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Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: METAtropolis

Author: by Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder
Genre: Sci-Fiction, Dystopian Anthology
Publisher: Audible Studios
Release Date: October 20, 2008
Audiobook: 9 hours and 12 minutes
Narrator:  John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder, Michael Hogan, Scott Brick, Kandyse McClure, Alessandro Juliani, Stefan Rudnicki

Source: Free from Audible for members

Book Description

Five original tales set in a shared urban future—from some of the hottest young writers in modern SF

A strange man comes to an even stranger encampment...a bouncer becomes the linchpin of an unexpected urban movement...a courier on the run has to decide who to trust in a dangerous city...a slacker in a "zero-footprint" town gets a most unusual new job...and a weapons investigator uses his skills to discover a metropolis hidden right in front of his eyes.

Welcome to the future of cities. Welcome to Metatropolis.

More than an anthology, Metatropolis is the brainchild of five of science fiction's hottest writers—Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Karl Schroeder, and project editor John Scalzi—-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, and a reading experience unlike any you've had before.


The synopsis of this book sounded like the perfect audiobook for me.  I was hooked on the variety of authors, the concept of all of them writing a whole new whole and that there was a cast narrating it.  This is good for finding new writers and new readers. Nothing but a win win situation right?  Well it was...kinda.  
The five authors all centered their work around a new dystopian future set in the Detroit area.  I think the best way to tell you about this audiobook is to break it down one by one. 
In the Forest of Night by Jay Lake
(read by Michael Hogan)
This story was short and I didn't really get it.  I thought it should have set more of the tone and give more history of the community than it did.  There is a new "strange" visitor to the community who has a Jesus quality to him but nothing is concluded in why he is there and who he really is.  This was the biggest disappointment for me.  I almost didn't finish this audiobook because of the slowness of the story.  I think the vagueness of the forest location in the Seattle area didn't really help me either.
Stochastic-City by Tobias Buckell  
(read by Scott Brick)
This where the audiobook picks up.  After the first nondescript community this one is set in the new urban future of Detroit with the story centering around a bouncer.  Unlike the first story this one moves a bit faster and has great dialog here and there.  The new Detroit seems to be a bit more violent and the city is going green so much so they are outlawing cars which is forcing the population onto bikes and mass transit.  This world kinda reminds me of Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower.  I liked this one much better than the first one.  
The Red in the Sky is Our Blood by Elizabeth Bear
(read by Kandyse McClure)  
I loved this story.   Finally a strong female black character.  YEAH!  Thank God there are other people in the future that look like me.  I loved the tone and the overall storyline of a mother and what she goes through to protect her child.  Excellent story!  This story also helps bring a few elements from the first book into play as well as it folds nicely from the second story.
Utere Nihil Non Extra Quiritationem Suis by John Scalzi
(read by Stefan Rudnicki) 

John is funny and he adds a ton of humor to this story.  OMG!  Could you image finding out the only job you are qualified to do is hauling pig crap?  I was rolling!!  Excellent job John and Stefan.  Stefan really read this story and made you live it with him.  I still have the image of farms growing inside large office building.  Brilliant idea.
To Hie from Far Cilenia by Karl Schroeder 
(read by Stefan Rudnicki) 
I was so hope to love this story.  I really was.  After two knocked out of the park stories this one was a complete miss for me. I can't even tell you what it's about because it left me 100% confused.  A woman looking for her son in an alternate universe where other people live and you can jump in and out of it but there is another one in that one too.  Whatever!  Sorry
So there you have it.  There were some great stories sandwiched between nothing special.  I am curious about the others in the series.  But... I might wait for those.

Reviews by Other Bloggers


I recommend this book to older teens due to the mention of sex and violence as well as some foul language.


 This book is 31number in my Audiobook Reading Challenge
This book is 16 number in my New Authors Reading Challenge
This book is 49  number in my Goodreads Reading Challenge

Other Books in the Series

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