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a book you folks should check out for sure

Hi. I am a teacher, and I sometimes write book reviews which our
library posts on its blog. Below is a review of a compliation of
short stories called metatropolis, edited by John Scalzi. Definitely
worth checking out with the unique bike references.



I'll start right off by highly recommending this compilation of five
futuristic, eco-agro short (roughly fifty pages each) stories. Two
are set in locally in Cascadia, described as a corridor extending from
Portland north to Vancouver.

Fortuitously, reading these short stories with Straphanger (in
particular, the chapter on bike use in Copenhagen) fresh in my mind
was a real bonus. Three of the stories feature bikes as the preferred
mode of transport because most citizens simply cannot afford
fossil-fueled or electric vehicles In one, there is a bunch of
bike-riding eco-terrorists laying siege to Detroit: their strategies
reminded me of the Critical Mass demonstrations we often see on
Vancouver's streets.

Another aspect of this compilation which left its mark in my
imagination is the way certain motifs/references flow through the
stories despite radical differences in setting and character. The
editor, John Scalzi, shares interesting info on the group
brainstorming/editing sessions the authors engaged in through the
writing process.

Check it out! With all the discussion currently surrounding the
Enridge Pipeline, making very clear the fact that fossil fuels are not
going to disapear from the energy market any time soon, this
collection gives us an intriguing, albeit pretty darn bleak, glimpse
into what future generations of Earthlings have to look forward to.

~Thanks so much for the review Rick! I'll be sure to check that out. Super, I want more book reviews on this blog :-) It reminds me we haven't even mentioned Critical Mass San Francisco's 20th Anniversary this past September. I think Chris Carllson must have put something out to commemorate that. Sorry for the dereliction of duty, CM readers, I'll be sure to let you know when I check that out.

I'm not sure how Critical Mass could resemble "eco-terror" but that will be interesting to see that story. I do hope it's not a bleak dystopian future. Those books are a bit of a tired trope... though something that our Christian based culture certainly enjoys: (Depeche Mode Lyric) Everybody's waiting for Judgement Day, so they can go, "Told ya so!"  (A guilty pleasure of mine for instance is reading Douglas Coupland describe post apocalypse Vancouver locations that I personally know)

One of my favourite things about Miriam Webster's 1998 novel, The Age of the Bicycle, is that it is not dystopian even though that is the genre. From Chunk 666's manifesto (I highly recommend their fun zine): "People think that the post-apocalyptic world will be all rough and tough, hard living and scrabbling for survival, but that's not true at all..."


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