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City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis by [Wright, John C.]
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City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 167 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

About the Author

John C. Wright is the Dragon Award-winning author of Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1270 KB
  • Print Length: 167 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Castalia House (21 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L6WI3PU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #251,431 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
More thoughtful than most time travel stories, but easier to understand and less sterile than the few stories that do really get into the implications of time travel. One story from this collection was nominated for a Hugo: the Plural of Helen of Troy. I'm not surprised. That's the deepest and most beautiful of the stories in a book that's full of deep and beautiful stories. Somehow they also manage to be really entertaining, which is pretty cool.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
John C. Wright is one of the best I know at spinning a yarn out of the fabric of space and time. This is a set of short stories that are all based on universe of Metachronopolis.

Metachronopolis is the city at the end of time. It's where time travellers live, referred to as "time wardens". They're the ones who keep things organised -- well, at least they're supposed to. Like police in many parts of today's world, a lot of them are corrupt and self seeking.

They're not the only ones there. Just about every famous personality in history is also there. The time wardens are capable of showing up an instant before a person's death, and replacing them with a dead clone of themselves. It happens in a split second, so no one sees it happening. In other words, that wasn't John F. Kennedy's body you saw being rushed to the hospital on that momentous day in 1963, but his clone.

In each tale, Wright does a different acrobatic stunt, each with an unexpected twist on time travel. They're all stand alone stories, but the last sort of ties the whole concept together by showing us what it's really all about.

A must read...
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Format: Kindle Edition
Bought direct from publisher. I cannot recommend this more highly. Time travel is often just a plot device but here John C. Wright takes it to its ultimate consequence and pulls off the perfect conclusion. I will reread this again and again. Beautifully written too.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Dreadful stuff. Buy if you fancy badly written melodrama dripping with adjectives. I didn't.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 64 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old-time Sci-Fi resurrected 1 Jun. 2015
By Sean McKay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book. The collection of tales was a delight to read and hearkened back to the fun of the old time Sci-Fi. I ordered this collection because I had read the story "The Plural of Helen of Troy" from this collection for the 2015 Hugos. I loved the story, loved the twists and I hope it wins the Hugo for Best Novella. All of the stories in this collection are excellent, but I still favor the one that led me to it.

The rest of the review is my notes for the Hugo nomination novella : The Plural of Helen of Troy
The backwards in time storytelling reminiscent of Memento worked, as there was a reason for it beyond just being a storytelling trick. The characters were very enjoyable, especially as Wright kept unraveling the layers of the story. Even the simple conversation with the first Helen took on new meaning as the story progressed. Wright’s strength in this story (and also in Pale Reams of Shade) are in the unraveling of the onion, revealing with time throughout the story — longer stories are better suited for Mr. Wright’s skills.

The premise was great (a better version of Enterprise’s temporal cold war), and as a Protestant, I would say I saw shades of purgatory in the story (near the end). And as far as the purgatory goes, I liked this presentation. One of the sad realities of our mechanistic/utilitarian world seems to be that even in our fiction we don’t have room for the ineffable and hopeful, and so even stories about people fighting for a better world (all of them) leaves the world sterile and without heart — not even a simple concept of good vs evil is allowed. Wright’s Jake is like David Dunn from Unbreakable, there is a hole in his heart, a sense of loss that comes out in his jaded interactions with the world, and this is because the purpose and meaning of life has been taken them.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, Dark, and Twisting ... The Best Kind of Time Travel Stories. 25 Aug. 2015
By Big Illy Style - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my introduction to John C. Wright, and I've since read his Golden Oecumene trilogy, as well as a few other short stories. This collection was incredibly smart and thought-provoking, with a fascinating world and interesting, compelling characters.

Wright made me think of time travel in a new way, and he does this by thoroughly exploring not only the logical and illogical consequences of time-travel, but also the spiritual and moral consequences of the act. If you can use time travel to erase your mistakes, what does that mean for right and wrong? Why not commit whatever terrible act you think of on a whim if you can always go back and undo it ... if you want to. The stories are all excellent, with a lot of suspenseful and haunting tales. The first one, Murder in Metachronopolis, is probably my favorite. I only wish there were even more stories in this book.

Wright fully deserves high praise for writing a set of very inventive, intelligent stories that thoroughly examine the inner effects of time travel just as much as the temporal ones. These stories made me excited to read science fiction again. Great stories, and I hope we see more from him in this vein. And someone call Hollywood and put Jake Frontino on the big screen!
4.0 out of 5 stars I've always liked the time travel themes and have been interested in ... 4 May 2017
By mark s. nelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished reading this book. It's my first from the author and the first sci-fi I've read in a long time, mostly because I've just gotten tired of trying to wade through writer's convoluted, train-of-thought, jump right into the middle of the story style that is so popular these days in the genre. Also, I tend to stay away from social commentary in my fiction. Very few writers have the chops to preach at me and still entertain me.

I've always liked the time travel themes and have been interested in Castalia House, so figured this would be a good book to start with from the publisher and to try to get back into reading sci-fi again. I was not disappointed. It was an interesting take on the theme that dealt with some of the moral issues without being preachy. I especially liked the idea that, "If time travel is possible, then it will eventually be discovered and will therefore ALWAYS exist." Adding in the alternate timelines did get very confusing at times, but gave an interesting perspective.

I think I would like to read more from this author and this publisher.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A City Built On The Mists Of Time 30 May 2015
By John C. Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This collection of stories is amazing, and, true to form, incredibly deep an convoluted (although well thought out). The vagaries of time when time travel is a part of the equation, when cause and effect are disassociated from one another, when paradoxes are used and abused by the ruling class (the Time Wardens) is positively mind bending.

Among the standouts I would call out the Hugo nominated "The Plural Of Helen Of Troy" and the brief sidestep into SciFi/Horror, "The Slayer Of Souls." These two stood out for me, even amongst tales of hardened PIs solving their own murders, soldiers facing down the choice of duty or love, the prenuptial trials of the chosen bride of a Time Warden, and more…

All in all, quite good. Wright creates his universe, a universe without (as mentioned) the limitations of linear time, of cause and effect, and then plays within it for all he's worth. He stays within the rules (such as they are!) of this universe, and takes the reader on a mind bending ride throughout the ages…
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many writers could have written about a glorious city rising ... 10 Aug. 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Many writers could have written about a glorious city rising from the mists and vagaries of countless possibilities, of a city that all timelines lead to. And many could have deconstructed the concept and shown just how amoral and corrupt the masters of such a city could get. But few writers could have reconstructed it again and shown the possibility of a bright future even in a world where the future is ruled and controlled as despotically as the present. That is where Wright's strong suit shines through.
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