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A Fire Upon the Deep School & Library Binding – 1 Sep 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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School & Library Binding, 1 Sep 2000
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Product details

  • School & Library Binding: 613 pages
  • Publisher: San Val (Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613278259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613278256
  • Product Dimensions: 18.2 x 11.2 x 3.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,844,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

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

Review

"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""

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

"

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I first read this book twenty years ago when it appeared in paperback. The intervening years had dimmed my memories of much of the story, but I well remember how it made my head hurt.

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.
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Format: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book; it sets out some clear rules for the scientific advancement in the galaxy that give a framework for The Singularity or Uplift or any other set of sci-fi staples without feeling forced.

The various plot threads give us a tour of the structure of the galactic society without ever feeling like an intellectual exercise in the way some sci-fi can. We also get a more detailed exploration of an alien culture in the primitive world setting that has some nice fresh touches.

The various characters are all well written and believable. The young girl, Johanna, is annoying but even that is consistent and the other characters are likeable or not the situation requires.

The only flaw is that the main conflict does hinge on a battle between two ancient and almost infinitely powerful forces so there cannot be a truly satisfying resolution but at least there is no soft ending, even the 'good' power is hardly kind-hearted and the ending when it comes doesn't play on sentimentality.

Many of the themes are similar to David Brin's uplift series but taken from a different starting point and to a very different conclusion.
Good sci-fi and good writing.
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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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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