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Pirate Sun: Book Three of Virga Hardcover – August 5, 2008

10 customer reviews
Book 3 of 5 in the Virga Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This fast-paced virtuoso exercise in world-building is the third novel (after 2007's Queen of Candesce) set in Virga, a 5,000-mile wide balloon with a central artificial sun and many nations clustered around their own smaller suns. Admiral Chaison Fanning, imprisoned for a daring raid that foiled an attack on his home nation of Slipstream, is rescued by his wife, Venera, but finds he's now regarded as a traitor. Fighting alongside Antaea Argyre, a mysterious woman from the dark far edges of Virga, Fanning learns more about the universe outside and the powers of Candesce, the central sun. Virga is wonderfully imagined, with itinerant gravity sellers, floating farms in nets of dirt, and battles in which one town invades another as buildings smash together and people gather at windows with homemade weapons. The intrigue surrounding a brewing revolution and the threat of invading forces carry readers quickly through this adventure and on to the next installment. (Aug.) ""
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."

From Booklist

In the balloon world of Virga, Venera Fanning has fled from Spyre, and Chaison Fanning is suddenly rescued from prison. He falls in with two others from the same clink, Darius Martor and Richard Reiss, and Antaea Argyre of the Virga home guard. They set off, Chaison to confront the ruler who left him to rot for a crime he didn’t commit, and Antaea for her own complex reasons involving the still-mysterious world outside the bubble of Virga. Chaison still hopes to reunite with Venera, of whose adventures he has no inkling. All are caught up in the webs of those who want the key to Candesce, and the power that would come with it, for themselves. Schroeder’s world building continues (from Sun of Suns, 2006, and Queen of Candesce, 2007) to be impeccable, and the story’s timing is a fantastic tour de force of his creation. The politics and social structure of Virga continue to be a fine backdrop for some of the most entertaining space opera out there. --Regina Schroeder

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Product Details

  • Series: Virga (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765315459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765315458
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,452,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born September 4, 1962 in Brandon Manitoba. My family are Mennonites, part of a community which has lived in southern Manitoba for over one hundred years. I am the second science fiction writer to come out of this small community -- the first was A.E. van Vogt!

I moved to Toronto in 1986 to pursue my writing career. I married Janice Beitel in April 2001 and our daughter Paige was born in May 2003.

I divide my time between writing fiction and consulting--chiefly in the area of Foresight Studies and technology.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jim Mann on August 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over the years, many writers have featured sword fights in space. Some have even featured pirates ships, pre-industrial cities, and so on. But typically, this involves either ignoring the illogic of the situation or hand-waving about levels of shield, etc. Karl Schroeder took a third path, one with an explanation that makes sense. Virga is a planet-size ballon in space. It's filled with air, and various nations and cities float within. The only gravity is produced by rotation. Travel between worlds can be by wooden ship or bicycles of sorts (or motor bike). And technology is kept at a pre-electronics level by a field generated by the central sun, Candesce. Virga took this step at its creation to keep our "artificial nature," the AI and nanotechnology swarm that is transforming the rest of inhabited space into an ever-changing virtual reality.

In the first book of the series, Sun of Suns, Admiral Chaison Fanning and his wife Venera (brilliant and often ruthless). They captured the key to Candesce, which enabled them to temporarily shut down the suppression field and thus use radar in a military action. The second book followed Venera as she fled the aftermath. The latest book, Pirate Sun, follows Chaison.

As the novel begins, Chaison if a prisoner of the rival nation of Falcon Formation, whose fleet he had severely damaged in his radar-enabled attack. Someone breaks Chaison out of the prison, and, with two companions who are also freed, and with a young woman, Antae Argyre, who seems to be helping him to escape, Chaison tries to make his way home.
The book is filled with wonders: a flood in low/zero gravity, two cities literaly going to war, a space battle involving wooden ships and a free-fall city.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tethernaut on August 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It has been a great pleasure to witness Karl Schroeder's storytelling skill and descriptive gifts mature and flourish through the Virga series. Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce were both really good, but in Pirate Sun Schroeder really hits his stride. The book neatly ties together the story arcs from the first two books with a rousing tale full of zero-g cutlass-clashing combat, complex characters with multiple levels of motivation, and beautifully rendered descriptions of his innovative world. His vision of how the people of Virga live, move about, make a living, play, and fight in a world without natural gravity is very well thought out and technically sound. I for one would love to see Miyazaki make a movie version of this series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The third book of Virga does not focus on one character as much as the second book (Queen of Candesce) does. In that sense it feels more like the first book. Again Schoeder explores more of the consequences of the unique world he has constructed, and hints at more of its relationship with the outside world. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to meet up again with Hayden Griffin. Although the three books work well as a trilogy, I'm hoping Schroeder returns again to Virga. His combination of steam punk, space opera, and post-singularity SF is a hard one to beat.
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By Roger Howard on March 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not a huge scifi reader - really, just getting started and working my way through the canon - but I stumbled on book one of this series as was completely, utterly hooked and have just finished the entire set. Not much more to say - I'm not going to get into the story here, but each book in the series progressively unveiled a more and more interesting universe, full of great ideas, strong characters, and lots of fun.
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By Bibliophile on September 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book centers around an interesting environment, an oxygen-filled sphere without gravity. This makes for interesting living scenarios, and dog fights like nothing I've seen before. Definitely worth picking up, if only for the novelty.
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