Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Lady of Mazes paperback cover Lady of Mazes (2005)

Tor paperback
cover art by Stephan Martiniere
378 pages (left)

Tor hardcover
286 pages (right)
Lady of Mazes hardback cover

From the back cover of the US paperback:
       The Coronal is invaded by human and superhuman outsiders who wish to create a revolution that will destroy its fragile ecologies and human diversity.

From the inside flaps of the hardcover edition:
       ...the story of Teven Coronal, a huge multiplicity of human civilizations inhabiting a ringworld.  Far distant and isolated from the rest of spacefaring humanity, Teven suffers a mysterious invasion, one that will destroy its fragile ecologies and unique human diversity.
       Charles Stross says: "Lady of Mazes chews away at some hard questions about the significance of human existence in a world where artificial intelligence, post-humans, and beings indistinguishable from gods coexist with over a trillion people.  Livia Kodaly lives in a pocket civilization in the fallow zone -- a belt of orbital colonies in  deep space that is supposedly uninhabited.  She's a cultural diplomat, in a world where a people's attitude toward culture determines the technologies that will work for them and even determines their perceptions of their surroundings.  But her world is under attack by an entity known as 3340, which is seeking to break down the horizons between cultures and destroy the locks that keep technologies in check. Schroeder recognizes that your choice of technology determines the way you live, and in Lady of Mazes he's created a puzzle-box of a novel that explores an uneasy dilemma: Is it better to live a fulfilling life or one free of external constraints?  Is it even possible to live an unconstrained human existence in a future where there are no limits on the available technologies?"
       Classic SF writer Charles Harness says: "Two paragraphs into Schroeder we are plunged into the seductive virtual world of Livia Kodaly.  As a result of a near-fatal accident in childhood, she is left with a rare, unwelcome gift: She can perceive reality.  When her home manifold is invaded by monsters, she surfaces to lead the counter attack.  With great skill she fights back, and she supports her clear sense of reality with her inscape implants, her animas, her Society (images of family and friends), her angels (protective auras), her sims, her faeries (Peaseblossom and Cicada!), and so eventually recovers her homeland -- and more."

Read for group discussion on September 12, 2007

How we each rated this book
Dan - Amy 7 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri 5 Barb -
Aaron 7 Cynthia -
Jackie 6 Ron 7
Christine - Stephanie -
Patty -

Karl Schroeder (1962-    ) is a Canadian science fiction writer now living in Toronto.  His family are Mennonites, part of a community in Southern Manitoba.  Classic SF writer A.E. van Vogt came from the same small community.

2003 Aurora Award for Best Canadian SF novel for Permanence.

Science fiction novels:
-- Ventus (2000)
-- Permananence (2002)
-- Lady of Mazes (2005)

Vigra saga, far-future space opera:
-- Sun of Suns (2006)
-- Queen of Candesce (2007)

Other books:
-- The Claus Effect (with David Nickle, 1997), satire about the cold war and Christmas

Short Story Collections:
-- The Engine of Recall (2005)

-- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Science Fiction (with Cory Doctorow, 2000)

Fantastic Reviews: Aaron's book review of Lady of Mazes by Karl Schroeder
Works of Karl Schroeder
The SF Site Featured Review: Lady of Mazes
Challenging Destiny: Review of Karl Schroeder's Lady of Mazes
Strange Horizons Reviews: Lady of Mazes by Karl Schroeder

Return to Home Page - Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

This page was last updated October 12, 2008