METAtropolis (Unabridged) (Unabridged Fiction)
by Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder
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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.
Brilliantly written, brilliantly read!!! Bear, Buckell, Lake, Scalzi, and Schroeder all deliver some of their best writing, and the reading is out of this world =) I personally like that, instead of choosing a common *theme* for their anthology, these authors chose a *world* to place all of their stories in. Connected by the world they share, yet all standalone and individualized, the stories of Metatropolis thrill, interest, and amuse.
The great thing about science fiction is it provides the chance to look at issues without the baggage of the here and now. To provide a view that does not get bogged down in current prejudices. Unfortunately this story starts by blaming a current political party for the destruction of the country in a incredibly simplistic and pointless manor. If you want a book that does nothing interesting on its own merits and simply reinforces your preconceived political faith and ideology you might like this book. If you like science fiction that is inquisitive and unexpected you should try something else.
Well worth your time and money
There's a lot of great ideas here, but the quality of the stories varies. All the same, the great heavily outweighs the mediocre. Here's my breakdown of the stories, by author, because I can't remember all of the titles:
1. Jay Lake's story - neat ideas, well written (and read), but more than a little confusing plot-wise (overall win)
2. Tobias Buckell's story - well told story with (again) really neat ideas (straight-up win)
3. Elizabeth Bear's story - a few neat ideas, but I wasn't that engaged with the story (a draw?)
4. Karl Schroeder's story - brilliant, brilliant, brilliant (super win)
5. John Scalzi - fun, if a bit hokey (win percentage will very greatly with personal taste I'm guessing)
Anyway, it's cool project, it delivers on the idea front, and I hope to see more things like it .