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Sun of Suns (Virga #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,061 Ratings  ·  192 Reviews
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 fri
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 31st 2007 by Tor (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 25, 2014 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steam-punk
I stayed firmly on the fence with this book. I can't decide what I would rate it, somewhere between 2.5 -3.0 stars would be about right. I don't know what genre I would stick it in, scif/steampunk perhaps. Probably not. Imagine if you will, Honor Harrington meeting up with the Integral Trees, then this is somewhat like what you'd get, without the character development.

The world building is odd, in as much as there is none. You are fed tiny little snippets of info about what the world is, which i
May 25, 2008 Belarius rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People Who Enjoy Adventure, Blue Rogues
Recommended to Belarius by: Malgas
Schroeder's Sun of Suns bears the trappings of hard science fiction, but in reality it belongs to a much older genre: "Adventure." Like great popular works of yestercentury (such as Treasure Island or Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea), Sun of Suns takes a compelling premise and applies continuous leverage to the plot. On the short side, I finished Sun of Suns in one sitting precisely because I couldn't put it down.

The story is set in an extremely unusual setting: a planet-sized bubble of
Apr 12, 2015 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great new setting for steam-punk science fiction: inside a planet-sized balloon of gases (Virga). All “gravity” is inertial, “suns” heat and light local areas of the temperate zone, and the politics and technology is mostly nineteenth century. The characters begin in mystery and opposition but must work together for a greater good. An outsider knows about the evolved technology (and biology) outside the bubble but her motives and theirs may not coincide. Good plot flow and development.

Having sai
Jul 19, 2008 J. rated it it was ok
Shelves: in-new-york
I finished it because it was reasonably short and I wanted to see if it would redeem itself with its ending, but rarely have I been so let down by such a well-reviewed and hyped new science fiction book ("Outrageously brilliant and not to be missed" says one magazine, with additional blurbs from Vernor Vinge, Larry Niven, and Cory Doctorow). Weak writing, hackneyed plot, uninteresting cardboard characters all the way through. The world-building is pretty cool(~steampunk-level tech in a 3000km-di ...more
Kat  Hooper
Jun 26, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

Hayden Griffin is out for revenge. When he was a boy, the nation of Slipstream attacked his little home world of Aerie. Hayden’s parents had just managed to build a sun for Aerie so their world could be independent of Slipstream, but the more powerful nation attacked before Aerie could escape. Both of Hayden’s parents were killed. Years later, Hayden knows it was Admiral Chaison Fanning, the Admiral of Slipstream’s space fleet, who ordered the massacre, so
Sun of Suns is the first book in a series set in the distant world of Virga, an Earth-sized sphere filled with air, and inhabited on the vast interior, where gravity is a luxury you can't always count on and light and heat comes from artificial suns... and some have to do without. It follows Hayden Griffin, who starts off on a quest for revenge against the man he believes responsible for his parents deaths, only to wind up on a mission with him, for the nation that conquered his own.

The book's
Michael Burnam-fink
Oct 07, 2014 Michael Burnam-fink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2014
Sun of Suns is a perfect alignment of plot and setting. Schroeder wanted to write something in the vein of steampunk or space opera: sword fights on exploding battlecruisers, glittering 'civilized' cities and dank pirate hideaways, heroics and sacrifice and revenge written across the sky. A lesser author would just say 'screw realism' and do it: Schroeder actually does the world building to make it work.

Enter Virga, a 5000 mile bubble of air orbiting Vega, hemmed in by a shell of ice and light f
Normally, by the time I finish a book I have an idea of what I want to say. Or I've made a few notes along the way to help facilitate my final thoughts and opinions. With Sun of Sun's I find I'm struggling with what to say, so I'm going to be a bit more methodical in my review.

World setting - Virga is an absolutely fascinating setting. A "planet" of air, with a central mechanical "sun" called Candence. Smaller cities can build their own suns and live out in "winter", which are areas far enough
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2011 Andreas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This novel certainly has a very cool and well imagined setting. A hollow sphere the size of a small planet, filled with air. In the center is Candesce, a fusion powered artificial sun. Dotted around the place are lesser artificial suns. Around the suns low G human civilizations cluster for warmth, building giant wooden wheels to create their own gravity strongly tainted by coriolis force. Weather systems are logical extensions of the environment, with convective currents driving everything from ...more
Nov 01, 2008 Red rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Interesting premise. The known world is actually the inside of a planet sized balloon, called Virga. (I love the word, virga.) From that setup, everything else obeys real science laws. Towns are built on the insides of centrifugal (centripetal?) wheels or cylinders that spin to provide gravity. Several wheels can be tied together to make larger a urban area. Heat to run the weather of Virga is produced by the "Sun of Suns," Candesce, at the core of the planet. But that produces a lot of clouds w ...more
Aug 23, 2011 Clyde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I finally got around to reading Sun of Suns, which had been setting in my to-read ebook stack for two years. I should have done so sooner as it was a very enjoyable read. The good news for me is that this is the first book in the Virga series, which is up to five books now.
Imagine Horatio Hornblower in a weightless environment and you will have some idea of what this story is like.
Highly recommended for SF and action fans.
Jul 13, 2014 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh man, this was a head trip.

Imagine a hollow planet, filled with nothing but air. No gravity, only floating bubbles of water and drifting landmasses. Everyone lives in wooden towns that spin for gravity, huddled around artificial suns with on-off switches. It's easy to say it's steampunk, but that cheapens it. This is something very different.

It's a really awesome and weird setting, and it will confuse the hell out of you for the first hundred pages. Heck, just the very alien nature of the set
Oct 14, 2011 Anastasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-opera
I would like book better if I liked pirate/sea adventure stories - which I don't. I like Venera Fanning a lot, she's a character I'm interested in following. The world is intersting, and I have a nagging feeling it is connected to the world in "Lady of Mazes" universe. The series reminds me of Kay Kenyon's "The Rose and the Entire," although Kenyon's is more interesting.
C. Scott Kippen
This book surprised me. I picked this up years ago via Audible--I think free as I have no memory of buying it. I re-read the "back" of the book, and I expected a sci-fi book. What I got what a pirate story with giant artificial suns, buried treasure, and everyone lives in giant balloons (a fact that I missed and was reminded in a friend's review).

This was a good, fun read. However, know this, it really is a nautical pirate story more than a sci-fi story. For a few moments as it begins you think
Oct 02, 2014 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world of Virga (a bunch of floating cities inside a gigantic balloon in space) makes for some interesting world-building (spinning cities, homemade suns, spherical lakes) but the characters are flat and unengaging and the story is only so-so. There are some nice visual moments, of the battles (naval engagements in space, except there's air so people can just fly around if they want), and how people move and interact when they have atmosphere but no (inherent) gravity.

But my main problem is
Aug 11, 2007 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone remotely interested in fantastic worlds, amazing characters, fast-paced action.
Shelves: favorites
This book is beyond awesome--it's the best SF I've read since Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. Amazing world building and super creative imagery. Quick and to the point action packed space opera that only gets faster and more detailed as the story winds it's way into a supernova finale. I can't wait for the sequal.
Nov 30, 2007 kvon rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Cool world...huge enclosed bubble of air without fixed landmasses, people can float or fly, cities are elaborate spinning constructions heated by fusion 'suns', lots of extrapolated biology. But, the characters just weren't appealing to me; the story didn't grab me.
Mar 18, 2014 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awhile ago, Disney did an adaptation of "Treasure Island" that was, like it''s source material, filled with pirates, treasure maps, and wooden sailing ships that were, contrary to all logic, the spaceships. "Treasure Planet" required more than just a suspension of disbelief, it required you to take your disbelief out into the woods, kill it, and bury it in a shallow grave. Schroeder has taken the same concept, but has given it a slightly more logical foundation to build upon. Instead of the cold ...more
Aug 09, 2015 Joanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a vivid and well-written, steampunk / adventure book with a great variety of remarkable characters. I enjoyed reading it, mostly because of the well-created and truly unique world (Tolkien scale) and realistic character development. It is incredibly evenly paced, too.

Still, the characters are slightly neglected... In my opinion, the Author focuses way too much on machines and science in general. I know that some of it is essential but there are truly too many too detailed scientific bits –
Sep 14, 2012 Ethan rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction-novel
Got tired of trying to read it put it down early. Like all steam punk, it's pretty with great ideas, but not much substance.
Feb 24, 2016 HansCronau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to HansCronau by: C.G.P. Grey
Sun of Suns is a science fiction adventure in the far future world of Verga.
It has a steampunk-ish vibe to it, but is sufficiently scientifically backed to accept it as a possible future.
Anything which could be regarded as improbable can be forgiven by the fact that the story takes place in a future so far away, that it will undoubtedly contain things beyond the imagination of the reader. As for the limits of the imagination of the writer, I'm sure they were beyond my own in many occasions.
I'm h
Michele (Mikecas)

Il Sole dei Soli è il primo romanzo della serie di Virga dello scrittore canadese Karl Schroeder, che al momento consiste di 5 romanzi, e che è stato tradotto in italiano dopo 8 anni dalla sua pubblicazione originale grazie ad una piccola (o meglio piccolissima) casa editrice che ha scommesso sulla possibilità che anche in Italia potessero essere apprezzate opere di fantascienza di alta qualità. La dimensione della casa editrice rende difficile la distr
Sep 13, 2015 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
To be completely honest, it was the cover art that really attracted me to this series. I have not read any other of Karl Schroeder’s novels in the past, so I wasn’t sure to expect. The cover art is misleading though, it shows what looks like cool metal spaceships but in this world only flying wooden ships exist. Beside that minor issue, Mr. Schroeder is able to successfully blend Sci-Fi and Fantasy together in a high adventure that will be sure to please fans of both genres.

The one item you hear
Steve Wasling
Nov 10, 2014 Steve Wasling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible work of imagination and atmospheric (no pun intended) world-building this amazing novel is! Set in the very far future, Sun of Suns is far future science-fiction wearing a high seas fantasy pirate costume.

A vast bubble of air around an artificial sun that inhibits advanced technology, Virga is a world of zero gravity whose inhabitants construct (among many other wonders) massive timber 'town wheels' which they spin up using gas powered rockets to create gravity. Scavenging cas
Mar 15, 2014 Dean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the most amazing sci fi fantasy books I've ever read! Imagine someplace in space there is a floating orb, filled with gases, some land, water and energy. Virga (this floating orb in space) has thousands of civilizations, as it seems to be the size of the moon or even earth in dimension. Its a beautiful concept, and I wasn't bored once in "Sun of Suns", though it does get a little 'game of thrones' confusing with all the characters. Try it out if you want a good weekend read.
Apr 27, 2009 Sueij rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sueij by: Scott (& Nicola's Erin)
An interesting story in a new universe, and reasonably worth the read.

One of the things I liked best was that the author didn't start off with huge amounts of expository writing to settle you into this new universe. Instead you just read about space ships using speaking tubes inside and semaphores to communicate with other ships, and people standing on the outside of the ships (i.e. not in a space suit). Only when it made sense in the story to say it did we come to understand that this world is
Paul Weimer
Imagine a balloon circling a distant star.

Imagine this balloon is thousands of miles in diameter.

Imagine that within this balloon there are societies clustered around fusion-powered miniature suns, all floating in the atmosphere within this balloon. Societies, polities, nations existing in low gravity who sail the skies on ships and bicycles of a mostly steampunk level of technology. A world of action, adventure, and swashbuckling goodness.

Welcome to Virga!

Sun of Suns introduces this audacious
Rick Hamell
Jul 24, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
Great world building along with character growth and fast pacing delivery make a great story in Karl Schroeder's Sun of Suns.

It's been a long time since science fiction has captivated me the way that Sun of Suns has done. Usually I go to the fantasy realm to get good world building, but this book pulled me in from the beginning. The entire book I kept wondering if the world that this was set in actually followed Newtonian physics or not. The way the natural sciences of the world were introduced
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Karl Schroeder is an award-winning Canadian science fiction author. His novels present far-future speculations on topics such as nanotechnology, terraforming, augmented reality and interstellar travel, and have a deeply philosophical streak. One of his concepts, known as thalience, has gained some currency in the artificial intelligence and computer networking communities.
More about Karl Schroeder...

Other Books in the Series

Virga (5 books)
  • Queen of Candesce (Virga, #2)
  • Pirate Sun (Virga, #3)
  • The Sunless Countries (Virga, #4)
  • Ashes of Candesce (Virga, #5)

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“He spun in clear air, weightless again but traveling too fast to breathe the air that tore past his lips. As his vision darkened he turned and saw bike number two impact the side of the battleship, crumpling its hull and spreading a mushroom of flame that lit a name painted on the metal hull: Arrogance.” 0 likes
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