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Monday, March 20, 2017

THE CORRODING EMPIRE

Galactic society is ruled by algorithms. From interstellar travel and planetary terraforming to artificial intelligence and agriculture, every human endeavor has become completely dependent upon the hypercomplex equations that optimize the activities making life possible across hundreds of inhabited worlds. Throughout the galaxy, Man has become dependent upon the reliable operation of ten million different automated systems. 

 And when things begin to go wrong and mysterious accidents begin to happen no one has any idea what is happening, except for a sentient medical drone and the First Technocrat of Continox. But their ability to even begin to try fixing the unthinkably complicated problem of galaxy-wide algorithmic decay is made considerably more difficult by the fact the former is an outlaw and the latter is facing a death sentence. 

Johan Kalsi is Finland's hottest science fiction author. An accomplished geneticist as well as a 6'3" ex-Finnish Marine, in THE CORRODING EMPIRE, Kalsi shows himself to be more Asimovian than Asimov himself.

From the reviews:
  • This was a very surprising and compelling read. Clearly modeled on Asimov's Foundation, this book does a much better and more interesting job of making that world seem real and possible. Part thriller, some hard-ish sci-fi, and part dystopian novel, The Corroding Empire was strikes a very resonant tone.... Growing up on Asimov and having a special place in my heart for Foundation, I found this to be a fantastic book and homage, of sorts, to Asimov. It's well worth the time and a first-rate addition to the genre.
  • The Amazon blurb brags that, "Kalsi shows himself to be more Asimovian than Asimov himself." I wouldn't go quite that far. The Corroding Empire fails as an Asimov pastiche in a few ways. The characters aren't wooden cutouts, they are real, sympathetic, and relatable. The underlying theme of this book isn't that everything would be so much better if only the technocrats were in charge instead of those lousy politicians - technocrats like the author, you know? This book doesn't possess a strong undercurrent of contempt for the common man and all his problems, it sympathizes with the little guys who suffer whenever the managerial class screw up their five-year plans, as they so often do.... And in that way, this isn't Asimov. It's something far better.
  • A truly thought-provoking book of where man's hubris may take us. A new type of apocalypse book. Mr. Kalsi takes us through a detailed tale of how the arrogance of man, the religion of science, the infallibility of man and how the system can control and predict everything leads to disaster.
  • I thought it was going to be largely tongue-in-cheek humor. Instead it's a pretty strong straight sci-fi story, told as a series of vignettes over an expansive period of time. The comparisons to Asimov's Foundation are apt but I would say it nods in Asimov's direction rather than ripping him off.
  • Surprisingly brilliant. A taut, imaginative, superbly crafted tale in the finest traditions of Isaac Asimov.
  • As a re-telling of Foundation, as out-Asimoving Asimov, it deserves five stars. Heck, for having a MUCH better protagonist in Servo than Asimov had in Hari Seldon, I'd assign seven stars if I could.
THE CORRODING EMPIRE is $4.99 and DRM-free. Also, if you bought it and you subscribe to the New Release newsletter, you will probably want to check your email in order to take advantage of the free ebook offer.

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20 Comments:

Anonymous Determinator March 20, 2017 6:17 AM  

Bought after watching the darkstream just a few hours ago. Very enjoyable so far.

Blogger Shimshon March 20, 2017 7:04 AM  

How can Mr. Kalsi be both ex-Finnish and Finland's hottest science fiction author? I am...concerned.

Nonetheless, I dutifully pre-bought the book weeks ago. Downloaded today.

Blogger Silly But True March 20, 2017 7:56 AM  

I think it's a bit like Bruce Jenner having won the gold medal in 1976 Montreal Olympic decathlon?

Blogger synp March 20, 2017 8:02 AM  

Volunteered to review, but I'm only half-way through... Still, very good one.

Vox: should I still send in corrections, or just the review as soon as I finish reading?

Blogger VD March 20, 2017 8:09 AM  

Vox: should I still send in corrections, or just the review as soon as I finish reading?

Just the review. We've nailed the corrections already thanks to the proofreaders. Check the version 2.0 you were sent this morning.

Blogger Koanic March 20, 2017 8:37 AM  

No bonobo sex, androgynous quipsters or jock comeuppance?

NEXT

Blogger Harsh March 20, 2017 9:34 AM  

Not a 6'3" ex-Finnish Marine badass ? Hmph, unimpressed!

Blogger maniacprovost March 20, 2017 10:05 AM  

I want to read it today, but... I'm in the middle of a John Ringo book, so... it'll have to wait until later this week.

Blogger Jack Ward March 20, 2017 10:13 AM  

Just got it. Watching the Amazon rankings wish I had time for bourbon and popcorn.
[groins a little; have to drive this AM]

Blogger FUCK GOOGLE March 20, 2017 10:59 AM  

I enjoyed the Foundation series when I was a teenager, but I always wondered if Asimov was trying to talk up actual technocrats or if he was trying to build up technocracy as a religion.

Hari Seldon comes across as basically Nostradamus + Christ until the Mule shows up and goofs up the whole thing. I liked the story but I never could shake how silly the idea of "Technocrat Jesus and his merry Second Foundation of Apostles fix the universe with math" was.

Anonymous Eduardo March 20, 2017 11:08 AM  

So is Scalzi represented as a character in the book?

It would be funny, to have being ruinating the universe XD.

Anonymous VFM #6306 March 20, 2017 11:22 AM  

It is a big galactic epic, Eduardo. I very much doubt it would get bogged down with the insignificant and irrelevant.

Scalzi can take solace in the fact that the UK edition (at amazon.co.uk) of his Cohabitating Emperox lists the author as "One of the slickest writers that SF has ever produced."

Which of course causes everyone to ask..."what on earth has he dipped himself in now?"

Anonymous VFM 4127 March 20, 2017 11:41 AM  

I just finished Star Realms Rescue Run, so bought this today, along with War to the Blade. It's been great to read quality science fiction again!

Mfw it took me this long to realise that Johan Kalsi is a Finnish play of words...

Blogger Jack Ward March 20, 2017 1:06 PM  

1207 EST 21 in books and 23 in Kindle store. Hee, hee.

Blogger Dave March 20, 2017 1:53 PM  

Amazon page is gone; comes up "SORRY we couldn't find that page"

Same thing when searching for title or author.

Anonymous Prionyx March 20, 2017 2:00 PM  

The Amazon page for the book is missing.
Even going into my Digital Orders page and clicking on the link gets the missing error.

Blogger haruman March 20, 2017 2:03 PM  

I confirm the Amazon page is missing and a search returns nothing...

Blogger VD March 20, 2017 2:21 PM  

Amazon pulled it. Because "misleading".

It will be back up soon with a different title.

Blogger Eric Slate March 20, 2017 3:47 PM  

When will the paperback come out?

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable March 20, 2017 5:14 PM  

Amazon pulled it. Because "misleading".

Got somebody genuinely worried there, sounds like.

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