A few months ago, I was approached by Steve Feldberg, the Director of Content at Audible.com, who asked if I would be interested in doing an audio project with them. What project? Well, we wrestled with it for a while and came up with the idea of collecting a bunch of really interesting science fiction writers together, and letting them build a world between them. Then, having built this world as a group, each would go off and write a novella in the world — and each novella would then be turned into an audio presentation. So you get the best of both worlds: A fascinating world thought up by some of the most imaginative minds in the business — and then great stories from each of those minds in turn, each story delivered directly into your brain, through your ears.
That decided, we then approached several writers, and I’m delighted to say that we got our “A”-list choices to sign on and participate. And so for the last few months, we’ve all been quietly building a world, and then writing in the world. Now the stories are near completion and we’re getting close to audio production, so we thought it would be a good time to let you know that something really exciting is on the horizon.
Right now the project has the working title of Metatropolis, although that’s likely to change before it makes its official debut. In this audio anthology, we look to a future in which cities have become something more than just cities — and what that means for the people who live inside them, and outside of them. The cities are not utopias or dystopias (that’s too easy), and they definitely won’t be the “future cities” imagined in the illustration accompanying this. What they will be is a different way of looking at the world.
Who are the writers who have built this strange new world and the stories in them? I’m glad you asked! They are:
Elizabeth Bear (Campbell Award winner, current Hugo nominee for her story “Tideline”);
Tobias Buckell (The Nebula-nominated Ragamuffin, the upcoming Sly Mongoose);
Jay Lake (Campbell Award winner and author of Mainspring and Escapement)
Karl Schroeder (Aurora Award winner for Permanence, author of the Virga Cycle)
I’m also writing a novella in the anthology, and serving as editor for the project, although at the moment, that’s been basically confined to reading the stories everyone else has been working on and saying “Whoa, cooooooooool.” I could tell you how much fun we’ve been having doing this, but you’d just be insanely jealous. So instead I’ll just suggest to you that as much fun as we’ve been having doing this, you’ll have even more fun listening to it when it goes up on Audible.com.
And when will that be? Signs point to this fall. I’ll give you more specific dates when we have them, as well as other tidbits and details as we get closer to release.
In the meantime, just know it’s on its way, it’s very cool, and I’m very excited to be working with these folks to get this to you — and to finally be able to tell you all that it’s on the way. I think you’re going to like this. A lot.