I read this book about 14-Oct-2009. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2006. This note was last modified Tuesday, 29-Dec-2009 19:21:43 PST.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Going through this slowly, it's my phone book, so I mostly read it when I have short bits of time to kill rather than in big sessions. Karl was Guest of Honor at Minicon 44 in 2009.
Virga is a great environment, a large balloon occupied by big and little artificial suns providing power for the things living there. So zero gravity is the norm, and people don't do well in that, so people build their houses on wooden centrifuges. We won't even talk about how their ships work.
There's a "visitor's station", from which apparently people outside do come to visit now and then. There was clearly some decision to deliberately abandon some technology in the past, and now suns can only be manufactured (or reconditioned maybe) in a very few places. And it seems clear that they're in a declining spiral. But that's not what this book seems to be about.
There's some multi-generational plot stuff, and some stuff about revenge as a motive, and things, but it never really grabbed me. All the characters show signs of being interesting, but somehow none of them really clicked for me.
We do learn a bit more about how the Sun of Suns works, at least at the hand-waving level, and some hints of history (it's an anti-tech preserve). And the anti-tech protection is cancelled by the events in this book, so things are going to pick up.