The Collapsing Empire, The Interdependency, Book 1
Written by John Scalzi and narrated by Wil Wheaton.
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.
As I have stated before I really enjoy this author-narrator combination and they definitely deliver on this one. Of the many trading houses that make up the Empire, the house of “No-Hama-Peeton” (hope I spelled that right) is I suspect modeled after the Medici’s or Machiavelli. There is no ethical boundary, no goal out of reach and no depth they will not sink to for achieving their ends. You’ll see (or hear in this case) what I mean. There are two main player worlds in the flow. Hub, which is where the Woo Clan set up the Empire because all flow lanes go through Hub; and End which is the farthest reach of humanity and the only breathable air world of the forty seven destinations that mark out the domain of the Empire. All others are populated with huge stations and spin-worlds or domed-under-asteroid colonies. The “No-Hama-Peeton” house think one thing will happen and the Empero another. That’s all you get.
Five star crafting and performance. I recommend this highly and it is book 1 of a series.