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Ventus (Ventus #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  959 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
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 terr
ebook, 512 pages
Published November 19th 2001 by Tor Books (first published 2000)
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Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
On the planet Ventus, where humans are prohibited from all but the most limited pieces of technology, Jordan Mason lives what he believes is an ordinary life, expecting to eventually inherit his father's stoneworking business. But that all changes when he begins having visions of a distant warrior named Armiger whose army is destroyed for defying the powerful Winds that control and moderate the planet's ground, seas, and atmosphere. Soon, Jordan learns he's also key to finding Armiger, who is th ...more
Jun 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Inventive, original, and thoughtful, this is one of the better science fiction books I've read in quite a while. An unusual combination of hard science in the trappings of the kind of adventure fantasy that has largely displaced science fiction from the shelves, it explores a world of sentient nanotechnology that has gone awry.

It was the perfect way to while away a day where I seem to have a touch of flu or something wrong with my inner ear. Highly recommended to anyone who likes a good science
Schroeder has a talent for making sweeping hard science fiction epics be about the most human emotions and characters, and doesn't disappoint here. Even the “monsters” are compelling, with their alien monstrosity giving way to various degrees of sympathy as their stories unfold.
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of hard SF
Recommended to Raj by: Charles Stross
Shelves: sci-fi
I got this book on the recommendation of Charles Stross, and although I downloaded the free ebook to my smartphone I wasn't expecting to get to it any time soon. It was only because I finished my paper book while on holiday sooner than I expected that I turned to this. And I was gripped within the first chapter. It starts off very much as a typical fantasy story where the young protagonist is stolen away and ends up on a quest to discover himself, but as the world widens, we discover a very hard ...more
Sep 18, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2011
Somewhere inside of Ventus is a great story waiting for the patient reader to tear it out. But I wasn't that patient reader. Early on, I thought to myself: meh, this is too much like A Fire Upon the Deep... Only it's really not like A Fire Upon the Deep at all (which is a good thing). But it does read too much like a fantasy novel to be "good science fiction". This always grates on me [1] -- it happened with Dune, too -- all that weak quasi-medieval pageantry etc. There is some cool stuff going ...more
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves science fiction.
Shelves: sci-fi-geek
This book has so much awesome between the covers it's hard to rate. It starts off feeling like a fantasy novel, and then suddenly you realize it's hard sci-fi with a whole new way to gauge whether something is artificially intelligent, and it does all this against a backdrop of an interstellar war between two AIs. Schroeder gracefully manages the balancing act of epic-scale science fiction and a more personal tale of self-discovery. Exactly the sort of expectation-shattering stuff that turned me ...more
A traditional fantasy quest (Campbellian) novel with the magic replaced by nano-tech, and a little space opera thrown in for salt. It was a credible addition to either genre, and I found the book enjoyable light reading.
Joe Robson
Good book and all got going towards the end but Christ almighty does it drag for the middle 80% where it's just Jordan watching Armiger and slowly sloooowly making his way to him. Two months to read, and I've had it waiting in my collection for about 17 years. Definitely felt like the latter.

Also characters are pretty unceremoniously killed off or have their arcs tied up. It'd be like "and then he died", end of chapter, or "by the way this guy died in the fight last chapter. So anyway..."
Jeff Rudisel
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2017
What a complex tapestry of action packed universe building and world building, and alien nanotech other-minds, and vast imagination and hard Science Fiction.
Filled with wonderful surprises, gigantic mysteries.
A great read and a great talent.
"A large-scale hard SF adventure novel in the tradition of Larry Niven, Vernor Vinge, and Arthur C. Clarke."
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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

Ventus (3 books)
  • Ventus, Tome 1
  • Ventus, tome 2

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“The secret to life, she had said, was to find the little things, the unimportant ones that would nonetheless always remind you of the precious things they accompanied—and hold onto them.” 1 likes
“Frankenstein’s monster speaks: the computer. But where are its words coming from? Is the wisdom on those cold lips our own, merely repeated at our request? Or is something else speaking?—A voice we have always dreamed of hearing?” 1 likes
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