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Across Realtime [Hardcover]

Vernor Vinge
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Aug 1993
In "The Peace War" - spheres in which time stands still are developed as the perfect weapon defencce. Ultimately they become weapons themselves. In "Marooned in Realtime" a handful of humans emerge from the spheres to discover humanity's near-extinction.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld Military; First Edition edition (12 Aug 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857981189
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857981186
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,050,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Vernor Vinge (1944 - ) Vernor Steffen Vinge was born in Wisconsin in 1944. He is a retired San Diego State University Professor of Mathematics, a computer scientist and science fiction author. He is best known for his two epic space operas A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) and A Deepness in the Sky (1999), both of which won the Hugo Award and were shortlisted for the Nebula. He is the winner of 5 Hugos, 4 Prometheus Awards and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, among many others. In addition to his works of science fiction, Vinge is authored the influential 1993 essay 'The Coming Technological Singularity', in which he argued that the creation of superhuman artificial intelligence will mark the point at which 'the human era will be ended', such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning 27 Jan 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Vernor Vinge Fans, I recommend all of his books but please note 'Across Realtime'is 'The Peace War' and 'Marooned In Realtime' printed as one book called don't waste your money buying all three, as Amazon recommends, just buy this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sequels can be better than originals 6 Feb 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky were about my favourite 2 space operas of the preceding 10 years. Not that Vinge's publishers showed much gratitude, doing their best to deceive the reader about the nature of Across Realtime. The UK edition has no blurb, nothing to indicate that the book is made up of 2 separate books, and unbelievably, several cover quotes that I think relate to a different book. Some publishers (Gollancz in this case) are absolutely shameless.

Book one of Across Realtime, The Peace War, starts in the late 20th century with a space plane observing suspicious happenings at a California military base, then leaps forward several decades. In the interim, plagues have wiped out much of humanity, and the Peace Authority is the essential ruler of the world, largely through the control of the most significant recent invention, the Bobbler. This encases a sphere of almost any size in an impenetrable silver field within which time does not pass. It's a brilliant and very plot-friendly concept, full of tactical, social and ethical implications. The Peace War is a Star Wars-type tale, ie oppressive empire v plucky rebels (the Tinkers) who are led by a man whose mistakes did much to create the Authority in the first place, plus his naive apprentice. Not that Wili Washendon, from whose perspective we usually see events, is much like Luke Skywalker. A refugee criminal from an independent New Mexico, he goes through the usual rebellious phase before dedicating himself to the plans of the Tinkers. It's a very clear goodies and baddies setup, and there's never much doubt about who is going to win.

I never warmed to the 'Goodies' here, and was never gripped by the plot. Vinge takes too long setting it up and it sags intermittently thereafter.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most excellent and visionary! 10 Jun 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I actually thought that this book is better than his two later books "A Fire Upon the Deep", and "A Darkness in the Sky". I was hooked when I first read "A Darkness in the Sky".
This book is very good SF. There is a lot of imaginative science/technological elements in here. I think some of these are even visionary, for example, Vernor talks about honing smart bullets, which are only recently being developed, and direct human/computer interfaces that increases one's conciousness and intelligence exponentially, which is a possible furture scenario in today's IT world - primitive precursors that follow one eyes' movements or electromagnetic brain waves already exist. Consider that he thought of all these in 1984, when most people havent even heard of the PC!
Like his later books, there is heavy duty scheming between his characters. His characters play each other like a chess game, and this can be enjoyable to watch. This book is actually two stories, the second story is the sequel to the first, and builds on the same world. Recommended!
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By A Customer
This is really two novels, and in some editions a short story as well, published in one volume. Vinge's description of what he sees as the next major step in human evolution - the ability to augment human intelligence via computer - is examined here in more detail than in his other novels (so far anyway). A technology that allows the construction of an impermeable force-bubble around the target provides a simple solution (imprisonment) to a deadly war situation. However, the technology isn't fully understood and it's never quite that simple... brilliantly written, gripping, and thought-provoking. I was glued to the book from start to finish. Vernor Vinge is one of the few SF&F authors whose new books I will immediately buy without question; it's just a shame there aren't more of them! If you like Neal Stephenson ("Snow Crash", David Brin ("The Uplift Trilogy") , and Daniel Keys Moran ("The Long Run"), then this is the next book on your reading list.
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