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Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

Rainbows End (2006)

by Vernor Vinge

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,611933,813 (3.57)83
The information revolution of the past thirty years blossoms into a web of conspiracies that could destroy Western civilisation. At the centre of the action is Robert Gu, a former Alzheimer's victim who has regained his mental and physical health through radical new therapies, and his family.His son and daughter-in-law are both in the military - but not a military we would recognise - while his middle school-age granddaughter is involved in perhaps the most dangerous game of all, with people and forces more powerful than she or her parents can imagine.Filled with excitement and Vinge's trademark potpourri of fascinating ideas, Rainbows End is another triumphantly entertaining novel by one of the true masters of the field.… (more)
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» See also 83 mentions

English (90)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Putting this one down for awhile. It starts with a really interesting premise and then focuses on a real jerk weasel. I get cranky and unhappy every time I read a little bit of it. Some day I'd like to come back and see where he goes with the premise, but not today.
  CiaraCat | Jan 9, 2020 |

I hesitate to say that the writing in this book is good. It is often weighted down by excessive exposition, but there are flashes of cleverness that occasionally slip through. The characterization was modern and dynamic. The theme was well-established. The setting was interesting and thoroughly laid-out. The bits of occasional cleverness made it seem as if Vinge could have written it better. It just seemed as if he was more excited by the ideas he wanted to get across than the story.

Excessive exposition is the bane of science-fiction, and Vinge is no exception. However, he did do one clever thing with it. I often noticed that he would introduce a new technology or idea into the story first, have the characters encounter or mention it, and only later explain it. This construction gave a kind of 'two track' effect. If you were reading along and picked up what was going on from context, then you got your exposition integrated into the narrative (which is ideal). If you missed it, you eventually got an explanation and were not left totally lost. While I prefer the first way of doing exposition, a synthesis between the first and second is still preferable to the second only (where the scientist or expert explains to the protagonist or sidekick every damn little thing ad nauseum.)

Overall, a good science fiction novel, in the 'near-future techno-thriller' subgenre. Better for SF fans who don't mind exposition problems than a more general audience. Recommended if you liked Stross's Halting State, which is very similar. Stross has ideas along the same lines; they're less complicated but better integrated into a narrative.

( )
  ralphpalm | Nov 11, 2019 |
I liked the world he created and I loved his cranky, cantankerous old man main character, but didn't really love the plot. ( )
1 vote akbooks | Sep 12, 2019 |
This is going in my list of favorites. It's almost a Cyberpunk-esque novel in that a lot of the story and action takes place in and around "the internet" as it's become. Vinge has given a very interesting view of what that might be and, as I'm getting used to, tells a compelling story that's centered around this new theme which keeps you fully engaged in the story while explaining a lot of nuances around that theme. ( )
  Mactastik | Sep 4, 2019 |
A science fiction novel more about what technology might be like than about people, so not really my thing. The technology ideas were pretty interesting, though not mind blowing. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vinge, Vernorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Conger, EricNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martiniere, StephanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the Internet-based cognitive tools that are changing our lives--Wikipedia, Google, eBay, and the others of their kind, now and in the future
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The first bit of dumb luck came disguised as a public embarrassment for the European Center for Defense Against Disease.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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