[contests] Win a copy of METAtropolis

Metatropolis Cover

As you may already know, the Tor edition of Hugo-nominated shared-world anthology METAtropolis — featuring novellas by Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder, and me — comes out on June 8th.

We’re having a contest to give away five copies of the book, one on each of our blogs.

Which means after you enter here (contest closes on June 7th and winners will be announced on June 8th), you can enter on the other four author blogs for a pentagonal path to glory. Yes, five chances to win a free book!

For my contest, here’s what you need to do:

Post an image in comments of the city of the future. Show me what a METAtropolis really looks like. Can be a photo, a photoshop, or art. But when you post it, give me a paragraph or more of caption to make it clear what you’re thinking.

So, for example:

Tiltshift of White River Falls power house

In the future, we will all live in small rural ruins at the bottoms of the canyons because we are hiding from the megapodal landsharks that will roam the surface of the Earth from horizon to bloody horizon thanks to the drastic unravelling of John Scalzi’s genetic experiments. The Beverly Hillbillies will be our guide to Nature, and we will all eat Hostess baking products delivered by hoverboard.

I will pick the one that either makes me laugh the hardest or think the hardest. Ideally both.

Bear’s contest here: here.

Toby’s contest here.

John’s contest here.

Karl’s contest here.

(Portions of this post shamelessly nicked from .)

22 thoughts on “[contests] Win a copy of METAtropolis

  1. Rafe says:

    Not everything is darkness, but there is far less Man-light in the city. There is the sound of wind through the towers instead of cars in the streets. The voices, even when we gather, seem small against the skeletons of what troubled greatness there had been. There is enough of the old world to remind us of what’s left.

    1. Jay says:


    2. Rafe says:

      I don’t know if my graphic link was borked or not, but, hopefully, it at least showed up for you. If not, I’ll skip trying to img src= it and just post the URL.

  2. Kevin Riggle says:

    Looking at old fire maps of Boston and its suburbs, I’m always struck by the number of buildings labeled “stable or outbuilding” scattered throughout really dense bits of the city. Cities must have smelled a lot worse, and been a lot dirtier, before cars (1950’s) and indoor plumbing (1800’s) and sewage (late 1800’s). Before those innovations one could reasonably think of life in the country as healthier — cleaner and more physical — than life in a city. Now rural areas are becoming increasingly more polluted with agricultural byproducts and less active with the increasing ubiquity of automobile transportation, as cities have become less polluted and more walkable. At least in the next 50 years, this trend seems likely to continue — the quality and maintenance of our infrastructure isn’t any more necessarily dependent on cheap energy or fossil fuels now than it was 150 years ago. (Remember: the Romans had indoor plumbing.)

    That’s the good news. The bad news is that within a couple hundred years all these nice, clean, walkable cities are going to be under water.

    (The above should be taken as caption to the linked picture submission. I presume you’ve already seen the Guardian’s graph of when sea levels will submerge which cities.)

  3. http://twitpic.com/1thaxy

    Each speck of light a user, each block of users corresponding to a particular local network. This was how Jonah saw the City, through computer screens and the ocular implants he had been gifted on his 10th birthday by his uncle. His own location barely mattered; all that the City cared about was the information as it flowed. That was what the City was, more than bricks or mortar or steel rebar that tripped him up when he walked; it was the tides of information as the washed around the users eternally.

    (Cyberpunk isn’t dead, I swear it!)

  4. Scott says:


    In the future, the majority of us will be spending our lives in these clean, uniform, but depressing floors in which we waste our lives toiling away in a rote and repetition form, no variety from day to day, grasping only at a single chance of happiness here and there. And for every single moment of joy there will be a thousand hours of a deep, unfulfilled longing, the depressed and oppressed human’s outcry for the right to truly live in spirit than merely bodily function. And then, when it is unanswered and unmet we shall weep, wishing we were born in a better time, a future time, in which utopia will arrive.

    Then we wonder what future metropolis shall look like, indulge in the sanctuary offered by imagination, and go back to work.

  5. Quarto says:


    The climate’s shift brought the sands. Up from Texas, up from New Mexico and Arizona. Like the worst ravages of the Great Dustbowl but never-ending, the sands came. With the sands came the problem solvers, the madmen, the snake-oil salesmen, and the engineers. Somehow, out of the chaos of evacuees, of FEMA, and of 24 hour news coverage discussing how the encroaching sands would soon claim your home, too, a network of canals and artificial lakes and nuclear-powered desalinators formed.

    Every earth mover, steam shovel, bulldozer, and dump truck in the lower 48 drove, and men worked themselves to exhaustion. To breaking. Beyond. And two years after it started, the first cities were reclaimed from the sand, given new life by water carried from the sea. It was the last great urban project carried out by the United States; the effort bankrupted the government. But a thousand years hence, people still looked at those massive lakes, the geometric precision of the canals, and they would tell tales of men who’d worked beyond their capacity to change the whims of nature, men who’d commanded the tide like King Cantue, but who’d won.

  6. T.E.P. says:

    A high res version of my image.

    Lower res version with caption attached for improved context.

    The Caption:
    As the Maltese Falcon first proved, there was a lot which modern technology could do to improve upon 19th century commercial sailing ships. But as the world was suddenly thrust into its second age of sail and those yards who still had the skills and materials scrabbled to put hulls in the water, the living fossils of that first age were much in demand. While in the early days they maintained those most delicate tendrils of physical contact between continents once more worlds apart, naval architects, shipwrights and mariners alike all sought to re-learn from those who’d gone before.

  7. Michele says:

    In the future, the wilderness will have reclaimed cities, because it is too expensive to keep the plants at a distance and because green buildings will be healthier.

  8. Michele says:

    Here is the image link that I attempted to post in my comment about wilderness reclaiming the cities:

  9. Jon Hansen says:

    Road Farms

    The old parking lots were useless, what with all the cars trapped in them, and it was pretty clear there wouldn’t be any need for roads now. So the city council decided to use the last of the gas to tear up the roads to make farmlands. “Travel? Pfah! Who needs it!” the elders said to each other. “All you need are nice long rows to hoe.” Then they handed out farm implements to the younger folk and sat back, congratulating themselves.

  10. Jeremiah G says:

    We’ll all be living in mega cities. Like Bos-Wash and Los-Diego.

    And we’ll all live in Sim City 2000 Arcos. Because the nerds of the future said so.


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