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The Collapsing Empire Audiobook

The Collapsing Empire: The Interdependency, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-01-17
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-01-17 Member Since 2016

    My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "THE STUPIDITIES OF COURT"

    YOUR ALWAYS ALONE INT HE MEMORY ROOM AND NEVER ALONE IN THE MEMORY ROOM
    This is filled with lots of LOL moments and some great funny characters. SCALZI humor includes giving funny names to ships, such as the following: TELL ME ANOTHER ONE, I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW, IF YOU WANT TO SING OUT, SING OUT, YES SIR, THAT'S MY BABY and it's sister ship NO SIR, DON'T MEAN MAYBE. The humor is fairly steady throughout the book without being overwhelming.

    SORRY, I GOT DISTRACTED THINKING ABOUT SEX
    The book is a tiny bit Dune, Game of Thrones, Foundation and The Last Empress. I listened to the whole book and will be buying the sequel, but had it been a different author, I might have given up within the first three to four hours. That is because it is mostly a political book, with Guilds, Courts, Emperors, and Great Houses. The book builds and because the characters are well developed, gets better the longer it goes on. It does not have a lot of science and their are no aliens. It is mostly politics and back stabbing of nobles. STOP WHINING ABOUT IT FOR F SAKE. One of the main characters is a female who cusses like a sailor and has a high sex drive. I found her hilarious.

    Wil Wheaton is the best for this. He not only does sarcasm better than anyone else, if you listen during what would normally be considered filler, you can hear him putting everything into to make it sound interesting.

    38 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pat 03-25-17
    pat 03-25-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Definitely not my favorite scalzi"

    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.

    23 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-29-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Not very well written"

    cool world, cool economies, bad character arcs and boring antagonists. it's a weak opening to a series.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron P Monroe, WA USA 03-29-17
    Ron P Monroe, WA USA 03-29-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Just feels small - no sense of scale, so why care?"

    This is humanity at stake. Gravitas isn't Scalzi's thing, but geez, this one feels like ... who cares? I know I'm in the minority, but this felt like a draft that still needed some pretty hefty structural revisions.

    22 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    d creed 03-28-17
    d creed 03-28-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SI-FI politics..."

    Good narration. Not Scalzi best book... like listening to the 2016 election but 500 years in the future.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    troy Texas 03-26-17
    troy Texas 03-26-17 Member Since 2013

    I really need to start proof reading my Reviews before I post them.

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    "incomplete story"

    it's a partial story. a satisfactory beginning. but missed the middle and end. it felt like an imMediate rush job to get to a deadline of a new series.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HDFuentes 03-28-17
    HDFuentes 03-28-17 Member Since 2016
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    "great story, wait for sequels before jumping in"

    I loved the story and the universe created. I feel the book ends just as the main plot is unraveling. this is a book I would have wished to have picked up after a few chapters were done. left me wanting to hear the rest of th story and I'm now stuck with no idea when the next book will be published

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan G Kahl 03-24-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Charming to the last..."

    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.

    15 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Hicks Michigan 05-16-17
    Michael Hicks Michigan 05-16-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderfully Conceived and Highly Accessible SciFi"

    I’m a newbie to the work of John Scalzi, and the only previous experience I have with his work was the fun audiobook edition of The Dispatcher. But, given how much those sad/rabid/pathetic puppies loathe him, while simultaneously attempting to ride on the coattails of his success (with one even going so far as to write a knock-off book of this particular title, with knock-off cover art that pretty well screamed copyright infringement, and a fake name that played off John Scalzi’s actual name in the hope of duping unaware readers to make a quick buck!), I figured he had to be worth a read, or in this case, a listen. Happily, I was not the least bit disappointed. So, thanks to all the doggie idjits bemoaning Scalzi’s work for prompting me to finally check out some more of his books!

    Scalzi has a pretty large body of work behind him thanks to the Old Man’s War series and several other stand-alone titles. The Collapsing Empire is the first in a new series, and it’s the perfect starting point for new readers like myself.

    Thousands of years in the future, humanity has formed the Commonwealth of the Interdependence and spread across the stars. Each of their various habitats are connected by the flow, a spatial anomaly akin to a river in space. The flow has allowed the Interdependence to grow and succeed, and without it humanity would wither and die as each star system becomes cut off from one another. Well, there wouldn’t be much room for drama if there wasn’t a massive problem, and so as it happens, the flow is beginning to collapse. Couple this with a bunch of political and trade guild drama, crosses and double-crosses, a newly crowned emperor, a fermenting rebellion, and random acts of terrorism, and you have The Collapsing Empire.

    Scalzi keeps the pace rapid-fire and the tone light, despite a simmering undercurrent of darkness that could quickly turn the whole affair into pitch-black nihilism. Thankfully, there’s room for plenty of hope, and a whole lot of humor. The author also injects some wonderful heroines as the primary leads, and the foul-mouthed, sexed-up, aggressive Lady Kiva might just be one of my new favorites. She’s a total jerk, and I loved all of her expletive-laced rants as she chewed out anybody who attempted to cross her or get in her way.

    Narrating all of this is Wil Wheaton, making The Collapsing Empire my first introduction to both the author and narrator. I found there to be a wonderful bit of synchronicity between the pairing of Scalzi and Wheaton, and the latter does an outstanding job narrating. Each character has a distinct voice, and there’s enough range and acting chops to give this audiobook a nice bit of oomph. The science fiction plot itself is easily digested and technobabble is kept to a minimum, while the listening experience itself is highly engaging and kept my attention the whole way through.

    The bottom line is, The Collapsing Empire is just flat-out fun. The story is wonderfully conceived, it has some truly terrific character beats, and plenty of laughs. More importantly, it left me fully invested in this series going forward. As soon I reached the end of this audiobook, I immediately wanted to dive into the second installment. But since that’s not out yet, I’ll just have to content myself with some of Scalzi’s back catalog in the meantime.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel N. Lionsden 05-15-17 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too many F bombs and crap talk"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who regularly use F bombs and crap talk.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    After 3 chapters, I was interested in the attempted mutiny, wondering how the captain was going to get out of it.


    What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good, clear reader.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Collapsing Empire?

    The potty language and sex scenes not needed.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Simon
    Waterlooville, UK
    3/22/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • sircompo
    UK
    4/5/17
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    "Another excellent book by John Scalzi."

    Gotta love his writing style, and the ease at which he introduces Sci-Fi concepts into the story. Looking forward to the second book in the series.
    If anyone can't wait for more and hadn't already read it, Scalzi's Old Man's War series is highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sally
    Newport, United Kingdom
    4/14/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Juvenile"

    I really struggled to finish this book and I'm surprised at how many good reviews it has.
    The basic premis is fine and Wheaton does a reasonable job with the narration, but the dialogue is immature and seems to be aimed at young teenage boys. The culture is unrelentingly modern American in everything from dialogue to attitude and there is no sense at all of a multi cultural interplanetary society. Very few of the central characters were likeable and I really didn't care what happened to them, beyond wishing they could speak without swearing every orher word.
    The author conveys no sense that mankind might be changed by living in space, something the Expanse novels handle well. Iain Banks could teach him a great deal about creating believable civilizations (and his ship names are far funnier) and Anne Leckie is so much better at drawing us in to complex alien politics.
    I made it to the end only to discover that there's no real resolution and that this is mostly a set up for a series. I don't think I'll bother continuing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Asbjørn
    5/14/17
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    Story
    "Excellent start on a new saga!"

    Scalzi is a wonderful storyteller. I find the journey he takes me on a real pleasure, and the characters he uses great to spend time with.

    Wheaton is one of the few American narrators that don't bother me... Excellent work

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • a
    4/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent story, brilliantly told"

    This is the second book I've read by John Scalzi and the second book I've loved. The story was superb. Thoroughly engaging and impossible to put down. I really like Scalzi's style and humour.
    Wheaton is an inspired choice to read these books and his delivery is brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Espen
    Kleppesto, Norway
    4/24/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun and well written"

    Another fun and colorful story by Scalzi. Really enjoyed the narrative and the colorful cast, particularly around the pirate vessel incident.

    There are a few things that didn't work that well, but it is part of the world building and let's face it, this is Sci-fi and requires a little suspension of reason.

    Will definitely be buying the next installment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • dot_stockport
    4/23/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "slow to get going and snarky but ..."

    if i had been reading this rather than listening on a long drive i'd probably have given up. So much of it feels like set up. Scalzi's writing style seems to be close to permasnark - either you'll love that or you won't. His characters are rounded and largely vile although thankfully there are one or two sympathetic types. At the end I realised the whole book was just setting up for a series, and I do like the universe, the plot device and 2 of the characters, so I AM interested in what comes next... just not sure its worth the effort of struggling through the style and sheer volume.

    I like Wil Wheaton but he can be a snark amplification unit at times. He's quite capable of disappearing into credible characters but any snarky bits get amplified. For me, a less is more approach would have been better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • P. Dinning
    Brooklyn, NY
    4/18/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, fantastic narration"

    I'm a big fan of the writing of John Scalzi and I thought the story here was interesting and well paced with good characters. I thought that Wil Wheaton's narration was really well done and complemented the story very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan
    St. Helier, United Kingdom
    4/17/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I need more"

    Really can't wait for the next book. It featured great characterisation and stories. It was a brilliant universe and engaging concept.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Phil H
    UK
    4/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    There's many a book like this, but where this really shines is the irreverence and identifiable characterisation. It makes it likeable, relaxed and enjoyable being that bit more real.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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