I feel obliged to include this disclaimer: if four-letter words bother you, you will not like this book. You have been warned!
However, if characters cursing like sailors is not an issue for you, you are in for a hilarious whirlwind of a ride with John Scalzi‘s new novel, The Collapsing Empire. In this alternate world, planets are connected by a form of energy called the Flow, which allows spaceships to travel beyond the speed of light to planets within different star systems, which make up a state called the Interdependency. (The Interdependency has a longer, fancier name, of course. This is a space opera, after all. If you want to know the fancier name, it’s on page 26.)
What happens when the Flow stops flowing? That is the question that drives the plot of The Collapsing Empire. The Interdependency is a mercantile empire that was set up so the planets, surprise! depend on one another for trade, and indeed for survival.
The story features a family of scientists who study the attributes and effects of the Flow (they peer review each other’s work; and, peer review! It’s an important feature in the plot line! I love this book!). Also starring Cardenia, the young Emperox (ruler) of the Interdependency; and Kiva, the one who really swears like a sailor and is a mover and shaker within one of the larger mercantile houses.
Did I mention that this book is also really funny? Oh, right, I did use the word “hilarious” earlier. This novel has a lot of energy, a lot of humor, and is highly entertaining. Check it out!
Other recent science fiction featuring space travel:
Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
Poseidon’s Wake by Alastair Reynolds
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers