Yet someone else pops up with the solution just at the right moment. It's basically the ultimate Deus Ex Machina. The Virga books are the work of a sci-fi master at his best. I personally believe Karl Schroeder is going to be added to the canon of great science fiction authors, right up there with Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and Philip K.
He has a brilliant imagination, is able to take his crazy ideas and flesh them out into believable worlds, and he's a helluva storyteller to boot. I'm already looking forward to whatever he does next. Leal Maspeth returns to Virga carrying a message, an offer of alliance against the forces that have been trying to infiltrate and destroy her home. But that assumes that it's not merely another trick by those same forces, as the alliance against her is claiming the same thing. Ultimately, Leal and many of the heroes of earlier in the series must make their choices and take their stands to decide the fate of Virga.
This book is intended as a conclusion to the entire series, so it has a lot to live Leal Maspeth returns to Virga carrying a message, an offer of alliance against the forces that have been trying to infiltrate and destroy her home. This book is intended as a conclusion to the entire series, so it has a lot to live up to. I think it does a pretty good job, although some of the mysteries or ongoing conflicts that had been built up through the series got resolved in a way that felt a little too simplistic. On the whole, though, I quite enjoyed it and would love to see more in the setting.
It has a lot of what I've come to enjoy in the setting And, rare for SF novels these days, it introduced me to a non-made up word I'd never heard before but that is incredibly useful: "velleity", a wish or inclination that isn't strong enough to lead to action. Like, if in your heart, you're opposed to some latest political outrage but for whatever reason, won't actually get up and do anything about it How had I never heard this word before?
But I digress One development in this final installment is that, for the first time, one of the viewpoint characters is from the high-tech society outside of Virga, which allows for some more direct exploration of some of the themes which, previously, had to be looked at through explanations from possibly unreliable sources.
And the direct look at the outside universe was refreshing this time around, in that you could see the ways it, and particularly Artificial Nature potentially worked, and the ways it potentially didn't, rather than just being a looming threat. I'm not sure I buy into all the author's stances, but it's still a lot of fun getting through and looking at things from a different angle, and there's enough ambiguity left in there that you don't feel like you're being told you're wrong for disagreeing. You can even agree with the 'bad guys' in philosophy and just disagree with them on the specific decisions they made.
Really, the series as a whole, being mostly a low-tech adventure in a fantastic setting, with a lot of colorful and enjoyable characters, could serve as a good soft-introduction to some weighty SF ideas about artificial intelligence and the nature of consciousness even for people who aren't hardcore into science fiction. The conclusion wasn't quite everything I wanted, but I still liked it a whole lot. The series as a whole has a lot of value buried within it and will not just be a series I'll read again from time to time, but one of my favorite SF settings. May 02, Jacqie rated it really liked it.
This book wraps up Schroeder's Virga saga, and the whole thing is well worth reading. Starting with this book, however, might not be the way to go. All the main characters of the previous four books are featured in this one. The best thing about the book is Virga itself. It's such a rich, amazing concept: a steampowered low-tech yes, kind of steampunk, but not just to get in on the trend bubble world with no gravity except what's generated artificially, with an artificial sun in the center, wh This book wraps up Schroeder's Virga saga, and the whole thing is well worth reading.
It's such a rich, amazing concept: a steampowered low-tech yes, kind of steampunk, but not just to get in on the trend bubble world with no gravity except what's generated artificially, with an artificial sun in the center, where people navigate by how far from the sun and how far into "winter" darkness beyond the artificial sun's light they go. Where tiny town-nations slowly grind brass gears or rotate like hoops in order to generate gravity, banners waving in the breeze. Schroeder describes this world even more lovingly in this book than in the rest, and it's hard not to get drawn into the alien beauty of it.
Outside Virga, Artifical Nature reigns. Nano-technology and artificial life forms have robbed most people of the ability to build, since anything they wish can be created for them without any understanding necessary of the knowledge involved in the building. Artifical Nature cannot get inside of Virga, but wants to, and this book is the climax of that conflict. We start on the outside skin of Virga, in the city of Brink, situated on the ice surrounding the artificial world's bubble. While the world outside of Virga is explored more thoroughly in this book, it unfortunately remains rather nebulous and vague.
So very much can be done with the concept of Artificial Nature that the imagination boggles- how to convey that vast variety, that sterility? Returning to the interior of Virga felt comforting. In this book, the concepts of home, memory and belonging are explored. Schroeder celebrates the ability of humans to create, innovate and make the best of their environment. The humanity of people, the kindness and connectedness of relationships, is also a theme. Plot wise, the book was kind of all over the place.
A lot of things happened, and they were described dashingly. However, I'm still not exactly sure what happened at the end, especially Leal, Keir and Hayden's part in the battle. Minus one star for confusion. I'd willingly spend a lot more time within the world of Virga.
Artificial Nature, not so much. Feb 15, Fred P rated it liked it. Remember all those loose ends from Karl Schroeder's Candesce series? If not, you probably don't need to read this. What it doesn't do is motivate, create interest, or entertain. All the favorite characters are back, but they aren't allowed to shine, or evolve.
Artificial Nature is on the move, and our fellow humans have one chance to stop it, with help from an oak tree and a cheetah. The best thing about "Ashes" is the p Remember all those loose ends from Karl Schroeder's Candesce series? The best thing about "Ashes" is the philosophical discussion that happens about halfway through the book. The reader is asked to consider the goals of digital "assistants" like Siri or Alexa as they begin to become more intelligent. Are we opening the door for other forms of nature to interface with our creations?
Will a future Siri share a respect for humanity, or is that irrelevant? Do we really want a Swiss Army Knife that does anything? This book finds a philosophical balance between AI and human, and that is what makes it worth the read. Plus you find out which of your favorite characters from the series survive! Aug 19, Lucas rated it liked it Shelves: sf. This would have been better if I had read it within a year or two of the 4th novel, but I might have been losing interest in the setting already.
I'd forgotten most of the characters, but the intermittent reminders here were helpful. The brief glimpses into life outside Virga were very interesting, as were additional details on life inside Virga where the details had something to do with dealing with floating in a giant bubble of air. The formal dance in the middle of the book was not, or the cha This would have been better if I had read it within a year or two of the 4th novel, but I might have been losing interest in the setting already. The formal dance in the middle of the book was not, or the characters taking time to write their memoirs and go on diplomatic missions.
Both of these seem far less interesting than the rescue of Hayden Griffin which happens concurrently but is not described by more than a sentence. There might have been more cliched phrases in addition to one use of 'little black number', though that one was the most out of place. There is a brief usage of 'a lot of actors following simple rules causes more intelligent emergent behavior' that was central to Lady of Mazes, but is pointless here.
Nov 17, Cy rated it did not like it Shelves: could-not-bring-myself-to-finish. I really struggled through this one over the past few days and I think I'm going to have to call it quits and put an end to my attempts. It's a much too crowded book that gets too caught up in telling us events rather than characters and the charm of the unique Virga setting has long since worn off for me.
Basically, it's too much concept, not enough story. I imagine I would've devoured this book ten years ago. I might come back to try it again at some point in the future, but I doubt it. Spectacle Fiction is not my thing anymore. Aug 08, Roy rated it really liked it. Flawed but superb.
I expect the last book of a series to be the worst, but in this case it was by far the best. Several characters grew into their own and we're fun to follow. The plot was engaging and not too predictable, though a bit hard to follow possibly not the book's fault. Most of all, I appreciate the willingness to throw absurd genre bending elements into the story. The setting is a gem and I'd be happy to read more books set there.
Mainly that the story doesn't always make Flawed but superb. Mainly that the story doesn't always make a lot of sense and relies a bit too much on wild coincidence. But overall it's great and I'm glad I stuck through the weaker earlier novels. Mar 29, JW rated it really liked it Shelves: science-fiction. Well, it's over. Sigh, another amazing series from a new talent comes to an end. If you read the other Virga books this one won't be a disappointment. Schroeder didn't suddenly forget how to plot, or describe, or make fascinating characters do interesting things.
The climax isn't as swashbuckling as the prior Virga books, but we're dealing with larger matters in this story.
It's a fitting ending to the increasingly complex world he's built. May 31, netjeff rated it it was amazing Shelves: sci-fi-and-fantasy , i-own. Great conclusion to the Virga series, in my top 3 favorite series. I was worried about the final book, because this is a "hard" sci-fi series compared to "soft" sci-fi like Star Trek.
Ashes of Candesce (Virga) [Karl Schroeder] on rapyzure.tk Ashes of Candesce: Book Five of Virga and millions of other books are available for Amazon. Ashes of Candesce: Book Five of Virga [Karl Schroeder] on rapyzure.tk *FREE * shipping on qualifying offers. A world of endless sky, with no land, no gravity.
My experience is that "hard" sci-fi struggles to have a satisfying conclusion -- many either pull-a-rabbit-from-the-hat violating the "hardness" , or else the endings can be bleak. Mar 24, Sergio Poo rated it it was amazing Shelves: sci-fi , favorites. Great conclusion to a great series. I really loved the stories that were told in Virga and I'm sad to see them come to an end. Loved the world and characters and this final chapter brings all threads together and gives readers a great conclusion to the series. I highly recommend the series to anyone who likes great world building in their Sci-fi.
Apr 22, Stephen Graham rated it really liked it. As with any series, this would have been better had I recently read the other volumes. Still, it's an engaging world with interesting characters, playing around with one of the recent themes of science fiction: what is consciousness and what happens to us once artificial intelligence comes into existence. Strongly recommended. Mar 28, McCartha Sheron rated it really liked it.
I like the whole series. It combines adventure with a really interesting world. This part of the series encounter natural intelligence and looks at artificial intelligence and the threat it imposes on humanity. Thought provoking. This one moved a little slower than some of the others, but still was worthwhile. Feb 02, Brittany rated it really liked it Shelves: sciencefiction.
More philosophical than the other Virga books, I occasionally felt a little bit lost in this one. I could have stood more explanation of the thought processes and alliances. But then the pace of the book, which was quite good, would have suffered. Still wonderful adventure novels in a wonderful world. Sep 12, David Rossing rated it really liked it. A universe in thousands of miles bubble of air in space, humans float and live in this world.
Small empires with their own sun control their space and try to control those around them. A boy helps his family with a sun for their town and so the adventure becomes. Jul 22, Cheryl rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fi.
The Warming. This was a spectacular world with many characters who were well developed. These cookies allow us to monitor OverDrive's performance and reliability. If you have no idea who anyone is when you start, you will have even less idea when you finish. Description A world of endless sky, with no land, no gravity: this is Virga. On the one hand, this book feels rushed, like he was t Schroeder attempts to pull his series together in a meaningful way, and succeeds to a fair degree.
This was a great end to the series. It brought everything together very well.
This was a spectacular world with many characters who were well developed. Overall, I very much enjoyed this series. This would be a good mini series for tv. Sep 12, Angraecus Daniels rated it it was ok. Disappointing compared to the previous books in the series. Ashes felt rushed and choppy. Poor transitions from scene to scene, especially in the second half of the book, made it difficult to follow the action or the character alliances.
Jan 09, Michael rated it it was amazing. I'm glad to have finished the series and look forward to Schroeder's other books. Feb 11, Lori marked it as to-read. Apr 05, John Hobbs rated it it was amazing. Loved it.
Great conclusion to all the loose ends on Virga. Second only to Queen of Candesce. May 08, Mouldy Squid rated it it was amazing Shelves: science-fiction. Review forthcoming. Yeah, I know. I am behind on my reviews. I hope to have the reviews posted this week. Jun 25, Deedee marked it as to-read Shelves: science-fiction , year , series-5th , added There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. Science Fiction. About Karl Schroeder. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
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