The Collapsing Empire

The Collapsing Empire

eBook - 2017
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Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible--until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport 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.
Publisher: New York : TOR, a Tom Doherty Associates Book, [2017].
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780765388896
Characteristics: text file
1 online resource.


From Library Staff

Award-winning science fiction writer John Scalzi launches an intriguing new series with this enjoyable novel. Faster-than-light travel is possible due to a phenomenon known as the Flow, which connects all the planets where humanity lives. The government, the Interdependency, is designed so that n... Read More »

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Oct 05, 2017

Going in, I didn't realize this was the first book in a series set in this universe. It became painfully apparent, however, as The Collapsing Empire meandered through introductions, expositions and anti-climactic set pieces. Half way through I realized I was simply reading the opening crawl for a larger vision and the rest of the book plodded along, starting new threads it had no intention of tying up by the final pages.

I guess I'm in now—though I don't feel any specific connection to this world. The trick, I suppose is to write the first part of a series in such a way that it doesn't require the rest of the series. You know, a complete and fulfilling story in an of itself. Unfortunately, this book doesn't quite do the trick.

Sep 27, 2017

The setting reminds me a bit of Byzantium meets the Federation (well, except that there are no aliens). The setting is a bit sparse, which is a pity because it feels like there's a tonne of backstory that we're not seeing. And for a fairly Byzantine-style political system/narrative, the plot seems quite strongly linear.

This being said, I was highly amused by the characters and their reactions to situations that they encountered. As a stand-alone it's a bit thin, but I'm hoping there are more volumes to come...

Jul 20, 2017

Not his best. It seemed unfinished.

Jul 19, 2017

The weakest Scalzi book to date :-(

Parts of the book are very good, other parts are excruciatingly bad.

Not what I expected from the author of the "Old Man's War" series, certainly doesn't deserve the reviews it's getting.

Let's hope the next in the series is _much_ better.

SCL_Justin Jul 05, 2017

The Collapsing Empire is John Scalzi's most recent space opera. It takes the tropes of far flung planets and space ships travelling between them and puts some interesting characters doing clever things in those ships and places of power and knowledge. Yup. Generally stuff I like.

The collapsing part of the empire (called the Interdependency because they rely on trade between stars to survive) is that the bits of nonspace that connect these farflung worlds without having to travel actually faster than light (though the effect is pretty much the same in a Traveller-esque fashion) are shifting, and that's shifting how power will play out on the grand scale. It's a good ecological metaphor and I enjoyed how humanity has had to build habitats wherever they could connect to each other, rather than on planets that would be suitable for bearing human life.

It was a fine light read; a good popcorn book. It's the first in a series though. Nothing is resolved and it feels like an extended prologue to a real story happening.

KateHillier May 23, 2017

This world reminds me a lot of the state of the world right now. In more than one way too. Not sure if that's intentional or not (I get the idea of not) but that makes this story about a collapsing environmental (read: spacial) phenomenon that they based an empire and way of life on that much more hard hitting. There's profiteering, politics, science (including the importance of checking your facts and the peer review process) with a lot of badass ladies. The men are also awesome but the women are really sticking with me this go around. It's just a set up here but I really enjoyed it and I'm eager to see what comes next.

JohnK_KCMO May 09, 2017

Scalzi is a master at blending grand scope, world-ending Space Opera with intimate characterizations, and his unique brand of gently sarcastic humor. His mastery is on full display in his new series: quirky characters, laugh-out-loud writing, Big Idea cosmological premise, political machinations. I can't wait to see where he takes this new series next.

Apr 30, 2017

Classic Scalzi -- space opera with excellent characters. The only drawback: that this book ends when it does.

Apr 09, 2017

This was a fun read... really enjoyed it... clear set up, interesting speeches by the relevant parties... nothing set in stone, not too easy to figure out, etc.... nicely done.

JCLGreggW Feb 27, 2017

The start of a fun, engaging sci-fi series, set in an empire connected by gateways that begin to collapse, isolating systems from each other. Scalzi provides wit, snark, and strong female characters that are sometimes absent in the usually serious world of space opera. This is perfect for newcomers and casual readers as well as diehard sci-fi fans.


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