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)
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.
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!
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.
I suspect that this collection of five novellas wouldn't easily lend itself to movie treatment.
On the strength of this audiobook, I'm going to listen to the sequel, METAtropolis: Cascadia.
Men's Minister - Hardcore Christian Men
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!)
Loved it - great stories, great concepts, great narrators - very happy with this audio book!
Yes, because it point directly to what were going through now.
1984, Animal farm, CSPAN.
When you listen to a story that follows the book brings it alive and believable.
It's ranks with 'The Road' where your captured without needing to know the entire back story.
Audio Book addict and lover of sci-fi. I keep falling for series and and the excruciating wait for the next book. Beware.
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.
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.
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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