Queen of Candesce
Tor, Aug 2007, $25.95
Venera Fanning is falling into the large artificially contained nothingness of Virga. Finally, after what feels like eternity, she lands on the ancient nation of Spyre, an orb whose cylinder shape is rotting to the point that this planet is doomed.
Venera quickly does what she does best alienate people although she finds a few allies almost as amoral as she is. Trusting no one, she knows she must respond rapidly to determine who can insure her survivability on this strange world even if it means some of her new cohorts are expendable. However, Venera also possesses the Key of Candesce that can change entire worlds, but her prime goal remains to live until she can avenge those who sent her into free fall even as she understands that her first encounter arrival causes a civil war between the status quo and the reformists.
The second Virga science fiction saga (see Sun of Suns) is a terrific thought provoking entry that is loaded with action yet causes the audience to ponder deep philosophical concepts. For instance as the amoral Venera plots vengeance and causes a civil war, readers will consider what is human in light of rebellious artificial intelligence and how human culture evolves around its environment especially the Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome concept for turning Manhattan into airless space.