A world of endless sky, with no land, no gravity: this is Virga. Beginning in the seminal science fiction novelSun of Suns, the saga of this striking world has introduced us to the people of stubborn pride and resilience who have made Virga their home; but also, always lurking beyond the walls of the world, to the mysterious threat known only as Artificial Nature. InThe Sunless Countries, history tutor Leal Hieronyma Maspeth became the first human in centuries to learn the true nature of this threat. Her reward was exile, but now, inAshes of Candesce, Artificial Nature makes its final bid to destroy Virga, and it is up to Leal to unite the quarrelling clans of her world to fight the threat.
Ashes of Candesce brings together all the heroes of the Virga series, and draws the diverse threads of the previous storylines together into one climactic conflict. Blending steampunk styling with a far-future setting and meditations on the posthuman condition,Ashes of Candesce mixes high adventure and cutting-edge ideas in a fitting climax to one of science fiction's most innovative series.
Karl Schroeder lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Comparable to classic SF epics like John Varley's Gaean trilogy and Jack L. Chalker's Well of Souls series, Schroeder's saga is an awe-inspiring example of masterful world-building. A myriad of themes, from rogue artificial intelligences to the evolution of human bodies and culture, make this futuristic epic one to reckon with.
I loved it. It never slowed down. The background is fascinating and the characters held my attention. It reminded me a little ofThe Integral Trees, with technology a little more advanced.
A fantastically alchemical tale set in a strange yet utterly real world. Hayden is a complex and well-developed protagonist and Schroeder is an amazingly detailed writer whose world-building is superb.
A classic space opera.
Schroeder has accomplished the enviable task of creating a fascinating new universe for readers to explore: a spaceborne steampunk environment that conjures up images of neo-Victorian-era flying vehicles traveling among piecemeal floating communities. A rousing, old-fashioned, pulp-like adventure yarn.
Schroeder's world-building, storytelling, and character-drawing chops seem strong enough to given even Known Space run for its money.
Schroeder's world-building continues to be fascinating, and the intrigue among inbred nations thrown into confusion by an outsider keeps the pace at a satisfying clip.