Metropolitan

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Overview

Aiah is bored with her dead-end job of meting out plasm, the mysterious and powerful material created from the intrinsic power of the city's structures. When she stumbles upon an unlimited source of the precious substance, she's found her ticket to a new life. Daring to team up with the handsome and powerful Metropolitan known as Constantine, Aiah embarks upon a revolutionary plan that could change the world as they know it.

"A spectacular blend of fantastic science, high ...

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1995 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. NEVER READ. NO NAMES NO MARKS NO WRITINGS. D/J HAS A PROTECTIVE COVER. HAS SHELF WEAR AND REMINDER. I THINK YOU WILL BE HAPPY. THANKS ... Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 342 p. Audience: General/trade. HAS SHELF WEAR. Read more Show Less

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Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 1995 H Hardcover New/Fine 1st ed/1st pr, SIGNED by author on title page. This book is square, solid, and unread; boards are unbumped with sharp ... tips. The sharp and lustrous DJ is in protective mylar Brodart cover. You'll eat a chili dog with delight when this book arrives at your door--with onions and all the fixins! ! ! Read more Show Less

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1995 Hardcover New in new dust jacket. First Edition. First Edition, Harper Prism 1995, New Hardcover with dust jacket, clean, tight, unmarked, (Fine with Fine Dust Jacket), a ... fine unread copy-ss All orders are shipped by kbooks every business day. Read more Show Less

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Metropolitan

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Overview

Aiah is bored with her dead-end job of meting out plasm, the mysterious and powerful material created from the intrinsic power of the city's structures. When she stumbles upon an unlimited source of the precious substance, she's found her ticket to a new life. Daring to team up with the handsome and powerful Metropolitan known as Constantine, Aiah embarks upon a revolutionary plan that could change the world as they know it.

"A spectacular blend of fantastic science, high politics, and low intrigue...Williams' world

and characters are richly imagined yet utterly real." --Melissa Scott, author of Trouble and Her Friends

"Blends SF aspects with noir stylings to create a potent atmosphere or urban dystopia...Ever the expert storyteller, Williams provides more than enough suspense." --Publishers Weekly

- A Science Fiction Book Club selection

- Williams is the author of ten superbly reviewed SF books.

Aiah has learned that plasm is more than an energy source. It resonates within the human mind, giving power to heal and to kill. So when she finds an undiscovered, unlimited supply, she dares to meet with the powerful Metropolitan known as Constantine, a mysterious rebel with plans. Together they can use the plasm to rally forces to overthrow the government.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The world created in Williams's (Aristoi) latest novel is similar enough to our own that the SF aspects blend with noir stylings to create a potent atmosphere of urban dystopia. Williams tells the tale of Aiah, a lower-level government functionary whose investigation of a ``plasm'' leak leads her into a macabre alliance with the powerful rebel Constantine, whose financial success has been built in part on a failed revolution he instigated several years before. Joined by Constantine's associate and occasional paramour Sorya (who declares, paraphrasing Leona Helmsley, that ``laws are made by little people''), the three valiantly plan to restart the revolution. The action is often hectic, complete with several red herrings concerning who will betray whom first. Williams's great strengths, though, are his depiction of future society-in ``the city that girdles the world,'' street vendors sell roasted pigeon-on-a-stick-and his understanding of the roots of political rebellion; here, he presents a solid case that rebellion arises not in response to large evils but to small slights. Ever the expert storyteller, Williams is also careful to provide more than enough suspense to maintain reader interest. (Apr.)
Library Journal
As an executive employed by the Plasm Authority, an organization responsible for monitoring the distribution of the geo-plasmic energy that fuels the workings of the world's elite technomancers, Aiah dreams of escape from her confining and stagnant existence. When she discovers a limitless source of unregistered plasm, she embarks on a daring scheme that raises her to the threshold of political power. Set upon a planet dominated by one globe-spanning metropolitan sprawl, Williams's latest novel envisions a world in which magic and technology form an unbreachable coalition. Although the author of Days of Atonement (LJ 3/15/91) continues to explore new territory, his focus rests solidly on the creation of believable, sympathetic characters supported by a well-turned plot. Libraries should consider this a priority purchase.
Carl Hays
Williams' latest novel reaches into an indeterminate, surrealistic future in which Earth's energy needs are met by a powerful, much coveted substance known as plasm. Aiah holds an influential but monotonous position in a plasm utility company, doling out energy to its wealthy patrons and ticketing scofflaws who conceal unmetered plasm for their own uses. While out on a fieldwork assignment, she stumbles across an untapped mother lode of plasm and discovers that the substance will not only run cities but has the power to transform her own life and destiny. Seeking to gain control of her newfound resource, Aiah allies herself with a rich, savvy "metropolitan" named Constantine, and together they hatch a plan to overthrow the oppressive power structure around them. Williams quirkily combines the almost archetypal magical energy source with such anachronistic devices as pneumatic tubes and oval video screens in an endearingly different vision of power.
Publishers Weekly
Blends SF aspects with noir stylings to create a potent atmosphere or urban dystopia . . . Ever the expert storyteller, Williams provides more than enough suspense.
New York Times Book Review - New York Times
Entertaining . . . Williams understands that science fiction can breathe life into language . . . [His] writing is always lean, lively and engaging
Melissa Scott
A spectacular blend of fantastic science, high politics, and low intrigue . . . Williams’s world and characters are richly imagined yet utterly real.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061052125
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/1995
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Jon Williams is an author, traveler, kenpo fiend, and scuba maven. After an early career as a historical novelist, he switched to science fiction. His first novel to attract serious public attention was Hardwired (1986), described by Roger Zelazny as "a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe-light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars." In 2001 he won a Nebula Award for his novelette, "Daddy's World" and in 2005 another Nebula for “The Green Leopard Plague.”

Walter's subject matter has an unusually wide range, and include the glittering surfaces of Hardwired, the opulent tapestries of Aristoi, the bleak science-tinged roman policier Days of Atonement, and the pensive young Mary Shelley of the novella "Wall, Stone, Craft," which was nominated for a Hugo, Nebula, and a World Fantasy Award.

The fantasy Metropolitan, which was nominated for a Nebula Award, begins a sequence continued in a Nebula- and Hugo-nominated second novel, City on Fire. Of these works, Norman Spinrad wrote, "There's a Jules Verne solidity to it, all girders and ductwork and massively clanking machineries, a Victorian feel of iron and stone and steam somehow,beautifully and cunningly rendered. . . not only a well-realized work but a hopeful landmark of sorts . . ."

His latest work is The Fourth Wall, the third book in his series of near-future thrillers featuring game designer Dagmar Shaw.

Walter's web page may be found at
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2014

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    It's a wonderfully, original story that is a cross of fantasy and science fiction. The little nuances and attention to detail that Williams gives is a breath of fresh air. At times you think the relationship between Aiah and her family is pointless, but you soon realize that Williams is doing an excellent job in character development as well as refining the softer/peripheral points of the reality he has created.

    I loved the way the people communicated with their little ethnic idiosyncrasies of "ne" "da" and the background in the history and religion and cultural diversities. All of it was delivered in a way that showed Williams really put some thought into fleshing out his little world. I can't wait to dig into the 2nd book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

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