A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 9 Mar 2000
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
In this Hugo-winning 1991 SF novel, Vernor Vinge gives us a wild new cosmology, a galaxy-spanning "Net of a Million Lies", some finely imagined aliens, and much nail-biting suspense.
Faster-than-light travel remains impossible near Earth, deep in the galaxy's Slow Zone--but physical laws relax in the surrounding Beyond. Outside that again is the Transcend, full of unpredictable, godlike "Powers". When human meddling wakes an old Power, the Blight, this spreads like a wildfire mind virus that turns whole civilisations into its unthinking tools. And the half-mythical Countermeasure, if it exists, is lost with two human children on primitive Tines World.
Serious complications follow. One paranoid alien alliance blames humanity for the Blight and launches a genocidal strike. Pham Nuwen, the man who knows about Countermeasure, escapes this ruin in the spacecraft Out of Band--heading for more violence and treachery, with 500 warships soon in hot pursuit. On his destination world, the fascinating Tines are intelligent only in combination: named "individuals" are small packs of the dog-like aliens. Primitive doesn't mean stupid, and opposed Tine leaders wheedle the young castaways for information about guns and radios. Low-tech war looms, with elaborately nested betrayals and schemes to seize Out of Band if it ever arrives. The tension becomes extreme... while half the Beyond debates the issues on galactic Usenet.
Vinge's climax is suitably mind-boggling. This epic combines the flash and dazzle of old-style space opera with modern, polished thoughtfulness. Pham Nuwen also appears in the nifty prequel set 30,000 years earlier, A Deepness in the Sky. Both recommended. --David Langford
"Heart-pounding, mind-expanding science fiction at its best." "--Publishers Weekly "(starred review)
""A Fire Upon the Deep "by Vernor Vinge is a genuine galactic epic. Weaving a large cast of humans and aliens, Vinge tells an exciting story in space and on several planets packed with ideas and wonder. This is big-scale science fiction at its best." --Fred Cleaver, "the Denver Post "
"Vast, riveting far-future saga involving evil gods, interstellar war, and manipulative aliens, from the author of "The Peace War "and the splendid "Marooned in Realtime." No summary can do justice to the depth and conviction of Vinge's ideas. The overall concept astonishes; the aliens are developed with memorable skill and insight; the plot twists and turns with unputdownable tension." "--Kirkus Reviews," starred review
"Thoughtful space opera at its best, this book delivers everything it promises in terms of galactic scope, audacious concepts, and believable characters both human and nonhuman." "--The New York Times Book Review "
"Vinge, whose characters are as interesting as the science this time, has produced a cosmic epic the equal of any in recent years." "--The Houston Post "
"Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep "is a wide-screen science fiction epic of the type few writers attempt any more, probably because nobody until Vinge has ever done it well. It has Hugo Winner written all over it." "--The Washington Post Book World "
Heart-pounding, mind-expanding science fiction at its best. "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
"A Fire Upon the Deep "by Vernor Vinge is a genuine galactic epic. Weaving a large cast of humans and aliens, Vinge tells an exciting story in space and on several planets packed with ideas and wonder. This is big-scale science fiction at its best. "Fred Cleaver, the Denver Post"
Vast, riveting far-future saga involving evil gods, interstellar war, and manipulative aliens, from the author of "The Peace War "and the splendid "Marooned in Realtime." No summary can do justice to the depth and conviction of Vinge's ideas. The overall concept astonishes; the aliens are developed with memorable skill and insight; the plot twists and turns with unputdownable tension. "Kirkus Reviews, starred review"
Thoughtful space opera at its best, this book delivers everything it promises in terms of galactic scope, audacious concepts, and believable characters both human and nonhuman. "The New York Times Book Review"
Vinge, whose characters are as interesting as the science this time, has produced a cosmic epic the equal of any in recent years. "The Houston Post"
Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep "is a wide-screen science fiction epic of the type few writers attempt any more, probably because nobody until Vinge has ever done it well. It has Hugo Winner written all over it. "The Washington Post Book World"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
At its heart, A Fire Upon the Deep is quite a simple tale. A colony of scientists from Straumli Realm discover an ancient archive and set up a laboratory to study its contents. As they reach into the depths of the archive they unwittingly release The Blight, a god-like AI that has the power to enslave and destroy. Two of the scientists escape before The Blight can destroy their home, taking with them all of the colony's children, and something The Blight wants very much.
For me, that in itself would be an exciting enough story, but it's the universe Vinge builds around it that really elevates the novel to greatness. There's no doubt that, for the first hundred or so pages, the book still made my head hurt. It's a novel that is so bursting with ideas that it took a little time to get all the concepts straight in my head again. Just one of these ideas would be enough for another author to base a whole series of books upon, but Vinge packs it all into one novel, and it is quite mind-boggling at first: whether it's the concept of the Zones of Thought, or god-like Powers from beyond The Beyond, or the Blight, or the alien civilisations he created, there is a lot to take in at first. Almost too much. Sure, some of the elements have been done elsewhere, but I don't think I've ever read another book where they've been put together in such bravura fashion. And once it all clicked into place, I found the novel so compelling that I had to struggle against the impulse to read it too quickly. I wanted to take my time over it, and absorb it, and really enjoy it.Read more ›
I could not recommend this book highly enough. Go and read it.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Still only 1/4 way through it but maybe i expected more from it. It stretches the disbelief a tad too far for me.Published 1 month ago by A. Cassidy
Great quality product, was recommended online and couldn't be happier! Great Sc-Fi novel.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A complex story with interesting ideas and with a backdrop that holds together. This book needs to be read more than once to understand it all, and is definitely a classic. Read morePublished 4 months ago by sderricutt
Good depth. Not quite as fast as I'd like, but I like it anyway.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Despite its age and classic/masterworks status this is an excellent SF book, right up there with the works of Iain M Banks, Alistair Reynolds etc imho. Read morePublished 6 months ago by ChrisKnight
EPIC, an utter Masterpiece of SF. Unlike anything Ive ever read before.Published 8 months ago by Mr. Paul A. Harmsworth
Another sic fi book with great plot but told badly jumbled and unconvincing,pity great shamePublished 13 months ago by michael gawn
amazing book!! the second advendture of Pham Niwen, as good as the one in the spider planetPublished 17 months ago by E. M. Martin
A truly incredible book - one of the best I've ever read. For those with the breadth of mind to appreciate the ideas in this story, it will be a real treat. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Adam