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Pirate Sun: Book Three of Virga by Karl Schroeder
Review by Tom Easton
Tor Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765315458
Date: 05 August 2008 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Review by Ernest Lilley / Show Article /

The last time someone created a world floating in space without ground or gravity, we enjoyed Larry Niven's Integral Trees (1983). Niven's world was ring-shaped (he had a thing for rings), while that of Karl Schroeder's Virga series is a vast cloud enclosed by a barrier. Inside the barrier is air and water and occasional bits of rock. There is a central sun, Candesce, a made object, and around it cluster a throng of cities and realms, floating in the air, farming fish in water balls and crops on whatever chunks of dirt can be found or made. Transport is by flapping wing or jet-powered bikes that have quite astonishing amounts of fuel in their tanks. Cities are wheels of metal or wood, rotating to provide a bit of gravity. Further out, where the light of Candesce dims, people have made more fusion-powered suns. Since resources are in short supply, there is occasional war. Since people are forever people, there is also politics, intrigue, plot, and scheme.

From official release/information:

Product Description:

Return to Virga, a bubble universe artificially separated from our own future universe, and the setting of Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce.

Chaison Fanning, the admiral of a fleet of warships, has been captured and imprisoned by his enemies, but is suddenly rescued and set free. He flees through the sky to his home city to confront the ruler who betrayed him. And perhaps even to regain his lovely, powerful, and subversive wife, Venera, who he has not seen since she fled with the key to the artificial sun at the center of Virga, Candesce.

Schroeder sets a whole new standard for hard SF space opera.

(Source: Tor)

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