What happens when you get several stellar SF authors together to come up with one setting? METAtropolis, that's what! Created by 2008 Hugo Award winners John Scalzi and Elizabeth Bear, Campbell Award winner Jay Lake, plus fan favorites Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder, METAtropolis is "a world where big cities are dying, dead--or transformed into technological megastructures. Where once-thriving suburbs are now treacherous Wilds. Where those who live for technology battle those who would die rather than embrace it. It is a world of zero-footprint cities, virtual nations, and armed camps of eco-survivalists." Frankly, this sounds like something I'm going to enjoy--a lot.
Even more interesting, the concept was devised as an audio book, now available on Audible.com, and they're offering a free chapter, part of Jay Lake's contribution. I've listened to it, and it's very cool indeed. Especially since the audiobook is brought to you by actors from Battlestar Galactica, among others!
Earlier today, I spoke to Jay Lake about his involvement in the project...
"One of the most interesting aspects was the advance world-building. We were working in shared continuity, but not in a true shared world mode. Once we'd had the pins set, we kept passing our drafts around, so people could weave in nuggets of one another's backstory. For me personally, the best part of the project was completely extratextual. I was diagnosed with colon cancer immediately prior to the time I'd allotted for this work. I informed editor John Scalzi and our publishers at Audible that I'd need to drop out, as I planned to spend most of the month of May either in the hospital or at home heavily medicated. The response was to move the entire project back three months so I could still be included, post-operatively. This story was the first fiction I wrote after my surgery, and it was a very important moment for me to be able to deliver something which seemed to suit the project so well. I hadn't been sure I would find my way back to my fiction."
Go check it out--you won't be disappointed!