NOMINATED FOR A NEBULA AWARD. Walter Jon Williams’ classic science fantasy Metropolitan is once again available for a new generation of readers.
Aiah has fought her way from poverty and discovered a limitless source of plasm, the mysterious substance that powers the world-city. Her discovery soon involves her with Constantine, the charismatic, dangerous, seductive revolutionary who plans to overthrow, not simply the government, but the cosmic order . . .
“A spectacular blend of fantastic science, high politics, and low intrigue . . . Williams’s world and characters are richly imagined yet utterly real.”
“Entertaining . . . Williams understands that science fiction can breathe life into language . . . [His] writing is always lean, lively and engaging.
New York Times Book Review
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.