Metropolitan and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Metropolitan Mass Market Paperback


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, Import
"Please retry"
$1.94
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$8.29 $0.01

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Eos (February 23, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061054410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061054419
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,836,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The world created in Williams's (Aristoi) latest novel is similar enough to our own that the SF aspects blend with noir stylings to create a potent atmosphere of urban dystopia. Williams tells the tale of Aiah, a lower-level government functionary whose investigation of a "plasm" leak leads her into a macabre alliance with the powerful rebel Constantine, whose financial success has been built in part on a failed revolution he instigated several years before. Joined by Constantine's associate and occasional paramour Sorya (who declares, paraphrasing Leona Helmsley, that "laws are made by little people"), the three valiantly plan to restart the revolution. The action is often hectic, complete with several red herrings concerning who will betray whom first. Williams's great strengths, though, are his depiction of future society-in "the city that girdles the world," street vendors sell roasted pigeon-on-a-stick-and his understanding of the roots of political rebellion; here, he presents a solid case that rebellion arises not in response to large evils but to small slights. Ever the expert storyteller, Williams is also careful to provide more than enough suspense to maintain reader interest.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

As an executive employed by the Plasm Authority, an organization responsible for monitoring the distribution of the geo-plasmic energy that fuels the workings of the world's elite technomancers, Aiah dreams of escape from her confining and stagnant existence. When she discovers a limitless source of unregistered plasm, she embarks on a daring scheme that raises her to the threshold of political power. Set upon a planet dominated by one globe-spanning metropolitan sprawl, Williams's latest novel envisions a world in which magic and technology form an unbreachable coalition. Although the author of Days of Atonement (LJ 3/15/91) continues to explore new territory, his focus rests solidly on the creation of believable, sympathetic characters supported by a well-turned plot. Libraries should consider this a priority purchase.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
12
4 star
5
3 star
1
2 star
2
1 star
0
See all 20 customer reviews
I thought this was very well handled.
Richard R. Horton
I liked this so much in paperback that I bought it for my Kindle, too, to read it again.
Rebecca A. Stillwell
All the main characters progress and grow over the story arc.
Gustavo Lanzas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Horton on June 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've read quite a few Walter Jon Williams stories, generally with considerable enjoyment, but the only novels I've read by him are the first two Drake Majistral "entertainments". Those are fun, but light. For more serious Williams, people strongly recommended Metropolitan. And, indeed, this book is really good.
It fits in that genre called "Science Fantasy", in that it involves the use of magic, but that that magic is understandable and given a quasi-scientific backing. This seems to be set on Earth, possibly very far in the future or perhaps an alternate Earth. Millennia previously, the Ascended Ones have placed a "shield" around Earth. No one can escape. However, a source of (essentially magical) energy called "plasm" is available, and it is used for power generation, telepresence, and other uses both "magical" and "scientific" (also commercial). Plasm use is regulated and taxed, and the protagonist, Aiah, is a lowly functionary at the Plasm Authority. She is a talented member of the oppressed Barkazil ethnicity in an area dominated by the Jaspeeri. As such it has been a struggle for her to attend university and graduate to this job, and to get a decent apartment with her Jaspeeri lover, another functionary. One day she witnesses a burning woman, a manifestation of unregulated plasma gone out of control. She is assigned to the team tracking down the illegal plasma source. She's sent on what she thinks is a wild goose chase, but as it happens she finds the source, and on an impulse decides to hide her find and try to sell plasma on the black market. She has some difficulty finding a buyer, and finally stumbles on the notion of selling it to the prestigious, rich, former rebel Metropolitan (i.e. something like a mayor), Constantine.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I just finished Metropolitan, and I really didn't think old W.J. could write such a cool tome.His previous books are good reads, but this thing is seriously excellent, creating a world that reflects ours through a dark and weirdly curved glass. Class, race, personal and cultural history shape many, many of the characters in interesting ways. Even the people that exist only for a page or two have more depth to them than you will find in most nebula winning novels
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By HaloJonesFan on April 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Metropolitan is the kind of story that, today, we'd probably call "urban fantasy", although it's more fantastical than most of that genre. In the indistinctly-far future, the world has been encased in an energy barrier known as the Shield, and the entire surface of the planet has been combined into a single megastructure. In this world, an energy known as "plasm" is generated by the confluence of so much structure; this energy can be harnessed and used by humans, to create magical effects.

In this story we meet Aiah, a low-level government bureaucrat who finds a hidden plasm source of unprecedented power. As the story progresses, she uses this power to learn the ways of magic and to unlock the potential hidden in herself--potential both in her talent, and in her person. The story discusses several concepts related to power and morality; its chief message is more or less spelled out when one character says "you need to learn to know you want, as opposed to rationalizing what you have had to accept." Yeah, it's a "bootstraps" kind of story--we should all be so lucky as to find our own personal nuclear reactor, right?--but it's still a well-done exploration of how someone might transform from a mousy little office worker to a major revolutionary figure.

I very much enjoyed reading this work; the world, the plot, and the writing were all intriguing. The writing starts out somewhat lyrical and rhythmic, but settles down after the first chapter or so. I'm glad to see that the rights to this work were cleared up (and reverted to the author) so that I could share my enjoyment with a new generation of readers.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pamela W. Yaste on March 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Missing "pages" in kindle edition made this a frustrating and unpleasant reading experience. Perhaps once a corrected e-version in available, I will give it another go. But for now, its just not possible to keep the storyline moving when there are gaps as much as 5 pages long.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kpep on March 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I did end up reading this book and the sequel City on Fire out of sheer momentum, I am not sure I can really recommend either book very highly. They are exactly what the Amazon 3 stars rating advertises... "It's okay". The world is fun, and the plot moves along nicely, but the characters are really hard to deal with. If $5 is a deal for you to spend on a book, you won't be disappointed. It was nominated for a Nebula so that is something... but nominated is not the same as winning.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gustavo Lanzas on May 2, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recently re-read both these books, and I was again impressed with the quality of WJW's writing. I've read and enjoyed most of his other books (some notable ones being Aristoi, Voice of the Whirlwind, Angel Station, etc) and love the way he paints such a large landscape beyond the edges of the story. In Metropolitan, in particular, the descriptions of the world-city are a fascinating blend of hard-boiled urban noir, chrome-finned retrofuturism, and gritty realistic detail. Some parallels could be drawn to stories like "Perdido Street Station" by China Mieville.

All the main characters progress and grow over the story arc. The Aiah at the end of City on Fire is not the same girl we meet in the begining of Metropolitan.

Finally, I appreciate that WJW actually made his main characters have distinct and interesting ethnicities. The majority of american writers have no problem including all sorts of incredible aliens, but rarely have anyone who is not caucasian as a protagonist in the story. And race is actually a factor in the story line, not just a PC sop, ala Star Trek.

Highly recommend anything by this author.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa2f113c0)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?