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A Deepness in the Sky (1999)

by Vernor Vinge

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Zones of Thought (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,774622,817 (4.25)99
After thousands of years of searching, humans stand on the verge of first contract with an alien race. Two human groups: The Qeng Ho, a culture of free, innovative traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds.The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens very doorstep, for their strange star to relight and for the alien planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifty years...Amidst terrible treachery, The Qeng Ho must flight for their freedom and for the lives for the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, white the aliens themselves play a role unsuspected by the Qeng Ho and Emergents alike.More than just a great science fiction adventure, A Deepness in the Sky is a universal drama of courage, self-discovery and the redemptive power of love.… (more)
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English (57)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
“So high, so low, so many things to know.”

In a “A Deepness in the Sky” by Vernor Vinge



“A Fire Upon The Deep” and “A Deepness in the Sky” are very similar: a beautiful comparative analysis study could be written about them. It would be worth reading “A Deepness in the Sky” if you insert at least one other book between the two novels, then perhaps the repetition is not so boring. What bothered me the most is that the evil character, Tomas Nau, looks a lot like Lord Steel from “A Fire Upon The Deep”. Sanos was only one of the brilliantly created evil character types in Talon, and it made it to both novels which was unfortunate.

SF nowadays reveals an extensive problem in the genre and the people defining the genre. Many of these people suffer from the Dragon Ball Z problem of continuous one-upsmanship. The impulse is to continue pushing the slider further and further into the extreme to define new territory and they rarely seem to ask whether there isn't an intriguing new way of looking at it which doesn't require pushing the utter furthest extent in order to out-do the previous effort. Of course they're lobbing around gods; there's no place else to go in that direction and none of them have really seen a fresh way to tackle it yet. I think there are some other answers that still need exploring. Some of Vinge, Brin and Reynolds' best works are confined to remarkably low tech or fairly confined, non-cosmic locales. Vinge's “Zones of Thought” story was all in the low-tech extent, despite that burp in the middle where the zones shift —a phenomenon that failed to impact the story, infuriatingly— and "Deepness in the Sky" was also all slow zone and confined to one world. Maybe a part of the problem is the preconception about what it should be, and trying to measure against that. I suppose people like Asimov and Clarke had the benefit that they were early in the field and not competing with a world that already remembers their work, forcing them to try to out-do it.

Vinge’s language is not simple due to the many peculiar expressions and abstract ideas, and the deciphering is not always there, but it seems that Vinge intended things to be thought-provoking. The plot is twisty and fascinating enough but several times I felt that I had lost the thread (or the desire, momentum), but then in these parts I finally found something that kept the interest going, and even later, things became more significant in the light of the overall picture. ( )
1 vote antao | Oct 22, 2022 |
Fínasta vísindaskáldsaga. Geimskipaflotar tveggja stórvelda mætast við hnött þar sem ný ókunn tegund er að fara að vakna af reglulegum dvala. Væntanleg samskipti bjóða upp á mikla kosti en stórveldin 2 eru ólík. Annað byggir á viðskiptum en hitt á þrælkun og kúgun. Uppgjör er óumflýjanlegt. Þegar ókunna tegundin vaknar af dvalanum þá þróast hún af ægihraða en spurningin er hvort hún geti staðið jafnfætis stórveldunum þegar kemur að samskiptum.
Spennandi verðlaunasaga sem vekur upp margar siðferðilegar spurmingar, kraft ástarinnar ásamt þroska manns og samfélags.
Vel þess virði að lesa. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
Perhaps Vinge's best novel. ( )
  xevooy | Jul 20, 2021 |
I find it was better than the first Zone novel. ( )
  harroldsheep | May 21, 2021 |
I really want to rate this 5 stars. As it is my rating should be 4.5.

What made this book special for me was that I had no idea where the story was going. I read a lot and I often find that after reading 20-25% of a book I have a basic idea about the general outline of the story. This often makes reading a bit boring. But with this book I had no idea, mainly because there were so many options. There were some brilliant twists and a tiny remark at the end which cleared up what was a rather big question for me.

So why isn't this a 5 star rating? I think the ending was a bit too pat, and a couple of what should have been major issues were not addressed. But overall this is a rather minor problem. Definitely one of the best sf books I have read. ( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vernor Vingeprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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After thousands of years of searching, humans stand on the verge of first contract with an alien race. Two human groups: The Qeng Ho, a culture of free, innovative traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds.The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens very doorstep, for their strange star to relight and for the alien planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifty years...Amidst terrible treachery, The Qeng Ho must flight for their freedom and for the lives for the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, white the aliens themselves play a role unsuspected by the Qeng Ho and Emergents alike.More than just a great science fiction adventure, A Deepness in the Sky is a universal drama of courage, self-discovery and the redemptive power of love.

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