logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: john-scalzi
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-15 16:47
Lock In ★★★★☆
Lock In - John Scalzi,Wil Wheaton

Loved it. Loved the writing, loved the characters, loved the story. I loved the “what if” of the idea of the story. I loved how the concepts of body autonomy and consent and disabilities and discrimination and community are toyed with. The only reason this wasn’t a five star is that I was a little too distracted by the plausibility of the *how* of the disease, but that’s something I tend to always get wrapped up in with this sort of story and not at all the writer’s fault.

 

Audiobook, purchased via Audible. Wil Wheaton’s performance truly makes the story come alive. He is amazing. Many thanks to Obsidian Blue for recommending this one to me!

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-09 11:30
The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi
The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi

Another book off the Hugo pile, this one a bit reluctantly added to my TBR list because I've read most of the nominations for Best Novel and thought I ought to at least try this one out, even if my heart (and vote) belongs to others. 

 

Anyway, the basic premise of The Collapsing Empire is that humanity has expanded off Earth and built a bunch of places it can survive, mostly off-world habitats, which it has discovered are linked together by a thing called the Flow. This allows faster-than-light travel but it still takes ages for anyone or anything to travel from one end of the Interdependency to another. Humanity is also subject to a semi-feudal system with an emperox on top and guilds with monopolies, with one of those guilds pushing for more influence by both playing both sides against the middle in a distant civil war and trying to get one of its heirs married into the imperial family. 

 

The problem is, as the title of the book suggests, the Flow is collapsing and soon the different places where humanity is existing will start to become unconnected, as one of our protagonists is sent off to tell the current emperox. The research his family have been doing is semi-secret, so a botched version of it has been used by the guild who are messing everyone about because they think things are just shifting and their newly-acquired planet will become the centre of things. 

 

The main problem I had with The Collapsing Empire, while I usually quite enjoy a bit of space opera, is that I found myself not giving a crap about most of the characters - the one relationship I was interested in, that of the new emperox and her republican assistant gets abruptly severed just as it was about to get interesting. The villains twirl their moustaches with little sense of real menace, while the 'heroes' are either two-dimensional caricatures or just bland. Swearing a lot and being sexually voracious are no replacements for characterisation. 

 

As a result, I'm left with a book that some people will probably love to bits and where I might pick up the sequel (The Consuming Fire, out in October 2018) if I come across it at the library, but I probably won't.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-24 03:26
Review: The Collapsing Empire
The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi

OMG, I finally did it! I finally finished a Scalzi novel! The first chapter was a real chore to read, but then I swapped to the audiobook. Somehow the prose that seems so corny in print is a delightful lark to listen to. 

 

It still has some problems. The whole plot and world are built around the western building block du jour of imperialism, undercutting the attempt at counter narrative of having an emperor who is horrified by the concept. She isn't trying to change the situation until the nature of the universe makes the construct untenable. 

 

But I did get quite a few laughs out of this. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-05 02:04
Loved this!
The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi

I wasn't sure if I would at first: it's a space opera with houses and serfs, pretty much.   To be honest, I don't like my futuristic science fiction to pick such specifically backward parts of history to mesh with in this way.   I like looking forward to see things get better, not to be so heavily reminded of the gross things that happened in the past. 

 

But there were hints that this wouldn't be typical: same-sex marriage is accepted, even within royalty.   (Bisexuality, promiscuous female characters, and prostitution are all not only legal but widely accepted as well.   So there were some progressive attitudes that I appreciated very much.)

 

That being said, I don't read all that much in the space opera genre and I was prepared for this to be one of the reasons why.   The feudal setting was just too much - and then came Lady Kiva Lagos, her equally profane mother who was just as direct and insulting in her negotiations.   Those were, for the most part, the two favored characters who charmed me with their utter bluntness and the fact that they didn't give a fuck about who looked at them sideways. 

 

Scalzi can write, the plot lines all came together, and I ended up finding myself fascinated by how people who were naive to the ruthless politics of the upper class navigated their way through this and a crises that could not only collapse their empire but mean an end to humanity.   But the truth is that this wouldn't have been rated nearly as highly if not for the characters.   I ended up falling in love with Kiva and her mother immediately, but there was a slow burn for most of the rest.   

 

It's a space opera for people who aren't massive space opera fans.    (Many of them don't have enough AI or robots for me.   This, to be honest, didn't either, but made up for it with an abundance of characters I fell for hard.)

 

So far, this is number one on my Hugos novel list. 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-06-05 01:15
Reading progress update: I've read 307 out of 336 pages.
The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi

“Then you may tell the countess, and you may quote me fully, that I don’t give a fuck

 

This book doesn't fucking let up, and I don't want it to.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?