The Collapsing Empire

The Collapsing Empire

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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Faster than light travel is impossible--until the discovery of the Flow, an extradimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars. Riding the Flow, humanity spreads to innumerable other worlds. Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises, the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war--and, for the empire's rulers, a system of control. But when it's discovered that the entire Flow is moving, possibly separating all human worlds from one another forever, a scientist, a starship captain, and the emperox of the Interdependency must race to find out what can be salvaged from an empire on the brink of collapse. --
Publisher: New York, NY : Tor, a Tom Doherty Associates Book, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780765388889
076538888X
Branch Call Number: SCALZI J
Scalzi, J
Characteristics: 333 pages ; 22 cm

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l
LucasHill
Nov 15, 2017

This an appealing mix of elements from Dune and Foundation. It also includes analogues and commentary from current American politics. I will definitely be looking forward to the continuation of this series.

m
mjohnson313
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.

l
Logovore
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...

s
skewes
Jul 20, 2017

Not his best. It seemed unfinished.

m
msummers57
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.

s
stephaniedchase
Apr 30, 2017

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

j
johnulee
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.

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