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)
Short stories in a shared universe are just like novelizations of stories from commercial universes, be they Star Wars, Star Trek, or Battlestar Galactica, so delving into this new world wasn't so hard even though I knew absolutely nothing about its history before I started listening to the stories. Some try to be very deep, some are better than others, some are easier to understand than others, but that is something to be expected from sci-fi/post-ap stories; the authors try to make their stories analogies of something great, or just interesting adventures in a wide, unexplored world. Or multiple worlds as was the case in one story. While some reviewers call it hippie, tree-hugger, or politically-motivated crap, I see it as just how the world turned out after who-knows-what happened to it. Is it preachy? I can see where that complaint originates, but that sort of thing is commonly found in sci-fi. What, you didn't expect to be some near-political-preachy-agenda to be featured in stories read by BSG actors?
Some of the stories were better than others (John Scalzi's was the funniest), and some of the readings were better than other (Kandyse McClure was AMAZING even though I didn't enjoy the story that much), but I liked it enough to give it 3 and a half stars if I could, but I'll just leave the rating at three stars.
I enjoyed all of the stories but did not see the need to introduce each author and story before each new author. That had been covered by the books introduction.
The three stories in the middle were captivating and well-narrated.
It was difficult for me to get into the first story and the last story. My advice is to power through the first one and skip the last story.
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