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  • The Collapsing Empire

  • The Interdependency, Book 1
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (596 ratings)

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The Collapsing Empire

By: John Scalzi
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
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Publisher's Summary

2018 Locus Award, Best Science Fiction Novel

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.

Critic Reviews

"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 listeners say about The Collapsing Empire

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Space politics

Wil Wheaton does a fantastic job as always. One of my favorite narrators. He has had many great pairings with Scalzi's work.
This one however was not one of my favorites. I've listened to every book available from Scalzi and thought most were very decent. But politics is a subject I hate. The story is predictable with only minor surprises. I found my self waiting for plot developments I thought were going to happen to show themselves.
I didn't dislike the book and will probably listen to the rest of the series. The story just didn't suck me in.
When creating a world there is a lot of information to convey and Scalzi does this better than other writers who lose me early on because I can't keep track of who is who, where they're from and who their allegiances lie with.

If you're a Scalzi fan you will probably love this book. If like me you aren't really interested in backstabbing politics then you might find it a tougher listen than you're used to. But as always Wil Wheaton will be sure to get you through it.

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14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I could listen to Wil Wheaton read a corn flakes box.

Another great story by Scalzi. There is a fair bit a swearing, so you should be aware of that. I finish it in one seating.

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

yeahnah

if you are a scifi geak it's weak science very average storyline in my opinion not worth the buy.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Most Entertaining Sci Fi Book

John Scalzi’s latest book drew me in immediately with great characters and a compelling storyline. Then, there is Wil Wheaton’s narration and voice acting. Hugely enjoyable and a superb effort in creating voices for the many characters in the story.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great world building but language so-so

Really enjoyed the world, plot, intrigue, turns and twists in this well crafted novel. The language was a weak point for me, it felt somewhat repetitive and pubescent at times - as if all the characters were drawing from a somewhat limited vocabulary which never really managed to stand out. The swearing was a bit pubescent and dull, rather than colourful and imaginative. (Think how many times can you put the F word in a sentence - it just gets a bit boring after a while). But nevertheless I really enjoyed the story and am curious about what will happen in the next instalment - hoping the word smithing may improve a bit.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

too US-centric

It sounds like a sci-fi fantasy of someone dreaming with the corporate USA world.
not realistic, too repetitive, didn't enjoy it.
The author lost a great opportunity with the idea of the interdependency

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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This is just the beginning

This is my second book from Scalzi, and I liked it very much. That said, this book is very much only the beginning of the story, ending in a cliff hanger just as the battle lines are clearly drawn.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent!!

Loved it to bits. The only disappointing thing is that I have to wait for the next book in this series. No one does space opera like John Scalzi.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An ok read

On the positive, this book has well-rounded, varied characters (both female and male) and has an interesting concept.
On the negative, some aspects of the plot seemed fairly unformed.
I'm in the minority here on this, but I also found the narrators performance overwrought and hyperbolic, which made a few of the characters come across as very juvenile. I could imagine the same lines delivered in a more restrained manner would give the characters more of a feel of being the political players they are, rather than flailing teenagers. That may be because the narrator is American and it's just a cultural difference for me. I will probably read the rest of this series, rather than listening.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not the best audio book I've listened to

My listening of this book was predominantly an hour at a time, 3-4 times per week whilst commuting. Unfortunately I lost continuity and found myself going back over some chapters to refresh myself with the plot and characters.

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1 person found this helpful

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