Read Pirate Sun by Karl Schroeder Online


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 perhaReturn 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....

Title : Pirate Sun
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765315458
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Pirate Sun Reviews

  • Belarius
    2019-03-21 13:41

    On the surface, there's a lot to like about Pirate Sun, the third of Karl Schroeder's Virga books. Unlike the second book (Queen of Candesce), which seemed to progress orthogonally from the plot of the first book (Sun of Suns), this new installment picks up loose ends established early in the series and resolves many of the driving conflicts that were established from that onset. However, upon closer examination, Pirate Sun begins to have the musty aroma of a formula.The Virga books are well-described as "high adventure driven by hard-nosed science fiction." In this regard, the world in which the story takes place remains interesting and compelling. As in previous volumes, Schroeder keep throwing new twists into the setting, expanding on the foundation of reasonable science to catch the reader off guard and reveal the quirks of his distinctive world. Unfortunately, the number of "aha!" moments inevitably diminishes with each book (as the setting is further fleshed out), and soon the "high adventure" element of the narrative must support itself under its own weight.In this important regard, Pirate Sun begins to sag a little. Schroeder's characters remain archetypal, to the point of being cliched, and unless they are able to surprise the reader, the excitement of the writing increasingly depends on getting the next "fix" of setting weirdness. To make matters worse, Virga's two most compelling prior characters (Hayden and Venera) are largely absent and the new protagonists are conflicted in such simple ways that they do not propel the story forward with the same kind of urgency.This is not to say Pirate Sun is bad, by any means. Many of the underlying concepts are sophisticated, highly strange, well worth serious thought. These are merely set dressing, however, for what is quite obviously popcorn fiction: not too filling, not too nutritious, but easy to eat and superficially (if predictably) tasty. Schroeder more cleverly concealed this superficiality in his earlier Virga books, but is less successful in this case. Without either an infusion of striking new ideas (the first book's strength), or a deepening and complexifying of the protagonists (the second book's strength), the Virga books may have officially gone into decline with this volume.

  • Ben Babcock
    2019-02-22 16:05

    Few authors manage to win me over the way Karl Schroeder has done. After the mediocre Sun of Suns, Venera Fanning's con game in Queen of Candesce impressed me enough to do an almost complete about-face. So it was with eager anticipation that I started the third book in the Virga series, anxious to find out what will happen to Venera; her husband, Chaison; and the pirate sun builder, Hayden Griffin.The world of Virga is always a factor in the action of Pirate Sun, but like Queen of Candesce its role is subtler and off centre-stage. Much of the plot revolves around protecting Virga from an incursion by Artificial Nature. However, until the climax of the story, Virga's role manifests natural as all the differences one would expect from living inside a massive fullerene sphere. I can never quite visualize the action (but I'm not very good at that with books set on Earth anyway), but I don't feel left behind. Schroeder never misses a beat in exploiting the unique nature of such a setting, but he doesn't let it become too overwhelming.More disappointing are the characters. The jacket copy made it clear that Chaison was going to be the main protagonist, yet I hoped against all odds that Venera, when she figured in the prologue, would play a more pivotal role. She was won me over in Queen of Candesce. Alas, Chaison and Antaea are the focus of Pirate Sun, and neither of them are as interesting or profound as Venera. Chaison is not in the same intellectual weight-class as his wife. He is a brilliant military tactician, but his strategy is somewhat wanting. And, I don't know, he just seems a bit . . . dull, stodgy. Antaea is more intriguing, but like Chaison, she lacks a certain gumption that makes Venera a successful heroine. Antaea begins the story on a mission to rescue her sister, despite its possible cost to Virga. She never really seizes the day and steps up. In fact, as if Schroeder subconsciously recognizes what's missing from this story, Venera does play a small but significant part in the climax.To an extent, Schroeder attempts to recreate the plot of the previous book. Like his wife, Chaison's struggle is one to return home to Slipstream. He has limited resources, plenty of enemies, and his allies have other commitments that could quickly become conflicts of interest. Where Venera's journey was about identity, Chaison's seems to concern duty and honour—and that's where it falls flat. Chaison et al have to traipse about Falcon for a while, seeking a means of escape. Along the way they get involved in a defence of Stormcloud, a Falcon city being threatened by another nation. Chaison becomes one of the leaders of a resistance, banding together with the people of Stormcloud and a circus strongman named Corbus. And unlike the delightful, complex con game that dominates the political landscape of Queen of Candesce, this part of Pirate Sun just feels so random.So it's a good thing most of the book is fun. That doesn't excuse its flaws, but it mollifies my discontent. Also, Schroeder elaborates on the juxtaposition between technologically-primitive Virga and the Artificial Nature-dominated world outside. As foreshadowed in the previous books, Virga is both sanctuary and potential battlefield for the entities of Artificial Nature. One lifestyle is rough, unfettered, and often unjust. The other is austere, impersonal, and alien. Schroeder shows us why both approaches—absolute embrace of advanced technology and absolute rejection—are unsuitable. In the former, you lose yourself, your identity and your consciousness. In the latter, you lose freedoms, as well as devices that raise the quality of life.When these two worlds collide, people begin taking sides. The home guard is charged with preserving the status quo. Others, including Antaea's group within the home guard, want to destroy the field that Candesce emits to inhibits computers. Some people, like Venera and Chaison, happily exploit what little they know to their own advantage, even though they don't have a particular desire to see Virga altered by the return of advanced technology. But the key to Candesce is, I suspect, much like Pandora's Box. We haven't seen the last of Artificial Nature.Everything I read about the Virga series mentioned it was a trilogy, or at least strongly hinted that. Nothing told me to expect a fourth book. But when I finished Pirate Sun, I found myself wanting more—both because I didn't feel like everything was concluded, and because I had enjoyed the book. So I'm pleased to see that Schroeder has written a fourth book, and that Hayden Griffin figures more prominently in this one. Hayden's role as the mastermind behind Aerie's new sun is mentioned, but that's it. He doesn't even get a cameo. And although the ignition of Aerie's illicit sun is concurrent with the climax, the struggle to construct it all happens offstage. We don't see any of the setbacks, any of the resistance or obstacles that Hayden has to overcome.That's the impression I get about the Virga series in general. It sounds like there's a lot of interesting stuff happening offstage. Pirate Sun is another great return to the unique world of Virga, but like the first book in this series, Schroeder's characterization and plot fail to live up to the great environment he has constructed for them. While the plot and politics do leave me wanting more, Pirate Sun also cooled somewhat my ardour toward Karl Schroeder. He's convinced me that he has big ideas about technology and humanity's future, created one of the most fascinating science-fiction environments I've ever encountered. I just wish his novels were as epic as that environment deserves.My Reviews of the Virga series:← Queen of Candesce | The Sunless Countries (forthcoming) →

  • Jeffrey
    2019-03-08 18:50

    The third book in the Virga (series, trilogy?) revolves around Chaison Fanning, the admiral husband of Vanera Fanning and his journey back to Slipstream. If you have not read the first two books in this excellent sf series, basically, Virga is a world inside a metal container and there are various suns that light the inhabitants. The main sun is called Candesce, and in its interior controls is some high level technology that acts as a damping field, preventing various higher level technologies from working. a key can be used to modulate this power. In the earlier books in the series,Chaisson Fanning, an admiral in the nation state of Slipstream and his wife Vanera Channing are able to thwart an attack by a neighboring state of Falcon, by using the key to turn off the damping field and using radar to track and destroy the Falcon ships. Chaisson is captured in this battle and Vanera Channing escapades after the battle are captured in the Queen of Canesce, the prior book in this series. This novel starts with her plan to rescue Chaisson from the evil clutches of Falcon, which has been torturing him to find out the secrets to his naval victory. Prior to her actual rescue of her husband, Chaisson and two crew membeers from his fleet are rescued by Antea Argyre, who offers to escort Chaisson back to Slipstream. So the four embark on a quest to return. naturally, Argyre is a member of a secret Virga home guard who have been formed to prevent the outside inhabitants of the much more technologically advanced Vega universe from breaking into Virga and destroying it. However, Argyre has a secret agenda as her sister is being held captive, by a dissident group in the home guard. this group wants Chaisson to reveal where the key to Candesce is so the can seize it for themselves. The novel tracks chaisson fanning's journey back to Slipstream and explores more of the worlds of Virga on the way and also is about honor and loyalty. Petty dictators, wars between neighboring city states, diabolical plots and fearsome technology inhabit Virga.The short book is well worth the time.

  • Jesse Whitehead
    2019-03-18 11:00

    Karl Schroeder's Virga is the most interesting world in science fiction right now. After Sun of Suns I thought I would be willing to read books in that world forever. It was grand adventure, beautiful, filled with action, great characters, great character arcs, and an absolutely stunning setting to imagine.Queen of Candesce left all the characters from the first book behind and spend an entire book with Venera Fanning. This third one turns to Chaison Fanning, her husband, incarcerated after by Falcon Formation after destroying their secret fleet sent out to attack his home country of Slipstream.The parts of this book that are of interest are the first three chapters and the last three chapters. The rest of the story is a series of action scenes that have little point and serve no purpose in moving the story along or helping the characters to progress or change in anyway.Completely missing is the story of Hayden Griffin and his attempts to reconstruct the sun of the fallen Aerie. The sun appears at the very end, completely out of nowhere with no hints that Hayden has been able to start his dreamed of work.This story, short as it was, felt too long for the amount of story to be told. I would have much preferred a book about Hayden's adventures in constructing the sun from the captured pieces of Candesce sprinkled with the five or six chapters about Chaison that had any relevance.I think my expectations of this book were way too high, and thus my disappointment is disproportionately high as well. The previous books (especially the first one) were brilliantly written and two of the most exciting books that I've read in a great while. This one felt flat and pointless throughout.

  • Forrest
    2019-03-06 14:38

    Karl Schroeder’s Virga series caught my eye a few years back with its intriguing blend of hard sci-fi and medieval humanity. I’ve always been interested in media that explores humanity’s reaction to discovering that an underling truth of their world is false: The Matrix, Scrapped Princess, and now the Virga series. Schroeder’s books cut an extremely advanced form of humanity off from any technology more sophisticated than a jet engine and the culture has regressed to the point that they no longer understand the science underlying their home, an artificial habitat consisting of nothing but air and a fake sun. The core theme of the novels is the new directions that these societies and individuals take upon discovering the artificial truth of their world and their missing histories.A quick catching-up: Virga #1, Sun of Suns introduces us to the hollow world of Virga, a small version of a Dyson Sphere, better described as a Fullerene Balloon, with an extremely small artificial sun, called Candesce, at its center. The habitable areas of the balloon are the zones of sky near to Candesce, and small nation-states orbiting even smaller artificial suns within the greater sphere. Each of these kingdoms occupies no more than a few hundred cubic miles and move in localized Hadley cells created by Candesce’s heat. Humans live in wheel-like constructed cities that are spun to produce gravity, similar to many space station concepts.The protagonists of the first novel, Chaison Fanning and has wife Venera, are citizens of a Pirate Nation called Slipstream. Slipstream is anchored to a rogue comet that orbits Candesce, and moves without regard to the Hadley Cells’ rotation, meaning that it occasionally passes through territory controlled by other nation-states. Slipstream has a reputation for absorbing the resources of the nation-states it passes through. But their most recent conquest has provoked the ire of an aggressive neighbor and Chaison is forced into a dangerous mission to head off a preemptive attack. Hopelessly outnumbered, Chaison’s gambit relies on using a legendary lost technology called Radar to outmaneuver the enemy forces in a dangerous region of Winter, the cold air between kingdoms. But for the Radar to work, Candesce, the Sun of Suns, needs to be turned off, because in addition to keeping the world of Virga warm and livable, the Sun is responsible for a powerful field that inhibits electronics of all kinds.In the wake of the mission, Chaison and Venera are separated. Queen of Candesce follows Venera after she crashes on Spyre, an enormous cylinder city tearing itself to pieces under the weight of age and thousands of warring micro-kingdoms. Venera takes advantage of her situation and positions herself to take control of Spyre, intending to gain enough influence and power to escape the city and rejoin her husband. Chaison is captured after heading off the fleet from Falcon Formation and placed in a zero-gee prison to rot, which is where we find him in Pirate Sun.A bungled escape attempt leaves Chaison at the mercy of Antaea, a member of the mysterious Home Guard. Chaison had encountered the Home Guard briefly while visiting the skin of Virga. They have been tasked with the defense of Virga from the oppressive homogenizing forces outside. For whatever reason, the creators of Virga chose to create a world free from advanced technology, rejecting the dehumanizing ‘Artificial Nature’ that dominates the rest of the galaxy, and more specifically, the Vega star system. Antaea’s motives are unclear, but she wants the Key of Candesce back from Venera for the Home Guard. The Fanning’s little ploy back in book one opened Virga to hostile forces, if only for a few hours, and the Home Guard is now on high alert. Chaison and Antaea limp through Falcon Formation looking for a way back to Slipstream. The pair get caught up in a new war between Falcon Formation and their neighbors The Gretels; a war that has put Falcon Formation into an awkward alliance with Slipstream. Chaison’s escape has put that alliance in jeopardy making him the target of Falcon’s Secret Service, the Slipstream military and an unknown third party called the Bankers.The book is slower pace than the earlier novels, with only two major action scenes. A substantial amount of time is spend with Chaison as he recovers from the withering effects of prolonged zero-gee exposure while he tries to unravel the intrigues that have woven themselves around him. Antaea is an extremely untrustworthy ally, forcing Chaison to consider his rescuer and companion a potential enemy. Where Venera shines in the midst of intrigue in Queen of Candesce, Chaison is a military man forced into a complex web of plots and schemes and he doesn’t quite know how to handle it. In some ways, this makes him a much more interesting figure, but it also makes him a passive participant in events. He does get a chance to do his thing during the Gretels’ invasion of Falcon, but the entire scene is irrelevant to the greater plot of the book. It’s a distracting military engagement that feels very much like shiny page filler. Really really great page filler, but filler nonetheless.Fans of Virga frequently cite the unique and intriguing world as the biggest draw. But unlike a lot of speculative fiction, the protagonists are major reasons to follow the series. Still, Schroeder must be given credit for his concept. Speculative Fiction aficionados will recognize aspects of Larry Niven’s The Integral Trees in the environment of Virga. The concept of a free-fall environment inhabited by humanoids isn’t an entirely new one. Virga shines because of the combination of sci-fi and low tech elements that create an atmosphere most easily compared to naval fiction or pirate novels. It is a feeling that maintains the aura of exploration and adventure, while still embracing the tropes and attitude of harder forms of science fiction.The greater conflict, hinted at in all of the novels, between the homogenizing outside forces seeking to assimilate Virga and the local Home Guard, desperate to maintain a last bubble of humanity in a digital universe, comes to the forefront in the final pages of Pirate Sun, and while this inevitable confrontation is critical to the greater story of the entire series, the conclusion is almost forgone. The legacy of Virga’s founders, the preservation of humanity even at the cost of the individual’s comfort and safety, is defended, if only for the moment. Schroeder’s loving depiction of the endearing flaws and virtues of unenhanced humanity leaves the reader no doubt about his personal feelings on the matter, but the underling moral dilemma is left in the hands of the reader.Science Fiction is given to answering the tough questions about the dangers of too much technology too fast. It’s a common theme and one that deserves to be explored. Approaching it from the other side, a splinter of humanity that has been denied technology for so long they no longer remember the reasons for giving it up, is a fascinating way of addressing the same questions. Virga’s strength lies in this unique approach to what could be a more ordinary space opera. And in Schroeder’s ability to hide the metaphysics behind the curtain so you don’t really think about the greater implications until Antaea brings it up, 3 books into the series. Asking these questions is what brings deeper meaning to sci-fi, but Schroeder’s approach lets the reader mull over the reality of the situation for two whole novels before confronting the subject directly. Virga should make you think, but it will also give you a wonderful ride in a fresh world.

  • Luca Cresta
    2019-03-02 13:01

    un'ottima conlcusione per questa rutilante trilogia di SF avventurosa e spaziale. I due protagonisti "umani" della trilogia finalmente si riuniscono, ma il vero punto di forza della storia è sempre Virga, questo "mondo" meraviglioso, dove si intrecciano le diverse avventure della storia. Speriamo ch ein futuro Zona42 o altri editori volgiano proseguire con la pubblicazione delle storie ambientate in questo universo così avvincente. Una parola speciale sui due traduttori ancora una volta eccezionali nel rendere un testo, tecnicamente complesso nell'illustrare le dinamiche spaziali di un mondo a bassissima gravità, scorrevole ed appassionante alla lettura.

  • FerroN
    2019-03-25 10:42

    “Gli uomini si lanciavano gli uni contro gli altri a velocità combinate di centinaia di chilometri orari, agitando le sciabole nella speranza di colpire l’avversario.”Una frase del genere basterebbe a rendere superfluo qualsiasi commento su “Sole Pirata”, ma la pessima valutazione (la prima “1 stella” su 739 ratings precedenti) richiede qualche giustificazione da parte mia che vada oltre il “mi piace/non mi piace”.Uomini che sfrecciano nell’aria a corpo libero cercando di colpirsi per mezzo di sciabole ad una velocità di almeno 200 km/h (“centinaia”) – vale a dire oltre 50 metri al secondo! – è qualcosa che sfida la più tenace volontà d’immedesimazione persino nell’ambito di un genere letterario svincolato da qualsiasi esigenza di plausibilità scientifica; e questo è solo il meno significativo tra gli aspetti criticabili del romanzo.I miglioramenti riscontrati nel precedente “Regina del Sole” (una trama semplificata, più ordinata, personaggi meglio caratterizzati e azione più ponderata rispetto al primo volume) sono azzerati, lasciando spazio nuovamente ad acrobatici inseguimenti e mirabolanti duelli. La trama riprende a procedere in direzioni determinate spesso dal caso o fini a sé stesse, sommersa da supposizioni, congetture, dai “forse” e dai “probabilmente”, dagli “abbastanza vero” e “abbastanza sicuro” espresse da personaggi appena abbozzati e piegati alle esigenze del racconto (l’unico salvabile è Antaea Argyre, il cui comportamento a volte contraddittorio si spiega col vile ricatto di cui è vittima). Tra queste figure impalpabili c’è anche chi, dopo una vita trascorsa in clandestinità, rivela le proprie generalità in una lettera indirizzata ad un ignoto destinatario (sebbene non sappia “nemmeno a chi stesse scrivendo di preciso”) e chi affida piani segreti e la propria sorte ad uno sconosciuto maggiordomo (che “certo, non è uno dei loro e non so per chi lavori, ma comunque sia ha dei contatti”).In una tale confusione non c’è da sorprendersi che la salvezza arrivi sempre dal cielo (anche letteralmente), grazie al pronto intervento o alle precise indicazioni di persone conosciute qualche giorno prima o chissà dove (ma il lettore lo scopre sempre dopo), e che – in una sfera d’aria dal diametro di 8.000 chilometri, disseminata di città sospese ed edifici vaganti – il luogo che si sta cercando viene casualmente trovato al primo tentativo e i soli possibili alleati esistenti al mondo non c’è bisogno di andare a cercarli perché - guardacaso - sono intenti a confabulare proprio sottocasa… Chaison Fannig riappare nel ruolo di protagonista. L'odissea verso la sua patria sembra non finire mai, soprattutto a causa delle sue scelte (dubbi, ripensamenti e l'estemporanea tendenza a fare da “capo-popolo”) in contrasto col suo ruolo di aristocratico e vincente ammiraglio. Recita anche la parte di deus ex machina: pure quando si trova catapultato in situazioni di cui è completamente all’oscuro (“Chi sono i giocatori?" … “Qual è il bersaglio dell’odio popolare? Chi sta cercando di ottenere il potere in tutto questo caos?”) riesce in un attimo a pianificare strategie rocambolesche (“Un piano magistrale, vecchio mio…” lo gratifica un collaboratore).Ma come vive la mancanza della sua amata e bellissima moglie, la subdola Venera?Così: “… non aveva idea di dove si trovasse la moglie, … Si rese conto che non gli importava di cosa stesse facendo, né se lo avesse aspettato; …” Ma una decina di pagine più avanti si scopre che: “… era stata la speranza di rivedere Venera a dargli la forza di andare avanti.” Chiaro, no?La struttura su cui poggia la saga di Virga – episodi e parti narrative talvolta debolmente legate tra loro e poco significative nel contesto generale, se non mere parentesi (tutto il secondo volume, “La Regina del Sole”, può considerarsi a sé stante) – permette di iniziare la lettura anche da questo romanzo; nella maggior parte dei capitoli di “Sole Pirata” si trovano infatti molti riferimenti ad avvenimenti e personaggi presenti nei passati episodi. L’infodump è sempre in agguato, soprattutto a causa del tentativo di spiegare e giustificare i comportamenti talvolta discutibili dei personaggi. L’impressione finale è che se i tre volumi fossero stati condensati in un unico romanzo (magari con le linee narrative separate - e alternate - di Chaison e Venera) il risultato avrebbe potuto essere migliore. Molti personaggi sono entrati in scena lasciando intendere una presenza di primo piano; invece, dopo aver partecipato a un assalto eroico o aver raccontato una storia inutile, sono usciti di scena e… adieu, chi s’è visto s’è visto.La saga di Virga (in italiano “Trilogia” perché sono stati tradotti solo i primi tre volumi) prosegue, ma io mi fermo: lo sforzo per visualizzare le descrizioni, comprendere i personaggi e le loro azioni è stato in certi momenti superiore a quello richiesto dalla lettura della "Divina Commedia".Lascio Virga senza rimpianti ma con il mal di testa…

  • Michele (Mikecas)
    2019-03-01 18:37

    da: episodio della serie di Virga, e conclusivo per quanto riguarda le avventure dell'ammiraglio Chaison Fanning e di sua moglie Venera, ma anche il romanzo in cui si cerca di spiegare davvero qualcosa di Virga.Dico subito che questo terzo volume, pur essendo una lettura gradevole, è quello che dei tre mi è piaciuto meno, e questa è una delle ragioni per cui lo presento in questa rubrica. L'altra, forse più importante, è che così questo commento appare subito, altrimenti dovrebbe essere in codo di mesi. Diverse le ragioni di questo mio scarso gradimento. Intanto questa volta mi ha dato davvero fastidio il continuo cambio di Punto di Vista (PoV) all'interno di un capitolo. È vero che nella maggior parte dei casi lo stacco è fatto bene, con interruzione grafica e inizio del nuovo pezzo che rende subito chiaro dentro la testa di chi si sta ora, ma "maggior parte dei casi" significa non tutti, e qualche volta mi è successo il classico annaspare nel vuoto per non capire più niente, tornare indietro a rileggere, accorgersi del cambio di PoV, e ripartire con la lettura, dopo qualche imprecazione silenziosa. Non mi era successo nei volumi precedenti, ma non ho tempo per cercare di capire se non me ne ero accorto io o Schroeder è diventato più trascurato. Questo del salto di PoV non ben evidenziato e identificabile con totale certezza fin dalle prime parole è uno dei difetti che mi irrita di più, per cui mi sembra difficile non me ne sia accorto, ma tutto può essere.A parte questo aspetto, ci sono altre ragioni per la mia perplessità di giudizio. Il romanzo è centrato sulle peripezie di Chaison Fanning nel suo tentativo di ritorno a Slipstream dopo la fuga dalle prigioni della Formazione Falcon, ignorando che la sua liberazione è dovuta ad un'incursione guidata dalla moglie Venera, e fino alla fine non saprà niente del destino della moglie stessa. Il romanzo però, anche per rendere più facile la connessione col volume precedente e il raccordo degli avvenimenti, dedica una piccola prima parte alle azioni di Venera, fino al tentativo di liberazione. Scelta senza dubbio corretta che aiuta il lettore a riprendere confidenza con l'ambiente e i vari personaggi. Solo che da quel momento in poi di Venera non se ne sa più niente, seguendo Chaison e i suoi compagni di avventura, e quando si arriva alla fine si è, sempre come Chaison, del tutto ignoranti dello sviluppo del movimento che Venera aveva messo in moto a Slipstream, e onestamente se ne riesce a capire ben poco dei dettagli. Teoricamente la cosa è corretta, perché stiamo seguendo un PoV ben preciso, ma quando quel PoV non riesce a capire bene quello che gli succede intorno, ma la stessa cosa è vera per il lettore, si rimane con qualche dubbio.Ultimo problema, ma non minore come peso, è la presentazione della realtà di Virga nell'ambito della civiltà esterna, in effetti le ragioni dell'esistenza di Virga così com'è e delle tensioni che si sono create per la sua esistenza. Informazioni essenziali per i lettori di questa serie, ma fornite in modo decisamente insoddisfacente, completamente "raccontate", e anche in modo confuso e poco chiaro, probabilmente per non voler affogare il lettore in un infodump gigantesco, ma con il risultato di non far capire bene quello che senza dubbio Scheoder aveva chiaro in testa, ma non è stato capace di rendere chiaro al lettore. Almeno ad un lettore normale come credo di essere io, perché magari qualcuno avrà anche capito cosa succederà nel prossimo romanzo... :)In conclusione, se ci si limita alla storia come è, Schreoder dimostra la solita capacità di raccontare una vicenda picaresca divertente e inserita in un'ambientazione davvero unica e sempre merevigliosa. Non dimostra altrettanta capacità a gestire l'aspetto fantascientifico, ma devo onestamente dire che mi era già chiaro dai precedenti romanzi.Quindi una lettura piacevole, specialmente per quei lettori (e sono tanti) che non sono sensibili agli errori di struttura narrativa e non gli fumano le narici se devono tornare indietro di un paio di righe per capire perché stavano nella testa di uno e si sono trovati nella testa di un altro (anche se due pagine di racconto sconclusionato sulle origini di Virga dovrebbero innervosire molti)...Quattro stelline su Anobii e Goodreads, ma davvero non proprio meritate... (chissà i seguiti...)

  • Joanna
    2019-03-05 17:40

    Inhalt:Seit seiner Gefangennahme hofft Admiral Chaison Fanning auf die Freiheit. Als er mit zwei weiteren Gefangenen dann tatsächlich frei kommt, beginnt der Kampf jedoch erst richtig. Antaea hat ihre ganz eigenen Pläne und Chaison und seine Freunde spielen darin ebenfalls eine Rolle...Meine Meinung:Die Rezension zu Karl Schroeders "Segel der Zeit" fällt mir leider sehr schwer. Da das Buch ein Geschenk war, fällt es mir umso schwerer zuzugeben, dass mir die Geschichte eher weniger gefallen hat. Hätte ich es mir selbst gekauft, hätte ich wohl abgebrochen."Segel der Zeit" ist Teil einer Reihe. Das merkt man aber erst, wenn man beginnt, das Buch zu lesen. Denn weder auf dem Rücken, noch im Umschlag des Buches steht, wie die Serie heisst und welcher Band es ist. Doch während des Lesens merkt man irgendwann - "Hey, hier stimmt doch etwas nicht."Stimmen tut vielleicht alles, aber es tauchen einfach plötzlich Figuren auf und aus dem Text geht hervor, dass die schon einmal irgendwo wichtig waren. Auch sonstige Zusammenhänge fehlen, es wird zwar einiges erklärt, aber dennoch hatte mein Wissen viel zu viele Löcher. All dies spricht dafür, dass es irgendwo mindestens noch einen weiteren Band geben muss und dass es besser wäre, wenn man diesen zuerst gelesen hätte.Ausserdem blieben mir nicht nur die Figuren fremd, sondern auch die Welt, in der sich die Charaktere bewegen. Schroeder hat eine überaus interessante Sci-Fi-Welt erschaffen, mit Planeten und Raumschiffen ausgestattet - was kann man sich mehr wünschen? Aber auch hier fehlte mir etwas. Ich konnte mir die meisten Städte und Planeten gar nicht wirklich vorstellen. Vor allem auch nicht, wie das nun mit der Schwerkraft funktioniert. Die Ideen des Autors sind wirklich gut, griffen bei mir aber an keiner Stelle. Vielleicht liegt das auch an dem oben genannten Grund. Wenn der Boden fehlt, kann man so gute Pfeiler bauen, es nützt nichts.Dass es dann auch noch zu irgenwelchen politischen Intrigen kommt, zählt schon fast nicht mehr. Ich war bereits zu verwirrt und der Autor hatte mich längst verloren. Eigentlich liebe ich es, wenn es zu Hinterhalten und Intrigen kommt, doch hier war es mir bereits zu viel, sodass ich auch gar nicht mehr begriff, was nun aus welchem Grund mit welchem Planet geschehen ist und wieso das nun dazu geführt hat, dass die Schwester von einer entführt worden ist.Fazit:Es tut mir sehr leid, für den Autoren und auch für das Buch, aber ich sah eigentlich die ganze Zeit nur Fragezeichen. Hier lohnt es sich also wirklich, erst mal herauszufinden, welche anderen Bücher der Autor noch geschrieben hat. Die Reihe heisst übrigens "Virga" und das hier besprochene Buch ist sogar Band drei dieser Serie. Kein Wunder...

  • Althea Ann
    2019-03-19 10:47

    I really liked the first two in this series (as well as other books I've read by Schroeder) but this one really just didn't do it for me. It picks up a character that I was never particularly enthralled by in the other books (Chaison Fanning) and puts him front and center. However, even though he's the main character in this book, I still never got a good sense of who he is as a person. I can't even picture him clearly.The story starts with a prison break - Admiral Fanning's bad-ass wife, Venera, has planned his escape - but things go wrong, and they don't connect. (And we don't see Venera again until the end, blah.)Instead, Fanning is picked up by an enigmatic woman who is genetically modified to look like an anime character (double-blah; that really turned me off).Lots of completely forgettable running around occurs. The fate of the (very conceptually interesting) world of Virga is at stake. Unfortunately, I got bored.I still may move on to the next one in the series, in the hopes that it picks up again - because I really want it to. But I'd recommend giving this one a miss.

  • Julie
    2019-02-28 16:58

    Schroeder should win an award just for the sheer imagination displayed in this third book of Virga. The author obviously enjoys putting his characters in strange situations just to challenge his writing abilities . . . and he never disappoints. This book has a dragon unlike any dragon you have ever read about before, a chase scene unlike any chase scene, a flood unlike any flood . . . and that's just three examples. The book is chock-full of images and situations that are absolutely fresh and unique. Schroeder follows CS Lewis' advice, making me see in my mind what he is describing, no matter how unusual, rather than taking the easy way out and merely saying something is “terrible” or "infinite." With just a few words or sentences, he can make me inhale sharply at the terror on the page, or shake my head in astonishment at the enormity of the vista he has laid out. Add in great characters and a fast-paced story and you have a book that should not be missed.

  • Peter
    2019-02-28 12:54

    The third book in the Virga series (starting with Sun of Suns), this book mostly follows Admiral Chaison Fanning, probably the closest thing to a classic adventure hero in the series, from his imprisonment in a foreign land after the events of the first book, to his rescue by a mysterious woman who looks like an anime character, and getting drawn into conflicts that aren't his own along his way home.This one's closer to the first book, a journey through the wondrous possibilities that the environment of Virga allows, all in a rollicking adventure plot, and slowly advancing the greater threat to the whole world that's lurking in the background, waiting for its move. A heck of a lot of fun and would be a reasonably satisfying conclusion if it were the last book in the series, but there are two left to go.

  • Lucas
    2019-03-12 10:53

    There is an overwhelming visual aspect to everything in the Virga books, the floating cities, sword duels with lightning storm backdrops, and jet powered bikes dodging cannon fire. You can almost predict what will happen next not by the actions or words of characters but imagining what the most visually impressive possible thing that could occur (though still bound by continuity and physics).I the overwhelming visuals are at fault for why I can't really remember the events of the previous two books.(Spoiler parts)I didn't really understand the shielding properties of the asteroid. It made sense that it would work immediately on the surface or within it, but then the artificial nature creature travels far from it and still retains its capabilities. There was a really obvious setup for a climax that would have destroyed the asteroid (in order to get rid of the shielding and kill the creature) when its faults and cracks and binding struts are mentioned.

  • Dan
    2019-03-25 12:38

    Chaison Fanning, the principal character in this part of the series, is a much more sympathetic figure than his wife, Venera, who was the focus of the previous book. Consequently, I enjoyed this episode more than the 2nd book. And it was good to catch glimpses of what Artificial Nature means outside the planet-sized balloon Virga. If this seems like damning with faint praise, that is unintentional. Both of these books are good, solid reads. But neither has the impact of the first in the series, Sun of Suns, simply because the first book introduced the jaw-dropping engineering ideas that establish the setting for all that follows. (Much like the way the Ringworld sequels are good enough tales, but don't stick in one's mind the way the first book does.]

  • Jacqie
    2019-03-10 18:48

    I think Karl Schroeder is an amazing author. The setting of this book, a dyson sphere around a small artificial sun, surrounded by post-human, post-singularity AIs, is brilliant. The types of bootstrapping technology used by the inhabitants of the sphere to secure themselves gravity, water, and civilization is all just background, but very cool to read about. This book's failings for me were in the characters. Most of the book is told from the viewpoint of Chaison Fanning, Venera Fanning's beleagered husband. He's an honorable man, and sadly, a rather boring one. He spends a lot of time being rescued by an anime-looking home guard woman, who is altogether more interesting, although her plight isn't especially interesting, unfortunately. The action scenes are good, but I wanted to know what Venera was doing behind the scenes for the whole book.

  • Cy
    2019-03-13 10:44

    Draws in some of the swashbuckling elements that I enjoyed in the first one and jettisons some of the politicking that felt forced in the second, creating a much more pleasant mix of the two. Unfortunately the characters don't live up to the promise. Chaison, the lead on this outing is much less of an interesting character compared to his wife, the star of the last outing. The plot also begins to take on the well-tread pathways of the "monarchy bad, democracy good" trope that has been done to death countless times. As with the last two outings though, what drew me in was the worldbuilding and the way the author builds important plot points off of throwaway lines in previous books while offering plenty such comments to seed for later installments. Four stars for my willingness to re-read it, though I might skip the middle portion.

  • JW
    2019-02-24 16:56

    I maybe should have reread Queen of Candesce before tackling this one, but I didn't have the patience. Once it hit the library, I was on it.The story is a bit rambly. There's one adventure that could have been lifted from the book entirely and never been missed. I get the sense Schroeder had a place to get to and couldn't quite decide how to do it. If I had the book in front of me, I'd tell you where to skip ahead, but I don't. At any rate, it might be setup for something that happens later.The ending, fortunately, is incredible. A surprising twist at the beginning is paid off with enough style to overcome the slight stink of deus ex machina.I'm ready for the next one. Where is it?

  • Liviu
    2019-03-21 16:02

    This is the 3rd book of the Virga series by K. Schroeder. I thought that it will close the series and I was interested more to see how it ends since the first 2 books while competent hard sf never entranced me that much. However it seems the series will continue since this one focuses pretty much only on Admiral Chaison Manning with Venera making a cameo appearance mostly, while Hayden is just mentioned. Instead we have a mysterious woman from the outskirts of Virga, Antaea that befriends Chaison when he escapes imprisonment and has quite a few adventures making his way home. I am not sure I will pick up book 4 since the series starts getting a bit too long for its depth.

  • Ashish
    2019-03-24 13:46

    Brilliant world-building, blows your mind. It's real, it's thought through, and you can see exactly how it would all fit in together; the character development, not so much. Given how far in the future we're talking - and the vagaries of the environment - I would have expected the inhabitants to evolve more, become almost unrecognizably alien. Unfortunately, they're all too familiar, and could have stepped off the pages of any standard adventure novel. Feels more 2051 instead of 3000+. Good enough to read the others in the series, so pretty good.

  • Andy
    2019-02-23 15:40

    Good follow up to the first two books. Once again, the style changes notably. The first two really focused on one or two characters, while this one involves 4 specific points of view. Great setting through out the books, and the idea of Artificial Nature has really gotten me thinking. Some really neat ideas, great books for authors - Ideas and concepts and setting kind of outweigh the story, for the most part

  • Brittany
    2019-03-11 11:45

    This was a very satisfying ending (ending, right?) to the Virga trilogy. I very much enjoyed following Chaison Fanning (the main character of this book), however I did really miss Venera and Garth Diamandis, who are only present in the very beginning and the very end of the book. A wonderful read. Though I did feel that a couple of times it fell into the category of "cinematic cliche."

  • Michael
    2019-02-25 17:47

    The title is misleading, having read the first two books the third would logically follow a group of characters (Hayden and his team) but instead they are briefly mentioned within the first few pages and then again in the last few pages. the book wasn't bad but the title is poorly was an enjoyable continuation of the story and I will keep reading book 4

  • Roy
    2019-03-15 18:56

    Certainly the best of the series so far. Showcasing more of the setting, IMHO the strongest part of these books, and with a much-needed tighter plot than the previous one. As I started reading this book, I checked to make sure that #5 is the last of the series with relief, which is a bad sign. So it's nice to get some confidence back in the series.

  • Theo Petersen
    2019-03-09 12:57

    I thought this was a good wrap-up for the series, but apparently Schroeder isn't done with Virga yet. Pirate Sun is a little closer to the first book in scope, the second in personality; a travelling adventure about fluid and shifting political alliances. There are a few more revelations about the trans-human world but most of the focus is on the ramifications of the first book.

  • Grayson Queen
    2019-03-18 12:40

    The third book in the series. We find out what happened to some of the characters from the first book.It's an okay action book with sword fighting and daring escapes. There's even some vindication.How this story line fits into the series I'm not sure. All 300 plus pages seemed to be there just to get to the end which was painfully obvious.

  • Dora J
    2019-03-19 12:40

    Good round up of the first 2 books. Wasn't expecting to be spending the book going through the admiral's ordeal. Gave a great insight of his personality, and things going on around him. Touch a bit on what Mahallan had mentioned in the first book. Author does a good job in bringing bits of the first book into the others without taking you back to the whole thing.

  • Philip Hollenback
    2019-03-16 15:52

    I thought this was a more coherent novel than Queen of Candesce. I particularly enjoyed the introduction of the Precipice Moth and the further exploration of exactly what the world of Virga is and what exists outside of it.

  • Joe Gregorio
    2019-03-24 17:48

    Certainly closes up the series, and the world building is wonderful, but although it gives a resolution for the two main characters it doesn't move the plot along any for Virga which by the third book really should be a character in its own right.

  • Martin
    2019-02-22 16:56

    Either these books are getting better or I forgot how much fun the first two were. I love the setting Schroeder has developed for these books, and the straight ahead, non-stop action makes them a real pleasure to read.

  • Dennis
    2019-03-07 18:40

    A fun ride. Some of the most creative and well thought-out world-building I have ever read. It is a satisfying conclusion to the Virga series.