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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

4.4 (201 )
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4.6 (195 )
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Performance
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  •  
    sircompo UK 05/04/2017
    sircompo UK 05/04/2017 Member Since 2017
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon Waterlooville, UK 22/03/2017
    Simon Waterlooville, UK 22/03/2017 Member Since 2017

    A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally 14/04/2017
    Sally 14/04/2017 Member Since 2011
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    "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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BJXRN 28/03/2017
    BJXRN 28/03/2017
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    "Scalzi Scalped"

    Story not that original or engaging. Lacking his usual witty dialogue. Degenerates into stereotypical profanities - f**k used hundreds of times, indelicate references to sex and bodily functions. To top it up, he steals The Culture's style of naming ships. Had this been his debut story, he would have gone unnoticed. Good narration though.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Brighton, UK 15/07/2017
    Amy Brighton, UK 15/07/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Very funny..."

    Funny... interesting universe, but perhaps a little predictable. I could see the ending coming from several chapters away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 11/06/2017
    David 11/06/2017
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    "F***ing Brilliant"
    If you could sum up The Collapsing Empire in three words, what would they be?

    Want the Sequel


    What other book might you compare The Collapsing Empire to, and why?

    Can't think of any at the present, other than the worlds inside the oasis in Ready Player One possibly. I know that there are definitely better examples than this


    Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Good Ol' Wil Wheaton. He never fails to disappoint me


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh definitely. Probably most so at the attitude and cheek of the Lagos Family. They are so well written


    Any additional comments?

    MAKE MORE!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben 31/05/2017
    Ben 31/05/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Well paced and highly enjoyable"

    Wil Wheaton has a talent for story telling and with John Scalzi penning the story, it's a great combination.
    My first Sci-fi / Space Opera and not to be my last. I'd highly recommend this one.
    There's conflict, love, humour, a ton of swearing and a future universe that doesn't sound too far fetched.
    I'll have to check out some of John's other novels while I wait for this one's sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Asbjørn 14/05/2017
    Asbjørn 14/05/2017 Member Since 2014

    My work takes me on frequent long distance travel. it used to be a chore. With Audible on my phone I frequently wish the flight was longer.

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    "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 30/04/2017
    a 30/04/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "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 24/04/2017
    Espen 24/04/2017 Member Since 2012
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    "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
Sort by:
  • Jim "The Impatient"
    Springfield, MO, United States
    01/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    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.

    98 of 114 people found this review helpful
  • d creed
    28/03/17
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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.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • pat
    kennewick, WA, United States
    25/03/17
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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.

    25 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • Adam K Stevens
    Tucson, AZ
    10/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What Happened Scalzi?"

    Being a fan of both the, "Old Man's War" series as well as the author's contributions to the METAtropolis anthologies, I blindly purchased The Collapsing Empire. This unfortunately was a complete mistake as I ended hating the writing, loathing most of the characters and rolling my eyes over the the sci-fi concepts introduced in the series. Worst of all was the sarcasm. My god, the main character, Kiva is like some hyper-foul mouthed, self-entitled space-Millennial. Now, I've read my share, and thoroughly enjoyed several stories featuring dislikable protagonists or anti-heroes. However, I think the author's intention was to make the reader find Kiva charming or a tough no-nonsense female Han Solo-esque scoundrel. Instead of charming, I kept hoping she would get dumped out an airlock every time the narrative focused on her. Other characters include a dying space Pope who reminded of Grandpa Simpson and his snoozetastic daughter. I was also disappointed with sci-fi elements of the story which included an intergalactic space highway and a theocratic super government which was hardly fleshed out at all. This book is such a departure from Scalzi's usually superb work, it almost feels like it was ghost written by a far less talented writer. I sincerely hope Mr. Scalzi returns to form in his future efforts and we can dismiss this novel as an unfortunate deviation from an otherwise immensely talented author. Also, Wil Wheaton narration style always bugs me for reasons I have yet been able to explain.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ron P
    Monroe, WA USA
    29/03/17
    Overall
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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.

    23 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    29/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not very well written"

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

    19 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Michael G Kurilla
    ROCKVILLE, MD, United States
    04/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Opening foray for developing societal decay"

    John Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire is book 1 of the Interdependency series. John has created a future where Earth is long gone, replaced by a far flung "empire" of human settlements where few if any are self sufficient such that peace has been maintained by the survival need for "interdependency" among the numerous enclaves. This arrangement is enabled by the "flow" which represents a form of a trans-dimensional portal system between stars accessible with the right technology. Major "houses" or vertically integrated guild-like entities provide the commercial means to keep everything going, while an "emperor" functions as a type of "federal trade commission." The developing issue is that the "flow" is slowly shifting expected to result in isolation of mankind's settlements.

    The sci-fi elements are mainly physics with the flow network, the central focus. Misinterpretation of flow dynamics drive much of the plot as various groups vie for positioning during the intra- and post- flow shifts. The social organization is intriguing with a dynastic monarchy and wholly family run enterprises with a resulting class structure that is pre-WWII British in flavor. Business and political savviness as well as naivete abound creating likable as well as immediately detestable individuals. Parallels to current climate change debate cannot be avoided.

    The narration is well done, with a decent range of voices with varying social strata covered. As an opening salvo, this offering suggests much promise for future installments as well as lots of double crosses and unexpected plot twists..

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Kate
    28/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
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    "The Collapsing Empire"

    I love John Scalzi and have loved all of his books. This one disappointed in that it denigrated in superfluous use of "fuck" and sex with anything breathing. He's smarter than that . :/

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • troy
    Texas
    26/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Megan G Kahl
    24/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

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