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Crystal Empire

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  65 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Earth is ruled by three mighty empires: The Saracen-Jewish Empire led by the Caliph of Rome, the Mughal-Arab Empire, ferocious in its determination to destroy its neighbor, and the great Sino-Aztec’s Crystal Empire, led by a living God.

Little is known about the Crystal Empire, which spans most of western America. But it is the most powerful force surviving on Earth and its
Paperback, 449 pages
Published February 1st 1987 by Tom Doherty Associates, Inc (first published January 1st 1986)
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Feb 19, 2009 Greg rated it really liked it
Not bad at all. A departure from his normal libertarian sci-fi, but still with libertarian overtones. It is loosely connected to his Confederacy universe, though the well-read reader doesn't realize it until well into the book. Very enjoyable.
May 27, 2009 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mine, sci-fi, fantasy
A parallel universe where the plague wiped out most of the population. An interesting take on what civilization and technology would look like as new powers and religious rise or flourish. Oh, and there's a damsel in distress.
Robby Charters
Dec 07, 2015 Robby Charters rated it it was amazing
It's the alternative universe that would have been had the Black Plague completely wiped out Europe, enabling the Muslims to complete their conquest of that continent. There are two competing Muslim empires, the Sarasen Jewish Empire in Rome, and Mogul Arab Empire in the East. The Americas remained largely unknown to Europeans apart from a very small group of Vikings who had settled along the East Coast. What's left of Christianity is a pitiful blood cult followed by a few of the American ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 10, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it
L. Neil Smith is particularly known for his libertarian science fiction, especially his alternate history "North American Confederacy" series that is kicked off with The Probability Broach. Personally, I find those books rather farfetched and too polemical--and I consider myself a libertarian. The Crystal Empire is different. One Amazon reviewer said that if there was a libertarian message in this one, he didn't see it, and another reviewer who says he finds Smith's philosophy "idiotic" agrees a ...more
Tony Calder
After being very disappointed in the last of Smith's novels that I read, The Gallatin Divergence, I was unsure about starting this one, but I am a big fan of alternate histories. I much preferred this one, although the ending seems rushed - which is a bit odd for a 500+ page book. The premise is good - European nations are nearly completely wiped out by the Black Death. The narrative then jumps forward to the late 20th century.

The story is interesting, and the characters generally easy to engage
Aug 04, 2013 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book had a fascinating, although terrifying, idea on the development of technology, but for the reader to discover this, he/she must go through a long tedious journey. Violence was overboard, unrealistic (why they call it a fantasy, I guess) and unnecessary like watching a Quentin Tarantino movie.
Oct 26, 2013 Faye rated it did not like it
I didn't understand what was going in this book and didn't care much for the characters so I gave up.
Jul 31, 2014 Zachary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Pretentious, preachy, and utterly worthless drivel.
Kent Sugg
Kent Sugg rated it it was ok
Jan 04, 2009
James Eckman
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May 08, 2015 John marked it as abandoned
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
1990 not finished
Michael rated it it was amazing
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Jamie Lewis rated it it was ok
Feb 15, 2011
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L. Neil Smith is a Libertarian science fiction author and gun rights activist.Smith was born in Denver, Colorado. His father was an Air Force officer, and his childhood was spent in various places including Waco, McQueenie, and La Porte, Texas; Salina, Kansas; Sacramento, California; and Gifford, Illinois (all before he completed 5th grade) and then St. John’s, Newfoundland and Ft. Walton Beach, ...more
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