It’s the 2070s. The United States is no longer united, and the breakaway territory of Cascadia in the Pacific Northwest has created its own myths and realities. In this sequel to the first METATROPOLIS anthology (2008), six award-winning science fiction writers share a brash, finely detailed world. Each narrator is a recognizable Star Trek series alumnus. This is a bonus, especially in the cases of Wil Wheaton’s reading of "Byways" by Tobias Buckell and Gates McFadden’s reading of "Confessor" by Elizabeth Bear. Their voices are so familiar that they envelop the listener in the fascinating unfamiliar territory. It’s like listening to old friends tell new tales. These are well-crafted novellas about a brave, new near-future.
This provocative sequel to the Hugo and Audie Award nominated METAtropolis features interconnected stories by today’s top writers of speculative fiction – performed by a galaxy of Star Trek stars.
As the mid-20th century approaches, the Pacific Northwest has been transformed - politically, economically, and ecologically - into the new reality of Cascadia. Conspiracies and secrets threaten the tenuous threads of society. The End of Days seems nearer than ever. And the legend of the mysterious Tygre Tygre looms large.
METAtropolis: Cascadia is the creation of Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee Jay Lake; Mary Robinette Kowal, winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; New York Times best-selling author Tobias S. Buckell; Hugo Award winner Elizabeth Bear; Aurora Award winner Karl Schroeder; and critically acclaimed author Ken Scholes. The team of narrators is any Star Trek fan’s dream: Rene Auberjonois (“Odo”); Kate Mulgrew (“Capt. Kathryn Janeway”); Wil Wheaton (“Wesley Crusher”); Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”); Jonathan Frakes (“Cmdr. William Riker”); and LeVar Burton (“Geordi La Forge”). Jay Lake, who also served as Project Editor, introduces this stunning sequel, written and produced exclusively for digital audio.
©2010 Joseph E. Lake, Jr., Mary Robinette Kowal, Tobias S. Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, Karl Schroeder, Ken Scholes (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
I especially liked the last story (not Carl Schraeder's), that worked in the story of a priest's deconversion along with strong central women characters, that leaves the Bechdel test way in the rear. Heck, ALL the stories are very good, and I enjoy seeing continuing character arcs over multiple story lines.
can't beat Audible on a long drive through the West!
all the tech arrangements, environmental changes, and the characters. They all fit together
The old woman whose husband was on a secret mission. She was pretty badass in the 3rd installment of the series.
The literally give a voice to the characters. Each narrator seems to imbue a different vibe to the characters, making them fit into the story so well.
I'd have to think about that one a bit more.
If I found out there was a 4th installment to the series, I'd buy it without hesitation.
Having already listened to the other two books I knew some of what was going to happen but was still pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it. Metatropolis is an awesome Sci-Fi serious.
Ironically, Tiger Tiger was my last favorite story from the original METAtropolois. I really liked Jay Lake's contribution to this book. And the collection was far more cohesive, I believe all bringing up Basher, Tiger, and/or Cascadiopolis. But I admit to having thoughts questioning if his editing was heavy handed, pushing his particular setting.
Overall narration was great with a glaring exception: Jonathan Frakes was so bad that I contemplated skipping the story and tried to find a print version, so I wouldn't have to listen to him butcher Deodand. I'd love Schroeder's contribution to METAtropolis. My sense is that Deodand isn't that good a piece, but it's hard to separate the sorry from the awful narration. Overall, I was surprised that I didn't find the narration more distracting. Kate Mulgrew was especially good, and I'm looking to see what else she narrates. and I'm already a huge fan of Wil Weaton's narration (though, blasphemy though it seems to me, I think I'd prefer that the character's voice hadn't changed.)
I spent a happy 12 hours with this, but I'm not certain if I'll continue.
A great follow up and some excellent additions to this fascinating world. The all star cast does a credible job with each one yet Lavar Burton remains my favorite.
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.
"Futures to aim for rather than avoid"
Take the finest organic creative talents, stew them over an apocalyptic dystopia, then carefully refine and mature in optimism. Stir in a balanced amount of green and blue sky thinking. And you'll have Metatropolis: Cascadia.
As the follow-up to the original Metatropolis it benefits from the lessons learned there. A tighter geographical focus and a shared backstory that ties in several pieces.
A capable crew of narrators; all of whom are Star Trek alumni, adds a little more geek credibility to garnish the dish. And the duties are ably handled. There is one common ingredient to the stories and it's a rare one. Hope. In sci-fi there's a lot of endless boots stamping on faces that the protagonists have to fight; here that boot has landed, moved on and this is what happens afterwards. Quite a while afterwards.
This means some of you are going to hate it. That's okay. The two key pieces for me are The Bull Dancers by Jay Lake which ties into the backstory more so than the others. And the fascinating Water Into Wine by Mary Robinette Kowal. Don't let anyone tell you that Viniculture isn't fertile ground for speculative writing.
Overall a fine body of work and one which I hope will bear further fruit.
"Lots of SciFi goodness"
I thought it would be impossible to top the original Metatropolis, but Cascadia does it - in spades. There is a greater unity to the stories - all set in a plausible near-future in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Jay Lake's opening story and Ken Scholes' closing story are especially connected, and provide perfect bookends. The added bonus is terrific narration by some of the most memorable actors of the Star Trek franchise. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite, but you can't go wrong with the likes of LeVar Burton, Kate Mulgrew or Wil Wheaton. A great listen all around!
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