Virga Books In Order
- Sun of Suns (2006)
- Queen of Candesce (2007)
- Pirate Sun (2008)
- The Sunless Countries (2009)
- Ashes of Candesce (2012)
- The Hero (2012)
- The Complete Virga Series (2018)
- The Claus Effect (1997)
- Ventus (2000)
- Permanence (2002)
- Lady of Mazes (2005)
- Lockstep (2014)
- The Million (2018)
- Stealing Worlds (2019)
- The Engine of Recall (2005)
- Book, Theatre, and Wheel (2012)
- Dawn (2012)
- Jubilee (2014)
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Karl Schroeder Books Overview
It is the distant future. The world known as Virga is a fullerene balloon three thousand kilometers in diameter, filled with air, water, and aimlessly floating chunks of rock. The humans who live in this vast environment must build their own fusion suns and towns that are in the shape of enormous wood and rope wheels that are spun for gravity.
Young, fit, bitter, and friendless, Hayden Griffin is a very dangerous man. He’s come to the city of Rush in the nation of Slipstream with one thing in mind: to take murderous revenge for the deaths of his parents six years ago. His target is Admiral Chaison Fanning, head of the fleet of Slipstream, which conquered Hayden s nation of Aerie years ago. And the fact that Hayden s spent his adolescence living with pirates doesn t bode well for Fanning s chances…
Venera Fanning was last seen falling into nothingness at the end of Sun of Suns. Now, in Queen of Candesce, Venera finds herself plunging through the air among the artificial worlds of Virga, far from home and her husband, who may or may not be alive. Landing in the ancient nation of Spyre, Venera encounters new enemies and new friends or at least convenient allies. She must quickly learn who she can trust, and who she can manipulate in order to survive. Survival isn t her only goal; with the powerful Key of Candesce in her hands, she can control the fate of the entire world of Virga, yet something even more pressing is driving her the all consuming need for revenge.
This is the third novel, after Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce, to be set in Virga, a bubble universe artificially separated from our own future universe. Schroeder’s Virga series is highly reminiscent of the Golden Age of SF, when A. E. van Vogt, Isaac Asimov, and E. E. Doc Smith were all mixing the pulp heritage with high adventure and innovative scientific projections to create interesting worlds, peoples, and stories. The Sacramento Book Review. Chaison Fanning, the admiral of a fleet of warships introduced in the first book, has been captured and imprisoned by his enemies, but is now rescued and set free. He must flee to his home city to confront the ruler who betrayed him. Perhaps while there he will also regain his lovely, powerful, and subversive wife, Venera. He has not seen her since she fled, careening off into the air of Virga, with the key to the artificial sun, Candesce, at the center of Virga. In Pirate Sun, Schroeder sets a whole new standard for hard SF space opera.
In an ocean of weightless air where sunlight has never been seen, only the running lights of the city of Sere glitter in the dark. One woman, Leal Hieronyma Maspeth, history tutor and dreamer, lives and dreams of love among the gaslit streets and caf s. And somewhere in the abyss of wind and twisted cloud through which Sere eternally falls, a great voice has begun speaking. As its cold words reach even to the city walls and as outlying towns and travelers ships start to mysteriously disappear only Leal has the courage to try to understand the message thundering from the distance. Even the city’s most famous and exotic visitor, the sun lighter and hero named Hayden Griffin, refuses to turn aside from his commission to build a new sun for a foreign nation. He will not become the hero that Leal knows the city needs; so in the end, it is up to her to listen, and ultimately reply, to the worldwasp.
The Claus Effect is a continuation of ‘The Toy Mill’, the 1993 Aurora Award winning story about a malevolent, post industrial revolution Santa Claus and Emily, the little girl whose wish to be a Christmas Elf nearly destroys the world. The Claus Effect takes up eights years later, when events propel teen aged Emily and West Point cadet Neil Nyman on a breakneck journey through suburban shopping malls, Ontario cottage country, and the frigid northern wastes of the former Soviet Union battling displaced Cossacks, blue blooded cottagers and homicidal, down sized elves along the way. Finally, they must face down the terrifying truth: about Christmas, the New World Order and The Claus Effect.
Ventus is a large scale Hard SF adventure novel in the tradition of Larry Niven, Vernor Vinge, and Arthur C. Clarke. Karl Schroeder, a physicist and writer, is a winner of Canada’s Aurora Award. His first novel was called the best first fantasy of the year by Science Fiction Chronicle, and now his first SF novel launches a major career in SF. Young Jordan Mason, on the terraformed planet Ventus, has visions. Kidnapped by Calandria May a human from offworld sent to investigate the AIs the Winds of Ventus Jordan is desperate to find the meaning of his visions, desperate enough to risk calling down the Winds that destroy technology to protect the created environment, who descend and wreak havoc. As a result Jordan escapes from Calandria and sets out to discover his destiny on his own. Calandria and others, both human and AI, search for Jordan, who holds the key to catastrophe or salvation. Ventus is an epic journey across a fascinating planet with a big mystery why have the Winds fallen silent? It is one of the major, ambitious SF novels of the year and the international launch of an important new hard SF writer.
Young Rue Cassels of the Cycler Compact a civilization based around remote brown dwarf stars is running for her life from her bullying brother, Jentry, who has stolen her family inheritance and threatens to sell her into slavery. Fleeing in a shuttle spacecraft from the sparsely populated and austere comet mining habitat she has lived in her whole life, she spots a distant, approaching object, and stakes a legal claim to it. It is not the valuable comet she hoped for but something even more wonderful, an abandoned Cycler starship. Since the discovery of a faster than light drive, unfortunately operable only between larger stars, the Cycler Compact civilization has gradually dwindled. It’s much cheaper for the star based civilizations of the new Rights Economy to bypass the stops that can’t be made with the new technology, and the civilizations of the brown stars are gradually sinking into anarchy and chaos. It has been decades since the last Cycler ship passed anywhere near the system in which Rue grew up. Her discovery unleashes a fury of action, greed, and interstellar intrigue as many factions attempt to take advantage of the last great opportunity to revitalize and perhaps control the Compact. This is the story of Rue’s quest to visit and claim this ship and its treasures, set against a background of warring empires, strange alien artifacts, and fantastic science. It is a story of hope and danger, of a strange and compelling religion, Permanence, unique to this star faring age, and of the rebirth of life and belief in a place at the edge of forever.
Karl Schroeder is one of the new stars of hard SF. His novels, Ventus and Permanence, have established him as a new force in the field. Now he extends his reach into Larry Niven territory, returning to the same distant future in which Ventus was set, but employing a broader canvas. Lady of Mazes is the story of Teven Coronal, a ringworld with a huge multiplicity of human civilizations. It’s the story of what happens when the delicate balance of coexisting worlds is completely destroyed, when the fabric of reality itself is torn. Brilliant but troubled Livia Kodaly is Teven’s only hope against invaders both human and superhuman who threaten the fragile ecologies and human diversity. Filled with action, ideas, and intellectual energy, Lady of Mazes is the hard SF novel of the year.
Aurora Award Nominee, 2006
Gathered here for the first time are the finest science fiction stories, including the previously unpublished novelette ‘Alexander’s Road,’ by the award winning Karl Schroeder. The Engine of Recall tales are of ordinary people in astonishing circumstances. Whether stranded alone on the frigid oceans of Saturn’s moon Titan, or searching for stolen nuclear bombs under the rusting oil derricks of Azerbaijan, Schroeder’s characters assert their humanity in inhuman circumstances.
Combining classic adventure and sophisticated speculation, the ten stories in this collection are sure to satisfy a broad range of readers.
Includes an introduction by Stephen Baxter.
The original story ‘Alexander’s Road’ was nominated for the Aurora Award Canada’s top Science Fiction award for best short work in English.