Thu
Jan 1 2009 1:51pm

Your Guide to the Universes: The Risen Empire

So you are planning a trip to The Risen Empire? Good, you will be sure to have a good time. But every good traveler needs to be prepared, so here are a few facts that will make your trip smooth and pleasant.

Population: Uncounted Billions (some dead, some not so dead)

Distance from NY, NY: 5000 years into the future, and millions of light years.
You won’t find this one on Google Maps!

Number of Worlds: 80

Government: Empire
It’s called an empire, so who do you think runs it? Though in this case, the emperor has some senators who help, when they aren’t playing political games, that is.

Religion: Ancestor Worship
Only problem is, their ancestors are still mobile. Just imagine Christmastime: “Hey great, great, great, great granddad, can you make sure mom gives me that Wii?” The greeting card salutations alone take up most of the space in the annual Christmas letter!

Things to do:
Become an undead, paint black art no one gets but other undead, then sponge off your kids, their kids, and their kids’ kids, ad infinitum.

Things not to do:
Serve on an interstellar spaceship. With relativistic speeds, you’ll still be alive long after your family is dead, unless they are lucky enough to become an undead.

Watch out for:
The Rix - Cybernetic humans who have done away with the male of the species, these ladies can run circles around you without breaking a sweat. Known for being aggressive and having a profound desire to propagate self-aware compound artificial intelligences. DO NOT be on planet when the Rix come by.

Get to know:
The Emperor – A Scientist turned ruler of the eighty worlds, this guy has the smarts and the ability to give you a never-ending vacation.

Laurent Zai – Captain in the Imperial Navy, he is a rising star in the ranks, and may likely become a great leader one day, if his relationship With Senator Oxham doesn’t ruin it for him.

Nara Oxham – Senator and subversive, she refuses to take the nanotech that makes immortality possible. Should the worst happen, and the Empire fall apart, this lady will be the one to know.

Things to Do and See:
The Senate Chamber – has fascinating debates. If possible, get an aide to let you into a Senator’s offices. This is where the real work of the empire takes place.

The Interior of the Imperial Palace – Opulent, mysterious, and full of genetically engineered cats. Thankfully, there are no little old ladies. Well, at least none that look old.

An imperial starship – Ooh and aah at the sleek lines of the best the Imperial Fleet has to offer. Watch out for hidden video cameras the size of bugs, and don’t get caught in the captain’s cabin when the ship moves into battle formation. If you’re nice, the captain may call “battle stations” and you’ll get to observe how the ship transforms from mild-mannered troop ship to hulking king of battle!

Walk through the city - Vehicular transportation is a rare commodity. Star high up into the skyscrapers around you and marvel at the feats of engineering. Notice the clean, modern lines of all the structures around you.

Day trip to a remote farm – See how your ancestors used to do it, living hand to mouth.

Enjoy your stay in The Risen Empire. Remember to pay your respects to the dead and to all cats.

The Risen Empire, along with the The Killing of Worlds, is a two part novel by acclaimed author Scott Westerfeld. Find out more at his website.

3 comments
Tim Keating
1. MrTact
I just picked up the first book of this duology a couple of weeks ago, thinking "look, a reissue! I wonder what Westerfeld was like before he was THE Scott Westerfeld of YA." And while it's a little rough around the edges in places, overall it's pretty awesome. Even the infodumps are entertaining. (There's one place toward the end of the book where he goes on for about three pages on how the planetary communications hub works. Yep, three pages on the FTL Internet. I don't know that I'd read three pages about the ACTUAL internet, but I read that, and enjoyed it.)
Michael Ellis
2. mkellis
I enjoyed the two books in the series. The only problem is that the second book ends on a cliffhanger and the author, responding to some email of mine, mentioned that sales weren't good enough on the series for it to continue.

This was at least two years ago, and possibly the reissue means there's sufficient interest that more will be coming, but if not, be prepared for the plotline to end unresolved. That caveat aside, I enjoyed the two books a great deal, and would love to read more.
Nicole Cardiff
3. NicoleCardiff
I was really sad to see these books essentially get frozen on a cliffhanger, like mkellis mentioned - I quite liked them, but I'm guessing we just don't get a resolution.

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