The new Sword & Planet – Sun of Suns
Today I yo-yo between rereading old favorites which is good sometimes, but not always and searching for new material. A new favourite has been steam punk, which is a fairly broad genre really. It’s led me through China Mayville, Cherry priest, Michael Hodder, Jay Lake and obliquely to Karl Schroeder. I didn’t view his books as Steam Punk, and still don’t really, but there is a high element even without the top hats. What really drew me was the exotic and beautiful covers paintings of the exotic environment of his World of Virga.
This is actually a reread for me, I’ve read four out of five books and just got my hands on the last one. My edition of the first is the Cities of Virga which includes Sun of Suns and Queen of Candensce. The cover of the paired edition is in line with the rest of the series, and feels more true to the material. The original cover is accurate but looks more Space Opera. Rather than try and do it better than the pros, here’s what it’s all about.
“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 friendless, Hayden Griffin is a very dangerous man. He’s come to the city of Rush in the nation of Slipstream with one thing in mind: to take murderous revenge for the deaths of his parents six years ago. His target is Admiral Chaison Fanning, head of the fleet of Slipstream, which conquered Hayden’s nation of Aerie years ago. And the fact that Hayden’s spent his adolescence living with pirates doesn’t bode well for Fanning’s chances.”
So how did I decide this was the New Sword and Planet? There isn’t even a planet! Phhhpt ! pick pick pick. What it does have – and exotic ‘world’, airships (and battles !) swords, lots of swords, sword fights, escapes, daring do, pirates, battling empires. Pretty much everything but tharks. It was on this second read that it all became clear to me. It also leads me to the conclusion that there may be more Sword and Planet out there than I realized. Hmmm. Next time, an actual review. – Jeff