Virga: Cities of the Air
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Virga: Cities of the Air (Virga #1-2)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  8 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 floating chunks of rock. The humans who live in this vast environment must build their own fusion suns and “towns” —enormous wood and rope wheels that are spun for centripetal gravity.

This complex and fascinating world is the setting...more
ebook, 592 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Tor Books (first published 2008)
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This is a high-energy tale of swashbuckling naval adventure, pirates, treasure, and swordplay.

Except it takes place in the far future, inside a giant balloon that's been sealed to cut out the outside world. Inside, there's very little gravity, so cities are built like wheels, and have to spin to create centripetal force. The ships float in the air, and are like baroque, steampunk airships, but there are also fast motorcycle-type vehicles that use the force of air to power them.

There is a central...more
Cities of the Air is an omnibus of the first two novels in Karl Schroeder's Virga series.

I literally had no idea what to expect going into this. I was at work looking for a quick read and noticed that the title of the book was "Cities of the Air", a concept which has always been a favourite of mine, so I grabbed it. Schroeder is an amazing worldbuilder, that is for damn sure. The setting for these novels is so unique that it defies belief.

The first novel doesn't really concentrate on any one loc...more
This steampunk space-opera had one of the strongest starts I've ever seen: well paced, beautiful creation of new worlds to stoke the imagination, and intriguing ideas of new ways to live. This edition is a compilation of the first 2 books of a trilogy. I found the first to be a lot of fun, but by the middle of the 2nd book it was too repetitive: lots of swashbuckling action and adventure, but frankly too much of it without any new ideas or creativity. That is not really a criticism, since it was...more
A light read. Mostly this seems like an exercise in world building for Schroeder.
A bit to steam punky for me on a few occasions but it soon leaves that behind.
The prose is not pretty but it is workable and the imagery is certainly lovely in it's own way.
If you went out of your way to read more into it all of the stories of Virga are about different types of closed societies dealing with change.
3.5 stars - Virga is an almost impossibly unique world. The action-adventure plot is compelling. Characterization falters slightly and the book is somewhat bloated but otherwise the world and unique events taking place allow readers to overlook any potential faults.

Read my full review here:
Steampunk-like far future world in a hollow-sphere setting (AKA Ringworld on steroids). Local politics intersect with an attempted takeover by the rest of the galaxy. I’m still trying to figure out how the natural resource economy works, especially for things like minerals.
Loved the first book (Sun of Suns), the second (Queen of Candesce), not so much.
Feb 13, 2012 Lori marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
****Received as a prize from a contest from****
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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...
Sun of Suns (Virga, #1) Queen of Candesce (Virga, #2) Ventus Pirate Sun (Virga, #3) Lockstep

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