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A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
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A Deepness in the Sky (1999)

by Vernor Vinge

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Zones of Thought (2)

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2,955501,943 (4.26)63
Recently added byLauraM77, rgladwell, NIckBryant1, NyxiePixie, private library, kristi_test_05, erichtwade, kristi_test_04
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English (46)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Vernor Vinge, a scientist who can tell a good yarn, another anomaly among genre writers, the other anomalous authors being China Miéville and David Brin, and they are all bald! Makes me want to shave my head, I bet Patrick Stewart can write amazing books if he wanted to, make it so Pat!

A few months ago I read [b:A Fire Upon the Deep|77711|A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought, #1)|Vernor Vinge|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333915005s/77711.jpg|1253374], Vinge's first "Zones of Thought" novel, it quickly barged its way into my all-time top 20 list. A Deepness in the Sky is not going to dislodge another book from that list but it is still an indispensable read all the same. This is a book that I imagine would be great all the way through on the second read because there would be no need to figure out the meaning of the setting of the book and the numerous characters' motivations. Initially I just could not understand Vinge's choices. Why did he anthropomorphise the aliens? Why do spidery aliens have names like Underhill, Brent, and Smith? Why not call them Zark or Vygphm or something more alienesque? The author really threw me for loop for the first quarter of the book, I thought may be he is too lazy to think up weird alien names, silly bast that I am.

I won't reveal the reason for Vinge's strange anthropomorphism, but it all makes perfect sense as you read on, and read on you must. My favorite "sf notion" from this book is Focus, a more elaborate type of mind control with no element of hypnotism. A Focused person is sort of ultra fixated on the single task they programmed to do, everything else eating, bowel movements and grooming become completely irrelevant.

Part of the book is a hoary sf trope of alien invasion turned on its head, in that humans are the invading aliens and the Spider race are the invadees. This leads to a humdinger of a climax and an Uplifting ending!

Vinge's gift for characterization is again evident here though, with lovable aliens, eccentrics and a mustache twirling Machiavellian archvillain (OK, no mustache!) called Nau. This seems to be something of a Vinge trope as Nau is cut from the exact same cloth as the villain of A Fire Upon the Deep Mr. Steel. The character Pham Nuwen is the only one from A Fire Upon the Deep, though his role is much larger here and he is not quite the same character.

I did get lost in some scientific details but most of them do become self explanatory as you read on. However, if you want some help with ramscoop, localizer and podmaster you may want to check out this Reddit thread.

I would rate this as a 4.5 stars book as I personally find it harder to "engage" with than the previous book. To engage is not merely to understand what is going on but to feel involved in the proceeding, to empathize with the characters, and generally to immerse in the book as an experience rather words printed on a book. It is for me the single most wonderful thing about reading fiction. Any way, from the half way point onward this book is very involving and you may need a deFocus treatment afterward. ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vernor Vingeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eggleton, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tervaharju, HannuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, BorisCover Artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To Poul Anderson,

In learning to write science fiction, I have had many great models, but Poul Anderson's work has meant more to me than any other. Beyond that, Poul has provided me and the world with an enormous treasure of wonderful, entertaining stories - and he continues to do so.

 On a personal note, I will always be grateful to Poul and Karen Anderson for the hospitality that they showed a certain young science fiction writer back in the 1960s.

 --V.V.
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The manhunt extended across more than one hundred light-years and eight centuries. It had always been a secret search, unacknowledged even among some of the participants.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812536355, Mass Market Paperback)

This hefty novel returns to the universe of Vernor Vinge's 1993 Hugo winner A Fire Upon the Deep--but 30,000 years earlier. The story has the same sense of epic vastness despite happening mostly in one isolated solar system. Here there's a world of intelligent spider creatures who traditionally hibernate through the "Deepest Darkness" of their strange variable sun's long "off" periods, when even the atmosphere freezes. Now, science offers them an alternative... Meanwhile, attracted by spider radio transmissions, two human starfleets come exploring--merchants hoping for customers and tyrants who want slaves. Their inevitable clash leaves both fleets crippled, with the power in the wrong hands, which leads to a long wait in space until the spiders develop exploitable technology. Over the years Vinge builds palpable tension through multiple storylines and characters. In the sky, hopes of rebellion against tyranny continue despite soothing lies, brutal repression, and a mental bondage that can convert people into literal tools. Down below, the engagingly sympathetic spiders have their own problems. In flashback, we see the grandiose ideals and ultimate betrayal of the merchant culture's founder, now among the human contingent and pretending to be a senile buffoon while plotting, plotting... Major revelations, ironies, and payoffs follow. A powerful story in the grandest SF tradition. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

On the world of Arachna, the Qeng Ho battle the Emergents, and only Pham Numen has a chance to foil the horrendous Emergents plan.

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