Regular price: $19.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
In Cart

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.

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings


  • 3.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars
Sort by:
  • Overall

More story, less soapbox

The world building in this collective work was both extensive and creative. However, the world is suppose to be the backdrop. Too often the world itself was center stage instead of the plot or the characters.
I am a big fan of speculative fiction, and where authors think society will be in the not to distant future. I feel the authors went too far with the whole "Evils of the Eco footprint" bit. After a while it was really preachy and worn out.

I gave this audio a four largely based on the works by Buckell and Scalzi. They created great characters and put them in situations I could relate to, regardless of the world around them. Brick and Rudnicki did their usual brilliant job with the narration of their stories. All in all this was a well presented project, but I was left wanting more from this great world the authors built.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Interesting collaborative approach to writing. Provides a worrisome glimpse into stark and very imaginable future, albeit with a silver lining. I could have done without the editors narrative between the stories- the explanation at the beginning was helpful but beyond that I wish he had just let the stories speak for themselves.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

It was so excellent I was sad it ended

I started it not really understanding what I was getting myself into. But after I focused on the actual storyline and how all the stories are connected I became lost in the worlds that were designed by the writers.
I download a lot of audio books because I work from home and I can say that this was the best one this year. I've listened to it twice because it was so detailed that I wanted come back to what I might has missed.
Wonderful read.

9 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Greg
  • West Hartford, CT, United States
  • 11-11-08

Immensely Satisfying Sci-Fi

Wow. This was a great listen. Excellent narration, excellent writing. Here's hoping that audible puts together another volume of stories set in this very believable and superbly-wrought world.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

just full of it's self

save your points and money. With the exception of one story, this was just really a collection of nowhere stories. The first is the absolute worst and so painful to listen to..both for the story and the horrible reader. DON'T BUY!!!

16 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nitin
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 05-11-10

Very Disappointing

The book is very disorganized with regards to how the plot develops and to make it worse provides little to no background information on the main plot characters. Its as if the author assumed that we would know the prequel and continued from there.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I was one of the first to download this title. I expected much bigger things from this group of authors. I felt the subject matter was extremely agenda driven, (political).

The premise is great. The naration is top shelf. Because of the political stilt the subject matter is difficult for me to embrace. I listended all the way through but it really never got better.

8 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great set of short stories

Every story except the first was fantastic. Perhaps the first story just needed a different narrator because it was very hard to keep track of what was going on. Otherwise really cool! The last story reminded me of The Diamond Age by Neil Stephenson. On to the next in this series!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


Any additional comments?

Terrific set of short stories about the near future and new ways of sustainable living in a world where the current system has collapsed.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Unable to get through it

I really wanted to finish this book but I just can't. The story is being told with too much drama for my taste. It is not just air he is breathing, but it is the thick air that he is sucking in through his teeth.