Our universe is ruled by physics, and faster-than-light travel is not possible - until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transports us to other worlds, around other stars.
Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war - and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.
The Flow is eternal - but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it's discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster-than-light travel forever, three individuals - a scientist, a starship captain, and the empress of the Interdependency - are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.
©2017 John Scalzi (P)2017 Audible, Inc.
"Fans of Game of Thrones and Dune will enjoy this bawdy, brutal, and brilliant political adventure" (Booklist)
"Scalzi has constructed a thrilling novel so in tune with the flow of politics that it would feel relevant at almost any time." (Entertainment Weekly)
"Political plotting, plenty of snark, puzzle-solving, and a healthy dose of action…Scalzi continues to be almost insufferably good at his brand of fun but think-y sci-fi adventure." (Kirkus Reviews)
Sci-fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Adventure, and YA Novels. If it weren't for physics, law enforcement, and my medication, I'd be unstoppable!
Scalzi is one of the greatest science fiction writers of our time. He is easily one of my favorite authors and did not disappoint me with this book. Any fans of previous Scalzi books will very likely love this one as well.
This story centers around a futuristic universe where humanity has been separated from earth for thousands of years. Humanity is spread over 80 worlds under a common government called the Interdependency. The Interdependency, consisting of the Guild, the Church, and the Parliament is controlled by the monarchical position of the Emperox. These worlds are linked by an inter-dimensional pathway known as “The Flow.” With faster-than-light travel having proven impossible, the Flow is the only thing that allows travel between planets.
Cardenia, bastard daughter to the Emperox, is second in line to the throne until the sudden death of her brother. With her father on his death bed, Cardenia must come to terms with the fact that she will soon inherit her father’s title, making her the most powerful person in the Interdependency… And by some, the most hated.
Meanwhile, in the farthest star system known as “End” to its inhabitants, a scientist makes an empire-shattering discovery…
The Flow will soon be shifting, thereby cutting off all of humanity's star systems from contact with each other. With each world dependent on trade with the others, the Interdependency will certainly not survive. If the Interdependency dies, humanity will likely follow…
Wil Wheaton has been one of my favorite narrators since he narrated Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation book. His performance was top-notch as usual.
I would highly recommend this book to all sci-fi and Scalzi fans. Five stars!
Profane and irreverent and tragic and fun, The Collapsing Empire lets you escape to a world that is perfectly aligned with our own. Scalzi delivers all you want from a sci-fi epic - wacky astrophysics, devious diplomacy, weird religious turmoil - all through the eyes and experiences of entirely relatable characters. Wheaton's performance is immersive and joyous. It's quickly paced, rich in detail, and will absolutely leaving you wanting more.
An all-around great time.
In many books, the cast of characters are rushed through their introductions and the author seems to hope folks won't mind since they want to get to the meat of the story. Well in this story, the intro is not rushed. There are interesting and exciting events that happen all through the story. While the political intrigue is weak, the clever way our heroes overcome problems is fun to watch.
Also, anything that Will Wheaton reads is worth listening too. He's probably my favorite adventure book narrator.
An interesting and engaging story...... Until it peters out with no resolution.
The stopping point of the book feels less like a planed ending and more like the last 50 pages were missing when the book went to the publisher.
I'm a huge fan of audio - books, podcasts, dramas. I like that I can listen to a book wherever I am, especially walking around NYC.
I always greatly anticipate the next book by John Scalzi and he always delivers! The worst part about reading his books is that they eventually come to an end. This book has delightful characters, hilarious dialogue, and an intriguing plot. A fun and enjoyable sci-fi adventure. You can't go wrong with this book or any of his books. Scalzi is an excellent writer and Wil Wheaton is the perfect narrator for this book! Both do an excellent job and iblook forward to the next Scalzi/Wheaton team-up! I just hope I don't have to wait for too long!
The Interplay between characters is great. I will listen to this again just to completely understand how the plot develops.
I liked the narrator also. His work continues to improve
Scalzi is always fun, even when he's not at his best. This isn't his best but it's close. Scalzi sets up a universe and establishes its society and government pretty quickly, throws in a slew of outrageous characters on various worlds, then weaves them all together. Don't expect realism, just relax and roll with it. The plot zips along at warp speed - and, yes, I listened to it in pretty much one sitting.
Will Wheaton is an excellent choice to narrate Scalzi. He delivers a mostly deadpan performance with just the right amount of snarkiness.
Loved the writing, the worldbuilding, the reader - there just wasn't enough to it, requires the next book in the series (whenever that comes along) to make this one whole. Still a good listen, but it leaves lots of unrealized potential.
"Scalzi at Home with Space Opera"
I think John Scalzi is at his best when he goes for straight ahead space opera and so this really is home territory for him. The Collapsing Empire builds a promising scenario in which humankind is spread across space on the back of the mysterious "flow" which enables interstellar travel. The flow however is showing signs of instability and the potential impact of that is allegorical to the issue we currently face with climate change. The setup is well done. It is a clever scenario in terms of the habitats that make up the human empire and I am intrigued to see how he develops it in the future books.
Will Wheaton gives his usual fresh and entertaining performance, always a pleasure to listen to. The characters are larger than life as you'd expect and there is plenty of action and no little humour.
It doesn't quite hit the greatest of heights for me though. This is a good read but some of the characters seemed a little one dimensional especially in the dialogue which bordered on the juvenile at times and Wheaton can't deliver "authority" as well as the very best when required.
So not perfect, but still a very entertaining bit of sci-fi that carries promise for a good series going forwards.
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