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Download The Sunless Countries: Book Four of Virga Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Sunless Countries: Book Four of Virga Audiobook, by Karl Schroeder Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (253 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karl Schroeder Narrator: Joyce Irvine, David Thorn Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Virga Series Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9781427206954
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The Sunless Countries is the fourth novel in the Virga series of hard science fiction space opera adventures

In an ocean of weightless air where sunlight has never been seen, only the running lights of the city of Pacquaea glitter in the dark. One woman, Leal Hieronyma Maspeth, lives and dreams of love among the gaslit streets and cafés. And somewhere in the abyss of wind and twisted cloud through which Pacquaea eternally falls, a great voice has begun speaking.

As its cold words reach from space to the city walls—and as outlying towns and travelers' ships start to mysteriously disappear—only Leal has the courage to try to understand the message thundering from the distance. Even the city's most famous and exotic visitor, the sun lighter and hero named Hayden Griffin, refuses to turn aside from his commission to build a new sun for a foreign nation. He will not become the hero that Leal knows the city needs; so it is up to her to listen, and ultimately reply, to the voice of the worldwasp—because an astonishing disaster threatens Virga.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Schroeder...is proving to be one of our most ingenious devisers of exotic, fantastic settings as well as a spinner of ripping yarns....Schroeder's world-building, storytelling, and character-drawing chops seem strong enough to give even Known Space a run for its money. Locus on Queen of Candesce
  • [The] world-building continues to be impeccable, and the story's timing is a fantastic tour de force of his creation. The politics and structure of Virga continue to be a fine backdrop to some of the most entertaining space opera out there. Booklist on Pirate Sun
  • Ashes of Candesce brings the Virga saga to an operatic, crashing finale; a splendid climax to the hard SF saga of the decade! Charles Stross on Ashes of Candesce
  • A delight, a source of seemingly endless invention…. Locus on Pirate Sun
  • With Queen of Candesce, Karl Schroeder's Virga saga establishes itself as an SF saga of the same order as LeGuin's Earthsea series, Asimov's Robot stories, and Niven's Ringworld stories. SFRevu
  • A fantastically alchemical tale set in a strange yet utterly real world. Hayden is a complex and well-developed protagonist and Schroeder is a amazingly detailed writer whose world-building is superb. RT Reviews on Sun of Suns

  • “Inventive and solidly enjoyable… Schroeder paints his unique world with deft touches while keeping the story moving briskly.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Inventive and solidly enjoyable… Schroeder paints his unique world with deft touches while keeping the story moving briskly. Publishers Weekly, on The Sunless Countries

  • I loved it. It never slowed down. The background is fascinating and the characters held my attention. It reminded me a little of The Integral Trees, with technology a little more advanced. Larry Niven on Sun of Suns
  • Nominated for Locus Awards - Nominee, 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucas | 2/14/2013

    " Not as good as the first three. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kitsuniku | 9/2/2011

    " Though it is mainly focused on a Historian, it is a really good addition to the series. There is the issue with the government and she deals with it while also contributing to the bigger story. Many references to past characters. As well as a return of Hayden Griffen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 8/10/2011

    " One of the best of hard SciFi writers around. His stories are still very human centered with very strong female characters that are not male clones. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric Warren | 4/30/2011

    " I love this series, and I think this was my favorite so far! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alpha | 11/5/2010

    " Not as good as the previous books. Too light, without enough SF. Also, Peter Watts explored the end concept in way more depth in Blindsight. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emerson Harris | 10/7/2010

    " Still a boatload of fun, but by far the weakest in the series so far (but not enough to dissuade me from reading Ashes of Candesce. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 1/26/2010

    " One of the best of hard SciFi writers around. His stories are still very human centered with very strong female characters that are not male clones. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alpha | 10/8/2009

    " Not as good as the previous books. Too light, without enough SF. Also, Peter Watts explored the end concept in way more depth in Blindsight. "

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About the Author

Karl Schroeder was born in Brandon, Manitoba, and is the second science fiction writer to come out of the small community. He now lives in Toronto with his wife and their daughter.

About the Narrator

David Thorn spent his childhood in the Channel Islands off the coast of France, was schooled in England, and then immigrated to the United States at the age of twenty-three. He is retired from international commerce and currently resides in California.