METAtropolis : METAtropolis

  • by Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder
  • Narrated by Michael Hogan, Scott Brick, Kandyse McClure, Alessandro Juliani, Stefan Rudnicki, John Scalzi
  • Series: METAtropolis
  • 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


What the Critics Say

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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not a wasted credit

(rewritten to exclude apostrophes or quotation marks, which Audible processes incorrectly.)

I like the concept of a shared world and overall this is an entertaining audiobook, but like any anthology some stories are better than others.

In the Forests of the Night by Jake Lake was an extended pseudospiritual/political rant that never answers the most obvious question, i.e. who is Tygre?

I liked Stochasti-city by Tobias Buckell at least in part because it is read by Scott Brick but also because it is entertaining and interesting although the ideas of ex-military street mercs and repurposing abandoned urban real estate were done (better) decades ago by William Gibson.

The Elizabeth Bear story elicited an enthusiastic meh. The characters just were not that compelling and there was not much of a plot to resolve.

John Scalzi is a good writer with a good sense of humor and a lighter tone was needed by this point. His story was funny, but at times it comes across like a 1980s comedy film: slacker hero saves the world through pranking. Not a spoiler, because you see it coming a mile away.

They saved the best for last. To Hie from Far Cilenia by Karl Schroeder is the most thought-provoking of the set. It was a quirky combination of The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson and Spook Country by William Gibson with a heavy dose of Stephensonian fascination with currency. Being a huge fan of both Stephenson and Gibson, it worked for me. The fact that Stefan Ruknicki is a brilliant reader helps too.

The whole collection owes a lot to Gibson, even the various green movements (anybody remember the Sandbenders?), but Gibson was less heavy-handed than these stories. It does put a nice big flashing date stamp on the era at least. Half the science fiction books in the 80s were about nuclear Armageddon, half today are about environmental Armageddon.

Anyway, it serves as a good screenshot of contemporary writing and is worth a listen.
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- james

Tedious and preachy

I was extremely disappointed in this collection. The first story made no sense at all. The next two were dull and implausible. And then I gave up. Maybe the final two are modern masterpieces but I just don't have the patience to find out. The first three stories lacked compelling characters or believable situations and I grew tired of dialogue that sounded more like people lecturing each other about sustainability and carbon footprints. There's plenty of great science fiction on Audible, don't waste your credit on this bore.
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- Kenneth B. Strumpf

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-20-2008
  • Publisher: Audible Studios