The Sunless Countries
May 07, 2012
It's a beautiful edition
The mass market paperback edition of The Sunless Countries will be released tomorrow, May 8, 2012. This book starts a new storyline, but brings in some old friends and definitely begins tying up the loose ends (and there are many) from the previous three books.
Feb 06, 2012
Coming in May. Get the whole set!
Yeah, it's about time. The Sunless Countries will be arriving in trade paperback edition on May 8 or thereabouts. This is another fine edition and looks great next to the Cities of the Air and Pirate Sun trades. When it's out you'll be able to buy all the Virga books except for Ashes of Candesce in this format. They're beautiful editions and I highly recommend going this route if you want to quickly get up to speed with the editions.
On the other hand, I'm hoping to set up an offer on this site of signed original hardcover editions of all my books... hopefully in the next week or so. So maybe you want to hold out for that hardcover original...
Sep 08, 2010
As always, I NEARLY made the Hugo ballot this year.
What does it mean for a writer to consistently be in the top 10-to-12 nominees for Science Fiction's top (English) award--i.e., with every novel? Damn little, in terms of sales or public recognition, I'd say. Nonetheless, I present with some bemusement and not a little world-weariness, my standing in this year's Hugo nominations. (First number is the number of actual nominations each title received.)
142 The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (20.3%)
105 The City & The City, China Mieville (15%)
100 WWW: Wake, Robert J. Sawyer (14.3%)
77 Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (11%)
62 Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America, Robert Charles Wilson (8.9%)
62 Palimpsest, Catherynne M. Valente (8.9%)
53 Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld (7.6%)
49 This Is Not a Game, Walter Jon Williams (7%)
49 Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett (7%)
45 Galileo's Dream, Kim Stanley Robinson (6.4%)
42 Finch, Jeff VanderMeer (6%)
40 Makers, Cory Doctorow (5.7%)
40 The Sunless Countries, Karl Schroeder (5.7%) <-- Grrr. Argh.
Damn. But, hey--at least I know that there's some people out there who really like my stuff. And look on the bright side: I only need to drum up a couple dozen more fanatical readers with Ashes of Candesce. Looking at the numbers, I guess that means I'll have to make it at least 55% better than The Sunless Countries. And don't worry--I'm working hard on that.
Jun 30, 2010
Canada's juried SF/Fantasy award has some strong contenders this year - plus me
The short list for the 2010 Sunburst Award has been announced, and once again I'm on it! Here's what they have to say about The Sunless Countries:
Immediately captivating, this is equal parts great world-building and strong characterization. Wonderfully original settings and visual detail light up this richly imagined world. Leal, her friends and her enemies are vividly drawn and sympathetic. Particularly impressive is Schroeder's ability to make this, the fourth book in the Virga series, as accessible to readers as the first.
The complete list of shortlisted works:
- Charles de Lint, The Mystery of Grace (Tor, ISBN: 0765317567)
- A.M. Dellamonica, Indigo Springs (Tor, ISBN: 0765319470)
- Cory Doctorow, Makers (Tor, ISBN: 0765312794)
- Karl Schroeder, The Sunless Countries (Tor, ISBN: 0765320762)
- Robert Charles Wilson, Julian Comstock (Tor, ISBN: 0765319713)
The short-listed works in the young adult category for the 2010 Sunburst Award are:
- Megan Crewe, Give Up the Ghost (Henry Holt, ISBN: 0805089306)
- Maureen Garvie, Amy By Any Other Name (Key Porter, ISBN: 1554701422)
- Hiromi Goto, Half World (Penguin, ISBN: 0670069655)
- Lesley Livingston, Wondrous Strange (HarperTeen, ISBN: 0061575372)
- Arthur Slade, The Hunchback Assignment (HarperCollins, ISBN: 1554683548)
Feb 02, 2010
It's an honour, as always
I meet a lot of people who have been away from science fiction for a few years--or even a few decades--and wonder where to start reading it again. One of the best ways to get reacquainted with the best in the field is to check out Locus Magazine's annual reading list. Locus is a multi-award winning SF/F industry magazine that carries all the latest scuttlebutt, reviews, etc. Their readers are some of the most savvy and well-rounded in the business, so when they pool their resources to compile a list of recommended titles, you know it'll be good.
Which, of course, makes the fact that every one of my novels has made this list truly puzzling. Not that I'm complaining, mind you--especially since The Sunless Countries has made this year's list!
Dec 30, 2009
Russ Allbery provides another well-balanced assessment of my work
Russ Allbery has reviewed most of my novels on his site, and he's always provided an extremely good litmus test of how well I'm doing. (Except of course for his giddy and utterly approving review of Lady of Mazes, which if not entirely objective was at least a great piece of ego-boo for me.) As well as praising the strengths, he finds the weaknesses in my work with unerring precision and for this reason I always await his reviews with great anticipation.
What he has to say about The Sunless Countries is extremely positive, and his criticisms are fair. I can learn from a reviewer like this:
The Eternists are a bit over the top, though. Schroeder paints the politicians as manipulative, self-serving slime, and since the protagonist is an academic, the conflict follows stock fault lines and seems pat and cliched. He makes it work within the book, but the obvious analogies outside the book are too easy and a bit distracting.
Yeah, okay. I'll try to do better. On the other hand, this is his overall assessment:
The Virga series still falls a bit short of Schroeder's other work for me, but this is the most intellectually interesting entry. He moves away from steampunk set pieces and into more analysis of the nature of government and the perils and alliances of high technology. It's one of the better books in the series, although it still trails Queen of Candesce.
Fair enough, and thanks once again for a well-measured review.