METAtropolis by Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, & Karl Schroeder
In the Forests of the Night by Jay Lake
And I love it when two concepts coincide between different books I read. In the Forests of the Night takes an excerpt from the fictional “Bacigalupi Lectures” which describe the rise of many tiny “secret societies” made up of just two people sometimes, where people trade among themselves and use knowledge to get what they need, truly trusting few but connecting to many.
I’ve also been reading Paolo Bacigalupi. The Wind Up Girl and Pump Six are set in a future that is post-climate change and strikingly similar to the world described by METAtropolis. On Wikipedia you can learn that Bacigalupi’s works are considered to be part of the biopunk genre and perhaps METAtropolis is too.
METAtropolis was designed as an audio book, not for print, and the narrators turn it into a completely different experience than if you are reading it.
What makes this such an amazing work of art, this short story, is the tone and depth given to it by narrator Michael Hogan. I know and love him from Battlestar Galactica, and the beautiful job he does on this story is astounding. It’s as if he’s reading a poem. His voice sounds like he should be a legendary western character akin to Clint Eastwood or John Wayne.
This time it’s not the different voices for different characters that makes the narrator stand out, but instead his darkly melodious voice and the seriousness with which he goes about his task.
You can listen to this AMAZING short story by the late Jay Lake on his website, www.jlake.com.