon Customer Hobart, IN, United States 12-21-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Here is the future for your pleasure."
    Would you listen to METAtropolis again? Why?

    Yes, because it point directly to what were going through now.


    What other book might you compare METAtropolis to and why?

    1984, Animal farm, CSPAN.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    When you listen to a story that follows the book brings it alive and believable.


    Any additional comments?

    It's ranks with 'The Road' where your captured without needing to know the entire back story.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isa Airlie Beach, Australia 11-24-11
    Isa Airlie Beach, Australia 11-24-11
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    "Brilliant"

    A truly brilliant series of stories, great plots, topics, characters and narrators. Each story is very different, yet plays in the same 'future'. Although things are different then, the characters come across as people like you and me. The future scenario is scarily realistic in some aspects. I'd love to read a sequence to the stories. Although I've read the second series Metatropolis Cascadia, it would be great to pick up from the time where Metatropolis left off, have a 'in-between' stories series or to even have a stories series playing around 10 years before Metatropolis. Anyway, I recommend the read.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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