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Empire (Tor Science Fiction) by Orson Scott…
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Empire (Tor Science Fiction) (edition 2007)

by Orson Scott Card

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1,063457,890 (3.12)32
Member:tyler.williams
Title:Empire (Tor Science Fiction)
Authors:Orson Scott Card
Info:Tor Books (2007), Edition: 1st, Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Empire by Orson Scott Card

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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
A HUGELY disappointing book. The only reason I gave it 2 stars is because the concept of modern civil war on American soil is not only disturbingly fascinating, but also not 100% implausible. But the execution, ultimately, leaves you cold. Card is famous, for better or worse, for doing a lot of "message" books, but here I'm not even sure what the message IS. That we should all get along? That we should arm ourselves, just in case? That this country is ripe for a dictatorial takeover? OK, so it fails as a "message" book. Another thing Card does well, as a rule, is characterization, making you understand and care for characters who are different from you. Failure on that front again- the main characters are cardboard cutouts, and the few interesting ones are completely enigmatic by the end of the story. Yes, some of the action sequences and the sci-fi parts are interesting, but not enough to recommend this book- not by a long shot.

By the way, if you are thinking of reading the sequel in hopes that it gets better, DON'T. Everything you disliked about this book gets magnified in the sequel. And what gets me is that I know Card is better than that; hence the disappointment. ( )
  MashaK99 | Jun 11, 2013 |
Empire opens with intrigue and promises to draw the reader in for a captivating look at a potential future for America, but it slows in the middle and fizzles at the end.

Orson Scott Card here envisions the potential downfall of America’s stability, and he creates a unique path to the nation’s collapse. In the book, political incivility reaches new heights as Right and Left collide in violent hostilities. As Card himself describes at the end of the book, modern political discourse has gotten so full of vitriol that it does not have too far to go before it may spill over into violent actions. This book stands as a fictional representation of what such a conflict would look like.

Ultimately, Empire slides too far into political commentary and the story’s plot devolves from intriguing to farcical by the book’s conclusion. Card has done a great job to envision a novel picture of America’s future, but the book feels rushed and poorly-written as it nears its end. ( )
  QuietedWaters | May 22, 2013 |
This imaginative novel of the near future is both a fast-paced thriller and an interesting, original thought experiment on where the current polarization of our society might take us. Which makes it a powerful commentary on the poor state of civil discourse in the USA today. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
Thinly veiled exploration...actually, not veiled at all. Explores what would happen if the current president, who is never outright named, was assassinated: who would do it, how would they hide it, what would be the motivation, who would oppose them. Written in the OSC style of presenting behavior deductions with the little tail at the end for a sequel but leaves a figurative bad taste in the mouth. Reread Ender's Game to wash it out. ( )
  EhEh | Apr 3, 2013 |
This was an interesting look at how a new civil war in the US might occur. I think that this is one of those books that you should read twice to really get the full measure of the story. I listened to it on audio, and a lot of the time that I was listening to it, I was listening but not focusing intently, so I may have missed a lot of the nuances of the story. However, that being said, I do think that it was very smart and well written, and plausible.

Many people might take offense to the militant party which staged the coup to set off the events that start the civil war being liberals, or "Progressives" as they are referred to in the book. We, or at least I, generally think of the right wing republicans as the militant type, and as the stiffly traditional type that would be more apt to take up arms to defend that traditionalism. And in fact, I was surprised by it, because I lean toward the liberal side myself (although I consider myself a moderate - but I am for many liberal ideals), but again... it was plausible. Get any extremist faction together, and no matter what their ideologies are, they will do what they think that they have to do to defend them.

I actually got more out of this book from the author's afterword than I did from the story. Not to say that the story wasn't good. It was. The story was interesting, and futuristic and the kind of story that I'm fascinated by, but the afterword was more... informative, I guess. That's not what I'm trying to say, but I felt that the author's words there aligned more with my own thinking than the story that he represented in the pages did. In the afterword, he talks about the hateful rhetoric and divisiveness between parties, and how it only takes one party thinking that they need to actively defend, with arms, their ideals from the attack of the other party, and there you go - we're in a civil war.

It's a scary thought, and it's incredibly likely. One thing that really bothered me in the story though is the representation of Fox News. In the story, as the "good guys" (I quote that because both sides believe that they are the good guys, but we're being shown the defenders as good guys rather than the attackers) are Republicans, the use of Fox News as their outlet was quite frequent, and they WERE presented as "Fair and Balanced", which to me is an outright falsity. Fox News is one of the most vitriol-filled and antagonistic and attack-oriented "news" right-wing organizations out there. They no longer even really have "news" segments, it's all opinions and interviews and talk about the news, which is quite different. I have a hard time reconciling an organization that is argumentative, downright rude and would tell a guest to "shut up" when they don't agree with them with a trustworthy and reliable news organization.
To me, Fox News does more for divisiveness in this country than any other factor, probably ALL other factors combined, actually. I don't say this as a liberal, I say this as someone who thinks that all opinions are valid and thinks that everyone should have a chance to express their opinion respectfully, EVEN IF IT IS UNPOPULAR - not be cut-off, harassed by the show host and then demonized later.

Aside from this ONE thing (and sorry for the rant- but I had to put it out there), I think that this story does a pretty good job of representing the opinions of both sides as valid and realistic. I may not agree with them, but to the opinion holder, they are right.

I think that we have to be willing to step back and see things from another person's point of view. If we are not willing to do that, then we probably WILL have another civil war in America - quite possibly in my lifetime. =",,,,,,0,,,,,
1245532,Mystic River ,Dennis Lehane,Lehane ( )
  TheBecks | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orson Scott Cardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Warner, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To Cyndie and Jeremy
for finding the balance
between the law and the life
and for sharing Victor and Cataan
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"Treason only matters when it is committed by trusted men."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765355221, Mass Market Paperback)

The American Empire has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point. The war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war, though most people just want to be left alone.

The battle rages between the high-technology weapons on one side, and militia foot-soldiers on the other, devastating the cities, and overrunning the countryside. But the vast majority, who only want the killing to stop, and the nation to return to more peaceful days, have technology, weapons and strategic geniuses of their own.

When the American dream shatters into violence, who can hold the people and the government together? And which side will you be on?

Orson Scott Card is a master storyteller, who has earned millions of fans and reams of praise for his previous science fiction and fantasy novels. Now he steps a little closer to the present day with this chilling look at a near future scenario of a new American Civil War.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:12 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The American Empire has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point. The war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war, though most people just want to be left alone. The battle rages between the high-technology weapons on one side, and militia foot-soldiers on the other, devastating the cities, and overrunning the countryside. But the vast majority, who only want the killing to stop and the nation to return to more peaceful days, have technology, weapons and strategic geniuses of their own.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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