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METAtropolis by John Scalzi


by John Scalzi (Editor)

Other authors: Elizabeth Bear (Contributor), Tobias Buckell (Contributor), Jay Lake (Contributor), John Scalzi (Contributor), Karl Schroeder (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: METAtropolis (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Enjoyed this a lot!

Very interesting take on city-states in post-apocalyptic future ...and a different "fresh" notion of apocalypse. ( )
  GeetuM | Jun 3, 2016 |
Meh. Scalzi's stuff is fast-clipped and adventurous---so is Bear's; the others, disposable. Schroeder felt like he was biting off Mieville...which isn't TOO bad, I guess. *laughter* At least he aimed high. Everything else was forgettable, Cascadiopoliss' premise was too lofty to actualize. ( )
  apomonis | Jun 2, 2016 |
This book was so bad...I put hours into giving it a chance (a lot of time for an audiobook), and it still didn't get better.

Other reviewers have said the collection improves after the first short story, set in the Pacific Northwest with a bunch of "green" techies. But, when I gagged on the second story, post apocalyptic Detroit, I quit.

There was really no reason to continue on to story number three. It just did not grab me. I'll not continue to the second book in the series. ( )
1 vote buffalogr | Feb 10, 2015 |
The five stories collected here were of varied quality; unsurprising given that they each had different authors. The shared universe they are set in feels like it was designed by committee, and has a bleak, post-environmental-disaster backdrop, but is otherwise undistinguished from the near-future wrecks I’ve seen elsewhere. The strongest story in the bunch, Karl Schroeder’s “To Hie from Far Celenia,” largely ignores this shared universe in favor of a super-imposed VR one layered on top, which I found a very bold choice, although it may speak unfavorably toward the others.

“In the Forests of the Night” by Jay Lake was the most poetic and eloquently worded story in the collection. It’s imagery was very deliberate and memorable, making it a great choice to begin the anthology, and provide some exposition. By setting the action in the midst of a community which has taken an extreme response to the ecological devastation of the METAtropolis shared world, Lake has the opportunity to show rather than explain what the aftermath looks like. Although the story ends in a confusing resolution, it nonetheless scores well for its other strengths.

The next piece, “Stochasti-City” by Tobias Buckell, has some nice character evolution, and some vision for a renewed future. The protagonist, a war veteran named Reginald getting by on his wits and strength, reluctantly dives into an adventure that ultimately brings some purpose for him. The hero’s journey he undertakes tours various community responses to the crisis, and allows Buckell to explore multiple concepts of sustainability in shortage.

Elizabeth Bear’s “The Red in the Sky is Our Blood” features a subversive society-within-the-society looking for eco-revolution. This theme runs through all the stories, but seems like a contrived way of creating conflict. The establishment society which everyone seems eager to topple is given a voice in the next story, John Scalzi’s “Utere Nihil Non Extra Quiritationem Suis”. The protagonist, Benjy, finds himself defending the city walls from invading barbarians, literally. As in other Scalzi stories, humor features prominently, and the light-hearted tone helped the pacing for the entire collection.

The concluding story, “To Hie from Far Celenia” by Karl Schroeder, envisions people escaping their bleak lives by retreating into VR subcultures. The story really gets interesting when it’s revealed that even within these communities, there are further levels of sub-subcultures operating with their own economies and distributed dynamic borders. The concepts here were the most imaginative of the collection, and provided a strong finish to the bunch. I think I would have liked to read more from this world than the other dystopia-leaning stories that preceded it, and feel like it brought my overall acceptance of the anthology up a notch. ( )
  SciFi-Kindle | Dec 23, 2014 |
In the Forests of the Night - Jay Lake
Perhaps because it was the first story of this new world created jsut for this anthology but i found this to be my least favorite, and most confusing. As best as i can describe a man, Tygre Tygre, enters a city as a paid operative that goes rogue and almost plays a Jesus-esque role in converting the city. I think it may have gone over better if the author had a few more pages to add about the final battle which is glossed over and only the aftermath is told.

Stochasti-city - Tobias S. Buckell
A good showing, number 3 overall for me. Depicts life for a man living outside of a city, in the Wilds. This story reminded me of the goal to bring down the buildings in Fight Club, but instead of destruction, self sustainability.

The Red in the Sky is Our Blood - Elizabeth Bear
Same city as above, Detroit; similar concept with woman this time on the outside of the city teaming up with a 'rebel' group reluctantly. Very closely related to the plot points as mentioned above except years later. Story did not quite hold me as the one by Buckell, 4th best for me.

Utere Nihil Non Extra Quiritationem Suis - John Scalzi
New St Louis, from inside a city. Highly regulated career path and choices in order to keep city self sustainable. Typical Scalzi humor dealing with Pig Farmer as an occupation. The city deals with protestors from the Wilds surround the city becauses of the inequality. Best story for me right here.

To Hie from Far Cilenia - Karl Schroeder
Sweden, alternate reality game is the basis for this story, my number 2 favorite. Although i have to admit, the story got a tad confusing towards the end when everything was coming together. I confess i do like a story to jsut take me along for the ride...and coming off of Scalzi's writing i wasnt quite prepared i suppose. I still enjoyed the story and the best way to describe it was a world within a world and that first world is comprised of a city within a city. All of these is achieved thru augmented reality and the use of some glasses that overlay images on real world stuff. ( )
  T4NK | Sep 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
But the way you know these urban settings have succeeded in their worldbuilding task is, they provide a backdrop for some cracking city adventures. Scalzi and Buckell, in particular, keep you guessing about where their stories are going and provide fun yarns where you root for their underdog protagonists. These feel like cities where anything can happen, from getting your skull cracked to discovering your life purpose. And most important of all, when I was done reading about this future dys/utopia, I wanted to spend a lot more time there.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scalzi, JohnEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bear, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buckell, TobiasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lake, JayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scalzi, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schroeder, KarlContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hogan, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juliani, AlessandroNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McClure, KandyseNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rudnicki, StefanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
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.

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"...METAtropolis is the brainchild of five of science fiction's hottest writers...who combined their talents to build a new urban future and then wrote their own stories in this collectively-constructed world. The results are individual glimpses of a shared vision..."--dust cover flap.… (more)

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