Most of you, I suspect, are well aware of my utter disinterest in anything relating to professional sports, so it may amuse you to know I am part of a fantasy football league, which I joined last season at the behest of my friend Norm, who needed another warm body to fill out his league, and to which I continue to be a part of more or less for the same reason. My team is the called the “Mediocre Walloons,” and my strategy for the team is to let the computers pick the team members, and then to do nothing from week to week, save swap the players around in case of injuries and/or bye weeks, if I can be bothered to remember, which sometimes I cannot.
The result so far? Well, at the moment I am at the top of the league, with a 6-1 record, including a game this week that I should have lost because I forgot to swap an injured quarterback and thus gained no points from that position, but which I won anyway. I am delighted by this turn of events, not because I care about the standings, but because I know other people in the league do, and I imagine it annoys them that the one guy who isn’t actually paying much attention is kicking ass. However, with a team name like “Mediocre Walloons,” you may imagine I will not be too put out if everything goes downhill from here. Indeed, I fully expect it will. But for now: Baby, I’m on top.
Which comes from SFFaudio, appropriately enough, and it’s a good one:
… this is a thought-provoking, exciting group of stories that deserves high praise. An SFFaudio Essential!
Well, shucks. It’s nice to start off on a good foot.
And just in case you needed them: Some reasons why the Metatropolis, the audiobook anthology I edited and which is out today, totally rocks and you should all rush out and get it right now.
1. Because it’s the first and so far only time that Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Karl Schroeder and I have combined forces. Well, except for that one time at a convention where we all, like, went and got dinner. But you weren’t there to enjoy those spicy nachos with us! You can enjoy this! Yes, we have combined forces — like a rock and roll supergroup or a league of super beings — and we have come together for a single goal, which in this case is not to perform half-hour pot-scented prog-rock jams or fight Galctor, Interdimensional Digester of Worlds, but to entertain you. Yes, you. You specifically. We all got together and said, “but most importantly, how will we best entertain [Your Name Here]?” It’s the personal touch that makes it work, really.
2. Because our all-star cast of story readers (Battlestar Galactica’s Michael Hogan, Alessandro Juliani and Kandyse McClure, plus legendary audiobook narrators Scott Brick and Stefan Rudnicki) are actually made of awesome. You think I’m exaggerating, but an international team of top scientists took them all into the lab and took samples, which they then ran through gas chromatography and DNA analysis and that spinny thing that goes fwwwwwwwfffffffffaaaaaa. And here’s what the tests say they’re made of: 3% carbon, 6% water, and 91% awesome. They speculate that the carbon and water exist only to provide a colloidal suspension for all that awesome. Now, I’m not a scientist, but that makes sense to me.
3. Because this collection of stories — of a future in which economic and environmental declines have changed the very nature of what cities are — has a topic which is excruciatingly perfect for the moment, don’t you think? I mean, hey: Economic turmoil, countries on the brink, Iceland selling its children for cash on the barrelhead to buy Purina Viking Chow — who could have predicted? Well, we could have. We did. It’s all right here. And you ask, well, if you predicted it, why didn’t you do anything about it? Well, you know. We’re writers. What are we going to do, prop up the global economy with the change in our pockets? Hey, we need that for the Styrofoam vat of cheap convenience store coffee we use to make it through the day. And anyway, we did do something. We wrote these stories. Everything you need to know to survive the next, oh, 70 years is in this audio anthology. And if it’s not, at the end of those 70 years, you come see me and I’ll personally give you a refund. You’re welcome.
4. The audio nature of this anthology means that you can do other things while you listen, including but not limited to Web surfing, cleaning the house, driving long distances (download the anthology onto your iPod or other player or onto CDs to do this, unless you have a very long extension cord), yoga, ninja yoga, fighting the zombie hordes, blasting across the Bonneville salt flats in a monkey-navigated rocket car, field dressing a yak or emu, performing Lasik surgery, and, of course, hot, sweet, tender lovemaking of the sort you previously thought was only possible between movie stars and/or ecstasy-infused stoats. Oh, yes. Don’t ask me how I know about this last one.
5. The rumors that not listening to Metatropolis will plunge you into the sort of existential malaise not seen since the Carter years are, oh, probably not true. On the other hand, why take that chance? I’ve seen your life, dude. You don’t need any more pain. Also, the rumors to converse — i.e., that listening to Metatropolis makes you smarter and more attractive to the people you want to be more attractive to — have not been substantiated, either. But I have to say that personally and wholly anecdotally, since listening to the anthology, I brain no longer the dumb got have, and no matter how hard I try, I just can’t stop people from wanting to perform hot, sweet, tender lovemaking on me. Really, it’s getting kind of annoying. I have deadlines. Your mileage may vary.
Aside from all the really excellent reasons above, here’s one more: That this anthology features really good stories from really good writers, performed by really good readers, and I think it’s one of the best and most interesting fiction projects I’ve been involved with. I’m honored to be able to present it to you with Bear, Toby, Jay, Karl, all our readers and with Audible, which did such a great job in putting all the elements together.
Welcome to Metatropolis. I hope you enjoy it.