The Shaa have ruled the empire for the last 10 millennia:
10 000 years of terror, violence and oppression, made legitimate
by the Praxis, the harsh code of ethics the Shaa have imposed
on the many races they have conquered, including the human
At the centre of The Praxis is the old story of capitalism.
In place this work is comparable to George Orwell 1984,
but set much further into the future. On
the underbelly of society the usual hustlers, pimps and crooks
do their dirty work, the no-hopers and uneducated lead small
and fruitless lives, while the middle-class melts into the
The Legion of Diligence makes sure everyone stays in line
(and unmentionable things happen to those that don't), while
everyone is looking out for number one, or simply for the
advantage of their collective.
novel starts with the preparation for death of the last of
the Shaa. The Imperial Race has been dying out for millennia
and the moment fast approaches when the curtain will come
down, leaving their subject races to continue in their appointed
first two thirds of the book are rather heavy going but once
the last of the Shaa finally dies conspiracies start bubbling
to the surface and Walter Jon Williams shows his real talent
for story telling.
from the Dune stable, The Praxis is a well constructed
space opera that will appeal to sci-fi fans who want something
a little different.
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