Brenda Cooper

Reading Recommendation: METAtropolis

I just listened to 9 hours of METAtropolis – a podcast of original stories in a linked world, edited by John Scalzi.  The writers are Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, and Karl Schroeder. Pretty neat list, huh?

I walked the dog, killed weeds by separating them decidedly from the soil, walked the dog, tugged up more stubborn roots, sorted the laundry, walked the dog in Discovery Park, and finally fed the rhodies (all the weeding was to expose the rhodies so I could feed them – they had become mired in ivy and ground cover)  and with 16 minutes of the last story left I couldn’t bear to stop so I dug up a bunch of dandelions until the closing comments had rolled by.

Each story is good by itself.  The way the stories linked was even better.  Because of this linkage, the world the authors create is even more believable.

Our future is going to be in cities.  I talk about this often as a futurist – how for the first time, sometime in the next year or two if not already, more people will live in cities than everywhere else.  Some of our cities are already bigger than some countries.  All of our cities – everywhere on the planet – will have to deal with climate change and ecology and energy.  METAtropolis is the exploration of what these trends might mean for all of us in the future…

METAtropolis is nominated for Hugo award – where science fiction fans vote for favorite works.  It deserves the award.  I won’t manage to see all of the movies it’s up against (it really is up against movies!) but in my heart of hearts I want this to win.  It is what science fiction is about – taking possible futures and spinning them so that we understand the consequences of our now.

I recommend this book (as far as I know only available as a podcast from Audible) for my futurist audience as well as other sci fi readers.