Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Hie from Far Cilenia by Karl Schroeder (from Metatropolis)

This is the last story in this audio collection, and it has a decidedly different tone that what came before. Instead of an actual city, this story takes place in a series of virtual cities - interactive, multiplayer game cities which future residents have chosen to abandon the real world to inhabit. There is a larger plot - Gennady, a contractor hired to find stolen plutonium, and Miranda, an anthropologist looking for her lost son, are trying to track down a shipment of plutonium believed to have been stolen by someone in one of these virtual cities. However, the exploration of the cities themselves were, to me, much more interesting than the larger story.

With the ever-growing fascination of massively multi-player online games, it is not a stretch to imagine a time when people literally abdicate their lives in the "real" world in favor of one of these online societies. The complex politics and economics of Shroeder's virtual worlds were fascinating, and I was fully engaged throughout the story.

I definitely enjoyed this anthology - in fact, it's soon to be available in print form, and I'm seriously considering making that purchase.

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