The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Bookshelves: the-shit, quantum-stuff, end-of-the-world, five-stars-means-I’ll-read-it-again, outer-space, futuristic, sci-fi
Now I want to be Kiva Lagos when I grow up.
Because Stephen King and George R.R. Martin have both broken my heart with slowly published series in the past, I now make it a rule to refrain from reading the first book until the last one is published. I’d been seeing rave reviews for both The Collapsing Empire and The Consuming Fire, but refused to let myself get sucked in until The Last Experox was published in April 2020. Then I joined the endless queue for a library copy of the first volume, but severe cases of both pandemic brain and trump fatigue syndrome coupled with a desperate need to read something non-depressing and utterly escapist moved me to just buy all three volumes for Kindle.
Brief recap: The Interdependency is a group of planetary systems connected by the Flow, a quantum phenomenon that makes interstellar travel possible. The first problem? The Flow is collapsing, leaving systems cut off from each other and the necessities each produces and trades and consigning all but one system to certain extinction. The second problem? Power games and political maneuvering. It’s kinda like Game of Thrones set in outer space, with rather less blood (and no twin incest, sorry).
Scalzi has said many times (he’s a good follow on Twitter, by the way) that the books were conceived and mostly written prior to 2016, but the parallels between series events and what’s going on in the U.S. as I write this in August 2020 are uncanny. You’ll never convince me that Nadashe Nohamapetan isn’t at least loosely based on Ivanka Stanka, which makes John Scalzi philosophy-lite wise, wryly funny with his own brand of snark, and psychic.
Pick these up; you won’t regret it. They went on sale for dirt cheap a week after I paid full price, and I wasn’t even pissed. Worth it.