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Wednesdays are for books (Strings and METApolis)

I called this regular feature Wednesdays are for books (although I rather wish I’d stolen Running off the Reese’s title “Words for Nerds”). As well as reading books, I listen to a fair number of books. Although significantly slower, now that I am finally, if temporarily, in a job where I have to actually pay attention to what I am doing at work. No mindless data entry breaks, not work travel,  no audio books.
 


Anyway, I don’t always talk about the audiobooks I am listening too here, but I thought my current one is compelling enough to rate a mention. It’s called METAtropolis, and I got it free nearly a year ago. I didn't know John Scaliz was involved with the project, and  I was surprised when he mentioned on his blog that he had edited this collection, so I dug it out of the digital archives. The description didn't really grab me:

Welcome to 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.
Welcome to the dawn of uncivilization.
METAtropolis is an intelligent and stunning creation of five of today's cutting-edge science-fiction writers: 2008 Hugo Award winners John Scalzi and Elizabeth Bear; Campbell Award winner Jay Lake; plus fan favorites Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder. Together they set the ground rules and developed the parameters of this "shared universe", then wrote five original novellas - all linked, but each a separate tale.
 
But I'm loving the actual book.It very clever science fiction, thinking about different ways we could live in a post resource shortage / climate change world. I recommend this one – if you are not an audio-book person I think it would be just as good read in other formats.
 

I’m also reading a very good book, Strings, by Megan Edwards, which I received as an ARC from Net Galley. Based on the description I was a bit up in the air about requesting it, but I’m very glad I did.
 
The Merino Rose. Ted Spencer has a hard enough time believing the celebrated violin really exists. To find it sitting on his coffee table is nothing short of incredible. The stuff of legend, the exquisite Guarnerius has been missing for centuries. But even though the renowned instrument is a violin lover's dream come true, it holds only heartache for Ted. The value of the Merino Rose may be beyond measure, but he has acquired it at too high a cost. Ted found his soul mate when he met Olivia de la Vega his senior year in high school. In the school's production of Camelot, Ted was cast as Lancelot, Olivia as Guenevere. They should have spent their lives together but strings got in the way--family ties, career objectives, and the tangled web of fate. Will the Merino Rose bring the two star-crossed lovers together at last, or will their love always remain the melancholy sound of distant violins?
 
That description is quite awful, the book is not overwrought like that. It’s a good old fashioned love story, with a sympathetic main character and high quality writing.
 
It’s always a pleasure to have a great novel and a fabulous audio book on the go at the same time.

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