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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staggering tales of superscience
Vinge has often stated his problems with science fiction- the prospect of an impending Singularity, when human society becomes incomprehensible and unimaginable to us, and impossible for the author to describe. This book, and its companion, A Deepness in the Sky, are set in Vinge's solution to this problem: a universe where physical laws are graded in different regions of...
Published on 13 Dec 2002

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Takes too long to get into
This book looked like my kind of thing. I have to confess I have given up on it for now. I may go back to it and try again at some point but I just found it too disjointed and far too pompous. One of the early chapters is good and starts an interesting strand, but then another strand starts and is boring, seemingly unconnected and goes on for ages, by which time I had...
Published 15 months ago by Peter J Miles


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staggering tales of superscience, 13 Dec 2002
By A Customer
Vinge has often stated his problems with science fiction- the prospect of an impending Singularity, when human society becomes incomprehensible and unimaginable to us, and impossible for the author to describe. This book, and its companion, A Deepness in the Sky, are set in Vinge's solution to this problem: a universe where physical laws are graded in different regions of the Galaxy - here in the Slow Zone, faster than light travel and communications, and superhuman artificial intelligences are impossible; the Beyond, where FTL and strong AI are possible, and then the Transcend, where entire races can pass through the Singularity and become Powers, before vanishing in some fashion within a few years.
Most of the book takes place in the Beyond; glorious space opera, in a galaxy of interstellar empires, god-like Powers, and the newly rebooted ultimate computer virus/evil god, the Blight. The opening prologue itself is stunning, just for the amount of information compressed by implication into a handful of pages; and it gets better from there. There's an interstellar communications network, with just enough bandwidth for a Galactic Usenet, littered with misinformation and occasionally hilarious wacko speculation about current events ("Is it true that humans have six limbs? If so, there may be a simple explanation..."). Throw in fascist butterflies ("Death to Vermin!"), truly *strange* aliens and a frantic pursuit over thousands of light years, all the way into the Slow Zone, for possession of a Transcendent device that can possibly stop the Blight, and it's not surprising the book was voted a Hugo award winner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A *must read* sci-fi book, 23 Mar 2001
By 
Dave (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
This book was full of fascinating ideas from start to finish. The author brings in new ideas about the different cultures and tech's in true sci-fi style (imho) by letting you realise just before the full (and interesting) explanation is given what the core content is going to be. The ideas contained are both small and global and are still very strong in my mind at least 5 books and a couple of months later.
I could not recommend this book highly enough. Go and read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vinge Fan, 3 Mar 2007
This review is from: A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
Dr Vinge is, in my opinion, one of the best sci fi authors alive. This is the first book I read of his, and I was hooked. The worlds Dr Vinge creates stay with you - a rare achievement. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!, 30 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
I actually read this some years ago, when it first came out in the UK, so I can't make too many specific comments. However, I would certainly like to add my agreement to the previous reader's remarks. This is a real galaxy-spanning, "sense of wonder" type book. Intelligent space opera for the nineties. I'd also recommend any other Vinge book, especially the Peace War & Marooned in Realtime (sometimes published together as Across Realtime).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book - great for 'the bigger picture' Sci-Fi fans, 9 Feb 2002
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CjW "chris" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
I've read a lot of over-rated books recently - but this grabbed my imagination and attention. Can't put it down! A story across galaxies with brilliant extrapolation regarding the alieness of other living beings and inter-action between them.
Not a science fantasy book; but a science fiction masterpiece with the imagaination of the great Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle. Someone reccomend me more like these!
Marvellous- worth waiting for the re-print to come out. Thats a good hint in itself is it not!
CjW BSc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the best tradition of SF, 20 May 2008
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This review is from: A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
A very satisfying book, combining grand themes, a strong narrative, and excellent and thoroughly well thought-out ideas for alien races, societies and technologies. I particularly liked the approach to the predicament of a starship's captain, forced to make unaided decisions which will change the course of history - this was in the tradition of the best naval historical fiction, as it should be, with a good dose of espionage and treachery thrown in. The closest comparable book, for me, is Iain Banks' The Algebraist - high praise.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I Have Ever Read, 9 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
Vinge takes all the best ideas from both Fantasy and Sci-fi and masterly crafts them into this book. Everything from epic galactic space battles, Inspired new technologies and mind bogglingly constucted aliens, to Medieval feuds, Makavelian plotting and amazingly in depth characters.
The plot doesnt just keep you guessing all the way to the end, but makes you re-evaluate that guess every chapter. Just as you think the good guys are finally gaining the upper hand, the bad guys pull out another trump card.
Not only does Vinge bring all this alive by going into extreme detail with character development but also the science behind it. Among other concepts like the "Ramscoop" and "Slow Zone", the Tines race is an inspired concoction by Vinge and he introduces and portrays them beyond reproach to provide a deeply rich and Wonderous backdrop for one half of the struggle against the Blight.
In summary A Fire Upon The Deep is a space opera of unsurpassed proportions and delving just as deep into the subtletes of human and alien psyche to produce, in short, the best book i have ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great scifi with awesome bits, 25 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
I reckon this is the most interesting / exciting / thought-provoking scifi book I've ever read. Sure, it gets a bit wobbly on occasion but, overall its a corker.
The opening chapter is very powerful, as is the idea of the physics of the universe in which this story takes place. There is a strong feeling of the age and history and size and complexity of the universe and its assorted star-faring species.
No buts. Its a great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vast work of science fiction, 28 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep" is one of the most original and engrossing sci-fi works i have read in a long time. The technology, aliens and vastness of the galaxy all add to this book so much so that it doesn't feel like a novel but that you enter a virtual reality. If you don't read this you are missing out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic all action Sci-Fi, 2 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
Space battles, strange alien races, amazing technology, romance, danger and a great evil to be defeated - not since the classic days of Sci-Fi in the 40's & 50's has this combination been handled so well. From the well worn basic scenario of a race to save the galaxy from an ancient evil, Vernor Vinge has managed to create a gripping tale full a some really fresh ideas. A real page turner: I highly recommend you read "A Fire Upon the Deep".
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A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) by Vernor Vinge (Paperback - 9 Mar 2000)
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