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METAtropolis MP3 CD – Unabridged, August 9, 2009

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MP3 CD, Unabridged, August 9, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Editor Scalzi (Zoe's Tale) and four well-known writers thoughtfully postulate the evolution of cities, transcending postapocalyptic clichés to envision genuinely new communities and relationships. Self-sustaining walled cities struggle with their responsibilities to dying suburbs in Scalzi's Utere Nihil Non Extra Quiritationem Suis; goods are exchanged through multiple microtransactions in Tobias S. Buckell's Stochasti-City and a reputation economy in Elizabeth Bear's The Red in the Sky Is Our Blood. A lone man attempts to overthrow an early enclave in Jay Lake's In the Forests of the Night, while Karl Schroeder's To Hie from Far Celenia brilliantly combines steampunk, urban sociology and network theory as entire subcultures go off the grid. Each story shines on its own; as a group they reinforce one another, building a multifaceted view of a realistic and hopeful urban future. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Editor Scalzi (Zoe’s Tale) and four well-known writers thoughtfully postulate the evolution of cities, transcending postapocalyptic clichés to envision genuinely new communities and relationships.… 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, starred review

“Scalzi and his contributors/collaborators have created a fascinating shared urban future that each of them evokes with his or her particular strengths. Originally an audio anthology, this stellar collection is a fascinating example of shared world building, well deserving of a parallel life in print.” —Booklist
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (August 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142339495X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423394952
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,619,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie E. Holder HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 11, 2010
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Common framework stories exist. "Thieves' World" has served as a framework for multiple anthologies since 1978. One thing that such anthologies have in common is that the different styles of the authors can make the anthology seem uneven.

METAtropolis contains five stories by five different authors, each introduced by editor and author John Scalzi. Though I expected METAtropolis to be in a single city, the authors set their stories in several locations. There are connections between the stories, but each story stands on its own.

The first story is "In the Forests of the Night" by Jay Lake, narrated by actor Michael Hogan. Lake introduces Tyger Tyger as he attempts to enter Cascadiopolis. Tyger is charismatic and intelligent and quickly becomes influential and popular.

Puzzling were the parallel stories. A second, female person boldly enters Cascadiopolis, following Tyger. Then there is Bashar, a military leader of Cascadiopolis. Other significant characters are introduced, all centered on Tyger. In addition to the attempted character development, we learn much about Cascadiopolis, including tidbits that hint at bigger things never exploited.

John Scalzi tells us in the introduction to the story that the reason this story is first is that it provides the most description of the Cascadiopolis metatropolis. Unfortunately, that detail bogs the story down. Tyger's story contains interesting elements, but we deal with so much detail that the Tyger story often fades into the background and I became bored. Worse, by the time we get to the end of the story I was so bored that I actually no longer cared about Tyger. I was thankful that the story was over.
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44 of 55 people found the following review helpful By DWD's Reviews VINE VOICE on January 27, 2010
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Metatropolis is a collection of short stories about a fictional future world in which the United States government is much weaker and local governments have had to shoulder most of the responsibility for governing. We get to see 4 future settings in this anthology - Cascadia in the American Northwest, Detroit, New St. Louis and Scandinavia. While the U.S. government is much weaker, the role of technology has grown much stronger. There are virtual on-line worlds and cellphones are everywhere and even more plugged in than they are now. The five authors sat down and mapped out the ground rules of this future world and than separated to write their stories. John Scalzi edited the collection and was the last one to write a story. He specifically tailored his story to fill in the blanks left by the other four.

So far, so good but what about the individual stories?

What's good is pretty good, what's bad is real, real bad.

The first story is "In the Forests of the Night," by Jay Lake. It is bad. The worst of the bunch. The story concerns a messiah-like figure called Tyger Tyger who arrives at Cascadia, a city of anti-technology greens in the Cascades in the Washington/Oregon area. The messiah-figure concept was done poorly, the anti-capitalist, anti-technology, anti-religion angle was silly (for example, in one scene creationists storm the geology department of a university and kill all of the geologists). I doubt that Lake actually understands the meaning of the political term "Libertarian" and he certainly overuses the phrase "reputation economics" - in fact the concept is bantered around in the book so often that you'd think this was a new idea. Nah - just overuse of a cool-sounding phrase.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary Jo DiBella on January 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had high hopes for this because I have read and books from several of the authors. Sadly, I don't think it represents their best work.

The first story set the mood... and maybe I am just dumb but I didn't 'get' it. Yes, there was some lovely imagery, descriptions that I could picture so clearly in my mind's eye. It was the story that lacked. What exactly was happening? And more importantly, what was the point?

Overall, this is my biggest problem with these stories. There is a message here, a overbearingly presented 'Capitalism is bad, Environmentalism is good' that overlaid all aspects of each story and frankly it spoiled them. It was hard to follow the stories when this message kept getting in the way.

I stopped and started listening a lot because I just couldn't relate to the characters and thus I could not enjoy the stories.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Soar on January 31, 2010
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
From a conceptual point of view, I liked the proposed vision of this work. The line up of authors had me excited. Upon listening, I grew frustrated and annoyed with the first 3 stories and eventually, got to enjoy the last 2 stories.

My message to the authors is to remember first and foremost to tell a good story. I felt like, for several of the authors, the priority was to bash me over the head with beliefs about global warming, capitalism, and what I am doing wrong today that will cause the terrible conditions the world is in in the stories. And that took me right out of the story... instead as I listened, I questioned beliefs and conclusions in the underlying structure of the universe in the stories and was busy doing that and not caught up in the plot. Whatever the authors' intents were, this is how it came through to me.

For me... the last 2 stories were enjoyable and well written. Whether or not I agreed with the underlying premise, I enjoyed the stories, got caught up in the plot, and was exposed in a pleasant way to the universe that it felt like the first 3 authors were trying to force feed to me. Whether or not all 5 stories are messages I and others need to hear clearly, the last 2 stories had a much better chance of being 'heard'.
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