An all-star collection of audiobook award-winning performers give voice to the new world of human social evolution created by a collective of acclaimed science fiction writers in this second sequel to the Hugo-nominated shared world audio anthology, Metratropolis: The Dawn of Uncivilization. Writers from the earlier works share their perspectives with authors new to the series as the tale continues, moving into the mysteries and revelations of a wired world, an "internet of things" post-Green Crash and the subsequent renaissance,where some seek to leave a pristine, undisturbed Earth for the better life they envision on the moon, a green Mars, and perhaps even stars.
Audie Award Finalist, Original Work, 2014
Audible’s Audie Award-winning and Hugo Award-nominated vision of the not-too-distant future returns!
As METAtropolis: Green Space moves into the 22nd Century, human social evolution is heading in new directions after the Green Crash and the subsequent Green Renaissance. Nearly everyone who cares to participate in the wired world has become part of the "Internet of things", a virtual environment mapped across all aspects of the natural experience. At the same time, the serious back-to-the-land types have embraced a full-on paleo lifestyle, including genetically engineering themselves and their offspring. At the same time, a back-to-space movement is seeking the moon, a green Mars, and even the stars, with the eventual goal of leaving a pristine and undisturbed Earth behind. METAtropolis: Green Space is the creation of Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee Jay Lake; Hugo Award winning writers Seanan McGuire, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Elizabeth Bear; New York Times best-selling author Tobias S. Buckell; Aurora Award winner Karl Schroeder; and critically-acclaimed author Ken Scholes.
©2013 Joseph E. Lake, Jr., Elizabeth Bear, Karl Schroeder, Seanan McGuire, Tobias S. Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Scholes (P)2013 Audible Inc.
I have all three of the Metatropolis books - and I happened to listen to all three of them in order. There is good and bad about this book - one aspect I liked from the original Metatropolis was the geographic variety - unlike the second book which was located all in one area. Like any anthology read by different people, you'll find that some voices you like and some you don't. This is the case here. The mix of authors is also unique - some from previous Metatropolis books some new. Overall, the book is very good - hence the 4 stars. I do not think it has the appeal of the first book, but it is very well written and very well read. If you have the other two, this is a natural book to buy and it is worth the price. You'll be taken to places you haven't been before in this world, and some that you'll see from a different view. Some characters are old, some are new. Its a good read, but I don't think its as good as the first book.
As a huge fan of the first two METAtropolis books, I expected nothing less from this final installment. After listening to these books in rapid succession, it was nice to get the closure on these overarching characters and plot lines. As an aside: I'm a huge proponent of the basic concept of these books. I think it's very intelligent to set up futurist science fiction in this world as opposed to a completely synthesized one. After all, these 'future cities' will be built upon or just modified versions of today's major metropolitan areas. I guess it gives the stories a strangely authentic flavor.
Audible Fan, Amazon Customer, Gardener, Quilter, Liberal and Activist. I'll read about anything!
I'd highly suggest listening to the first two of the Metatropolis compilations before tackling this one as theres follow thru in some of the stories.
I had varied opinions on the varied stories as well as ability of narrators but basically this is a strong followup to the initial Metatropolis and Cascadia books. If you enjoyed the theme and the previous stories, most likely you'll like this one. I did miss previous narrators, Kate Mulgrew was especially great in Cascadia. I also liked the Bashier follow thru, it gave a good idea of the time that had passed.
Worth my credit.
Unlike the previous installments of METAtropolis I did not enjoy all of the stories this time. There were notable exceptions to the normally high quality of writing and even performances. The only 2 worthwhile stories in this book were the stories of Bashar and his family the bookended the audiobook. They almost make up for the suffering endured through the others. Let's hope they raise the quality bar for the next installment.
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
There are some very cool ideas in this third installment in the METAtropolis short story collection, but the authors got less disciplined here and there are some stories that seem to be phoned in. On top of that, the very famous scifi actors who narrated the first two installments have been replaced by some sub-par narrators who were almost annoying to listen to. I would recommend this collection only to the hard-core scifi readers who are here for the ideas, for there are some extremely cool ideas here despite the mediocre plots, same-old characters and confusing story arcs.
I’ll review each story separately. Here there be (minor) spoilers . . .
Rock of Ages, by Jay Lake. Narrators: Mark Boyette, Dion Graham, Robin Miles. As the METAtropolis franchise moves farther and farther into its imagined future, it would be nice if Jay Lake would also move forward. The explanation for extending Bashar’s life (he is around 150 years old in this story) is complicated and does not really fit in with the rest of the METAtropolis mythos. I could get over that, if there were some really good reason to keep Bashar around, but I don’t think there is. It’s like the author couldn’t be bothered to come up with a new character. Stretching the reader’s credulity further, the author makes the super-centenarian Bashar the hero of a ridiculous James-Bond-type escapade. The only cool thing in this whole story was the forest that had been legally incorporated as an entity and that could speak via the Internet. To my utter disbelief, the door was left open for Bashar to survive riding an asteroid down from high earth orbit and smashing it into Seattle.
Green and Dying, by Elizabeth Bear. Narrator: Jonathan Davis. This story of a group of con men/women running a scam reminded me of an episode of Leverage (not necessarily a bad thing). The scam takes place on a “seastead,” which I imagined like an oil rig only full of condos for rich people. Unfortunately, neither the “seastead” nor the characters were particularly interesting, and the way the story unfolded was too slow. I was actually pretty bored until about halfway through when the story took a turn and seemed like it was going to tie in with some of the plagues that were mentioned in the previous story by Jay Lake, but then that connection wasn’t quite made so I was left more confused than anything else.
The Desire Lines, by Karl Schroeder. Narrator: Sanjiv Jhaveri. Refreshingly, this story was set in a new place—the Amazon rain forests of Peru/Brazil—and featured people of color as the protagonists. And, since it was written by the ever inventive Karl Schroeder, it featured some of the most mind-meltingly awesome futuristic ideas in this entire collection. Again, we are treated to a forest that has a mind of its own, but there are also corporations with really interesting ideas about how to fix a broken environment. One scientist even theorizes that she could revise the ecology so that none of the animals had to kill in order to survive! The narrator was amazing at doing different accents for all the different characters, but for some reason when he was doing straight prose narration, his cadence was so sing-song that it was actually hard to listen to.
Midway Bells & Dying Breeds, by Seanan McGuire. Narrator: Jennifer Van Dyck. The protagonist of this story has grown up as part of a very large, extended family that runs a travelling circus, a remnant of an earlier time that has survived into this high-tech future. Her main job is to steer a huge dinosaur (created like they were in Jurassic Park) to which the circus tethers its floating (?) ferris wheel. Okay, I’ll admit I’m a little fuzzy on what the dino was actually doing. Mostly, we are treated to descriptions of how it oh-so-slow-ly munches its way through the forest. The story could be read as an examination of what happens when things live on past their original expiration date, but rather than taking this opportunity to have the characters debate the merits of resurrecting long-extinct species or the need to continue old traditions, the plot degenerated into the protagonist and the Big Boss of the circus whining about their personal love-hate relationship like adolescents rather than two adults discussing different world views. The “resolution” of their differences was definitely the kind of half-baked, impulsive solution that a teenager would come up with, leaving me disgusted and dissatisfied. The weakest story in the bunch, this seemed like it was originally written for some other reason and then gerrymandered (I’ll add some high-tech circus tents that pack and unpack themselves!) to fit into this collection.
Tensegrity, by Tobias S. Brickell. Narrator: Scott Brick. The possibilities of future tech and social advances were the highlights of this story. A giant, three-mile-in-circumference, concrete city floats into the stratosphere. AIs “govern” small city-states automagically, making most of the pesky day-to-day decisions and leaving us humans to pursue our passions. “Murder” is redefined. I liked that this story tied in better with the rest of the METAtropolis world and the overall story arc. Scott Brick, always amazing!
Forest of Memories, by Mary Robinette Kowal. Narrator: Allyson Johnson. This was my favorite of the bunch, mainly because it was written with a unique point-of-view. The protagonist is telling her story to someone else who has evidently paid her to tell it. In this future where nearly everyone and everything is wired 24-7, for a crucial several days, the protagonist’s connectivity was cut. Of course something mysterious and untoward happened to her during that time, and now she has only her memories and no independent verification of the facts. Wonderfully read by Allyson Johnson.
Let Me Hide Myself in Thee, by Ken Scholes. Narrators: Dion Graham, Robin Miles. This story felt like an obligatory “let’s tie up the loose ends with a nice bow” kind of thing. I give the author an “A” for effort, but could have done with a few less hand-wavium moments. (Oh! I need an action heroine! I’ll conveniently give this person who has been a desk-hugging fiscal researcher her whole life a backstory in which her unconventional parents forced her to learn to be a sniper! And she will miraculously remember this skill 20 years later!)
I would totally recommend the original METAtropolis - I've listened to that one multiple times - but Green Space was a little too far out there to be something I could connect with. The stories also felt like they were trying too hard. The original still had connections to our 21st century world and I could see how the METAtropolis world could legitimately be an option our 21st century world could evolve into. But Green Space was just a little too far for me to make connections, and even though I'd read the previous 2 books, I still had a hard time seeing how this or that tech evolved into the world of this 3rd book. Granted, it's set 100+ years in the future, and yes, technology advances quickly - things are so much different now than they were 100 years ago, which means they will be equally different 100 years in the future. But there was just too much that was different or technologically difficult to understand, and I think the authors should have done something to help 21st century readers connect a little better with a 22nd century world.
I’ve always enjoyed the METAtropolis series and with author Jay Lake’s passing I hope the series is not ended as well. I liked how each story flowed into the next even when it didn’t seem that it should. I do think you can tell when overall editing was changed from one person to another and lets see if you can do it. This is a future version of the world where there is hope and there is life. This is not a series about complete hopelessness and I recommend it to everyone.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
The first story in this collection of short stories started slow, became absurd then turned around for an epic conclusion. The rest of the stories pick up from there, even though some are far better than others. There's a couple of stories I wish didn't make it there, because they seriously hurt the quality of the overall package. Still, it's a good addition.
While Cascadia seemed to be a "what happened to" followup to Metatropolis, Green space didn't even live up to that level. The stories are humdrum and have none of the richness of the first book, but expands on some of the weirder concepts from Cascadia.
The narrators are mostly an improvement, but with the poor stories they don't have much to work with.
If there is a fourth in this series, I suspect it will include 400 year old characters dealing with the voting rights of the universe.
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