It's the 2070s. The United States is no longer united, and the breakaway territory of Cascadia in the Pacific Northwest has created its own myths and realities. In this sequel to the first METATROPOLIS anthology (2008), six award-winning science fiction writers share a brash, finely detailed world. Each narrator is a recognizable Star Trek series alumnus. This is a bonus, especially in the cases of Wil Wheaton's reading of "Byways" by Tobias Buckell and Gates McFadden's reading of "Confessor" by Elizabeth Bear. Their voices are so familiar that they envelop the listener in the fascinating unfamiliar territory. It's like listening to old friends tell new tales. These are well-crafted novellas about a brave, new near-future.
This provocative sequel to the Hugo and Audie Award nominated METAtropolis features interconnected stories by today's top writers of speculative fiction - performed by a galaxy of Star Trek stars.
As the mid-20th century approaches, the Pacific Northwest has been transformed - politically, economically, and ecologically - into the new reality of Cascadia. Conspiracies and secrets threaten the tenuous threads of society. The End of Days seems nearer than ever. And the legend of the mysterious Tygre Tygre looms large.
METAtropolis: Cascadia is the creation of Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee Jay Lake; Mary Robinette Kowal, winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; New York Times best-selling author Tobias S. Buckell; Hugo Award winner Elizabeth Bear; Aurora Award winner Karl Schroeder; and critically acclaimed author Ken Scholes. The team of narrators is any Star Trek fan's dream: Rene Auberjonois ("Odo"); Kate Mulgrew ("Capt. Kathryn Janeway"); Wil Wheaton ("Wesley Crusher"); Gates McFadden ("Dr. Beverly Crusher"); Jonathan Frakes ("Cmdr. William Riker"); and LeVar Burton ("Geordi La Forge"). Jay Lake, who also served as Project Editor, introduces this stunning sequel, written and produced exclusively for digital audio.
©2010 Joseph E. Lake, Jr., Mary Robinette Kowal, Tobias S. Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, Karl Schroeder, Ken Scholes (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
Take the finest organic creative talents, stew them over an apocalyptic dystopia, then carefully refine and mature in optimism. Stir in a balanced amount of green and blue sky thinking. And you'll have Metatropolis: Cascadia.
As the follow-up to the original Metatropolis it benefits from the lessons learned there. A tighter geographical focus and a shared backstory that ties in several pieces.
A capable crew of narrators; all of whom are Star Trek alumni, adds a little more geek credibility to garnish the dish. And the duties are ably handled. There is one common ingredient to the stories and it's a rare one. Hope. In sci-fi there's a lot of endless boots stamping on faces that the protagonists have to fight; here that boot has landed, moved on and this is what happens afterwards. Quite a while afterwards.
This means some of you are going to hate it. That's okay. The two key pieces for me are The Bull Dancers by Jay Lake which ties into the backstory more so than the others. And the fascinating Water Into Wine by Mary Robinette Kowal. Don't let anyone tell you that Viniculture isn't fertile ground for speculative writing.
Overall a fine body of work and one which I hope will bear further fruit.
I thought it would be impossible to top the original Metatropolis, but Cascadia does it - in spades. There is a greater unity to the stories - all set in a plausible near-future in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Jay Lake's opening story and Ken Scholes' closing story are especially connected, and provide perfect bookends. The added bonus is terrific narration by some of the most memorable actors of the Star Trek franchise. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite, but you can't go wrong with the likes of LeVar Burton, Kate Mulgrew or Wil Wheaton. A great listen all around!
"Some good, some bad"
When I saw that Audible did a follow up to the original METATropolis, I was interested to see what they had done to one of my favorite programs.
"The Bull Dancers": Extension of "Forests of the Night" the original leadoff. Pretty decent story other than the fact that it went on for much too long (3 hrs). Rene Auberjonois was decent, however most of his characters sound like Odo from Star Trek.
"Water to Wine": A wonderful tale that fits well in the Cascadia cycle. Definiteley a good choice of narrator
"Byways": Extension of "Stochasti-city". Didn't work as well as the other stories, but Wil Wheaton definiteley got the same rhythm/pacing that the original had.
"Confessor": Right length, however all the characters (male and female) all sounded the same, so identifying which story line we were on is difficult.
"Deonand": The Bad of the book. While the text is spot on, Frakes is not the right person to be narrating this segment. His butchering of Gennady (pronounced Go-Knot-ee) Malianov is so disjointed as compared to "To Hie from Far Cilenia"
In short I can tell which narrators had gone over the previous work (if there was one) and which did not. Audible, If you care about this book and the series please bring Stefan Rudniki in and re-record Deonand.
"Another great Metatropolis Series"
After hooked on the first series of Metatropolis, I had to also listen to the sequence. It's great to catch up with some of the characters from the initial series and to see how things developed. Each story is brilliant, filled with many inventive details, that are scarily likely to develop at the same time. Metatropolis Cascadia plays entirely in the USA/Canadian area, it would be interesting to read Metatropolis stories from other parts of the world.
"a little dissapointing"
Having enjoyed the concept of the first Metatropolis, I was excited to listen to this one. I was hoping for more of what made the first so good. The creativity of the first collaboration just wasn't here. These stories aren't quite as strong but rely on the inclusion of characters from the first to maintain the readers interest.
A good choice if you wondered what happened to a character. Most of the readers are mediocre and tend to act more than narrate.
"One of the first books I ever listened to"
I've now been through this title twice - it was just as good the second time around as it was the first. Its a wonderful read - a future that could happen and who knows, might. I like the collaborative style that the different short stories bring and well, the reading talent, amazing. If I could suggest two titles that every audio book nut should read - METAtropolis and METAtropolis: Cascadia are the two!
"Science fiction for thinkers"
This is an exceptionally good book of speculative fiction. What a relief from ridiculous vampire novels and vapid space operas. The book builds on the first volume and the stories are all as good and most are better. Like good speculative fiction they are not predictions of the future but vehicles for looking at current issues--ecological breakdown, privatized military and law enforcement, genetic experimentation, adding intelligence to formerly unintelligent things, and many other ideas. And they are great stories by some of the best new scifi writers. And I thought the reading was superb. On the contrary, actors often make the best readers. Next task for me is to see what else each these authors have written.
"Good collection with an exception"
This is a good collection of stories with a cohesive arc. The stories are interesting and held my attention, but some of the stories were less than subtle and a little heavy handed. In particular the final story that deals with a preacher replacing his faith in a divine plan with a faith in humanity. I cannot fault the author too much, characters in short stories are often 2 dimensional out of necessity, but some of the characterizations are a bit too easy. Other than that, I enjoyed this story and the performance of the Star Trek actors was thoroughly professional. Some of the best readings I have heard on audible are in this collection.
I liked it a lot; enough to buy the other one. Liked them both a lot. Loved how the other one has so many different stories, but they all relate.
"Excellent sequel to METAtropolis"
Even tho' a Sci-Fi fan, I had found METAtropolis disjointed, difficult to follow, and had to listen to the story 2x to establish a foothold on what Jay Lake was trying to accomplish. NOT SO with Cascadia.
I found Cascadia entertaining, easy to follow (with the exception of Bull Dancers), most of the narration well done, even tho' for some of the narrators this is not a primary occupation, but most of all, the characters thoroughly engaging, realistic, so much so that I sort of hated to see some of the short stories stop. There was good interplay between the stories, but not so obvious that it felt like one long novel. It seemed clear that the authors had worked well together, with Jay Lake accomplishing some good coordination. It also takes place primarily in the geographic area where I live. .
I heartily recommend the book to any Sci-Fi fan; it will probably appeal to most people interested in our country's future.
I should have known better when I didn't see either the original readers or John Scalzi associated with this project. In this sort of collection the editor has a strong influence over the course of the stories. The replacement of the original readers with Star Trek cast when no less than four characters were recycled from the previous Metatropolis was a very bad decision.
Great narration but very weak story lines. A great disappointment. I actually regret buying the series. That is a first for me.
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