I’m in the process of reading a science fiction trilogy by John Scalzi, The Interdependcy , two books of which I have already read, leading up to the third, newest, recently published one. The books are:
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, TOR hardcover, March 2017
The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi, TOR hardcover, October 2018
The Last Emperox by John Scalzi, TOR hardcover, April 2020
Book One: The Collapsing Empire is a space opera novel by American writer John Scalzi. The book was published by Tor Books on March 21, 2017. It is the first of a series that was originally intended to be two books but is now a trilogy.
The Interdependency is a thousand-year-old human empire of 48 star systems connected by the Flow, a network of, for want of a better word, “streams” allowing faster-than-light travel. Each stream is one way and has an entry point and an exit point. There is no faster-than-light communication faster than the Flow, and interstellar trips are not instantaneous—ships carrying mail or passengers from Hub, the capital of the empire and the system with the most Flow connections, arrive at End, the most distant, nine months later—but the network permits life-sustaining intersystem trade. As a natural phenomenon, the Flow is poorly understood; Earth disconnected from the network thousands of years ago, and civilization on another system collapsed more recently when its pathway suddenly closed.
Family-owned megacorporations control all interstellar trade in the Interdependency’s mercantile economy; one, House Wu, is the royal family. The trading houses are incredibly wealthy from government-sanctioned monopolies and by collecting tolls at “shoals”, entrances and exits to Flow pathways. The state religion, with the Emperox as titular head, celebrates the Interdependency as a divinely sanctioned society.
Count Claremont, a physicist on End, calculates after decades of study that the Flow will soon collapse. All systems will be isolated; none are self-sufficient. Humans can only live on a planetary surface on End; they need space stations or underground habitats in other systems. Without the Flow, society on every system will likely collapse. The count sends his son Marce, also a physicist, to Hub to warn his old friend Emperox Attavio VI. The Emperox has died, however, and his unprepared daughter Cardenia is crowned as Grayland II.
My take: Obviously, there’s a lot more to the book than that overview, and it’s well written, exciting in places, with great characters and good bits of humor throughout. Some readers will object to the use of much swearing by some of the characters, including the “F word”, but it’s just part of the character. I enjoy Scalzi’s work, so it’s no surprise I’m enjoying this.
Right now I’m about halfway through the recently purchased second book.
To be continued NEXT WEEK with a summary and thoughts on the second book, and perhaps the third as well.
Do you like science fiction? What are you reading?