The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

The Collapsing Empire

The Interdependency #1

John Scalzi

fiction Science Fiction
adventurous funny medium-paced

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The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Redshirts and Old Man's War.

Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible -- until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport 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.

What the community thinks

summary of 851 ratings (see reviews)


adventurous 76%
funny 56%
lighthearted 32%
tense 24%
mysterious 20%
dark 12%
hopeful 12%
reflective 8%


medium 54%
fast 45%

Strong character development?

Yes: 61% | No: 38%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 78% | It's complicated: 15% | No: 5%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 55% | It's complicated: 20% | No: 15% | N/A: 10%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

No: 47% | It's complicated: 29% | Yes: 23%

Average rating


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