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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

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3,270552,601 (4.26)77
After thousands of years searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. Two human groups: the Qeng Ho, a culture of free 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 their planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifty years� .Then, following terrible treachery, the Qeng Ho must fight for their freedom and for the lives of the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, while 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.   A Deepness in the Sky is a 1999 Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel and the winner of the 2000 Hugo Award for Best Novel.… (more)
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» See also 77 mentions

English (51)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Definitely in my list of top series of Sci Fi. Well, so far. Unfortunately, there's at least one more book coming in this series, and it takes him a long time to release them, so I'll be waiting a long time to pick that one up.

This series has a lot going for it. I read this one first, then what's listed as #3 (The Children of the Sky), which follows this book in time order, and then read #2 (A Deepness in the Sky), which is set far before either of these. That was fine. Deepness can be read as a standalone book at any point, though just for some of the plot twists in Fire, I'd recommend not reading Deepness as the first book you read in this series.

This is hard Sci Fi with a spin, and massive, far reaching scales of thought, time, and space, all wrapped around very human experiences of this amount of vastness. ( )
  Mactastik | Sep 4, 2019 |
Its been awhile since I read straight science fiction- and this book is a sequel to "A Fire Upon the Deep", which I enjoyed.

It's more of a prequel, than a sequel, set hundreds or thousands years in the past (its been awhile since I read the first book). And the story is good, really really good. The comparison between the trade society Queng Ho, and the Emergents, a totalitarian society bent on domination. The premise of the odd world On/Off, and the strange spider-like creatures who live there is very well done.

I appreciate an author who knows where his boundary is. I suspect the character of Pham Trinli is based on the author. This character is old, and grew up in a very patriarchal society. Pham knows that his values are long passed, but also out of date and has trouble reconciliating them.

As for the Spider Society, by setting the society on a star that goes "dead" for 30 years bringing the entire world to go into hibernation is a bit of brilliance for the book - this means that the individual spiders have similar lifespans of the humans - that humans are on shift for a bit of time, than go into cold sleep while off shift. The author writes about the Spiders as people. Description are very minor, until the very end, when humans and Spiders meet for the first time. This allowed readers to see the Spiders as people, rather than insects. Its a neat writing tool, and worked effectively for this book.

As for the writing, the book manages to hit the sweet spot of technologically interesting, with interesting flawed characters. The end of the book came from left field, but, was hinted at throughout the story, if a reader could read between the lines. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Aug 3, 2019 |
Better character development than the first novel. The story is a bit narrower in scope, so there's not quite the same sense of wonder the first one inspired in me, but it's very good nonetheless. ( )
  brokensandals | Feb 7, 2019 |
This is definitely in my top 5 scifi books ( )
  nielsbom | Dec 9, 2018 |
A Deepness in the Sky paints a picture of a humanity that has evolved into an interstellar trading culture. Because of lengths of time it takes to travel between systems at sublight speeds, these Qeng Ho traders rely on building up the technology level of client worlds so that they can refuel and trade. This book relates the story of one such encounter, but this time with the first ever alien culture encountered by humans. This is complicated when the Qeng Ho arrive at the same time as another human culture, the authoritarian Emergents, who ambush and subjugate the Qeng Ho despite the traders' attempts to cooperate. The story weaves back and forth between the various human groups, particularly Qeng Ho traders who cooperate with or try to undermine their Emergent masters, and the alien Spiders whose 1950's-like culture is undergoing their own scientific revolution amidst a tense political atmosphere. The humans know that failure to work with the Spiders means they will never escape the system, but cooperating with the Emergents may have even worse consequences. This book was fantastic--it had many layers of politics and intrigue along with compelling and believable characters, all set within an fascinating thought experiment of a setting. ( )
  Phrim | Oct 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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» 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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