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 the challenge of 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.
THE CORRODING EMPIRE marks the English-language debut of Johan Kalsi, 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 Isaac Asimov himself!
THE CORRODING EMPIRE is now available for preorder on Amazon with a retail price of $4.99. It will be released on March 20, 2017. And speaking of corroding empires, one can’t help but note that Tor Books has slashed the preorder price of John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire from $25.99 to $13.68, presumably due to insufferably good, think-y prose such as this:
Kiva Lagos was busily fucking the brains out of the assistant purser she’d been after for the last six weeks of the Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby’s trip from Lankaran to End when Second Officer Waylov Brennir entered her stateroom, unannounced. “You’re needed,” he said.
“I’m a little busy at the moment,” Kiva said. She’d just finally gotten herself into a groove, so fuck Waylov (not literally, he was awful) if she was going to get out of the groove just because he walked into it.
The Third Edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says: “If anyone stands at the core of the American science fiction tradition at the moment, it is Scalzi.” That explains a great deal about the precipitous decline of American science fiction, does it not? The award-winning McRapey is, we are frequently informed, the very best that 29-time Best Publisher Tor Books and mainstream science fiction has to offer. That may be true. Nevertheless, from concept to cover, from title to text, THE CORRODING EMPIRE is a very clear and public demonstration that the Castalia House team can do what they do, and do it better, even as an in-house joke in our copious spare time.
After all, what would be more amusing than for THE CORRODING EMPIRE to outsell and outrank The Collapsing Empire? This isn’t a lame Bored of the Rings-style parody, it is, quite to the contrary, a legitimate Foundation-style novel that effectively demonstrates how hapless Tor’s latest imitative mediocrity is by comparison.
The first number produced by the extrapolated algorithm was off by one-ten billionth. There were nine zeros behind the decimal point. It was a tiny error, all but impossible to detect unless one was looking specifically for it.
The second number was off by twice that. Two in ten billion. Or, rather, one in five billion. One might more reasonably fear being struck by lightning. On a cloudless day. Indoors.
And yet, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t the size of the error that was relevant so much as the fact that it existed at all. Somehow, he concluded, even though it was impossible, the data set must have become garbled. Garbage in, garbage out. Geist had run the extrap-algo more than a million times in the past month, using it to check and and recheck Orland’s agro-surveys. But there was no denying it. Somewhere, somehow, something had introduced an unknown variability into the process, but whether it was to be found in the data or the equations, he did not know.