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A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

A Deepness in the Sky (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Vernor Vinge

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3,295562,607 (4.26)78
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)
Title:A Deepness in the Sky
Authors:Vernor Vinge
Info:Tor Books (2000), Edition: 1ST, Mass Market Paperback, 800 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge (1999)

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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
For eight-thousand years humanity has been spreading out into space. Thanks to cold-sleep and interstellar ramjets, humans have colonized planets and founded new civilizations. Unfortunately, like their predecessors on Old Earth in the Dawn Age, these civilizations fall into decay, often ending in the near annihilation of life on their planets. Then slowly, the cycle repeats itself. Pham Nuwen, one of the founders of the Qeng Ho traders, has a dream. Can the Qeng Ho become more that interstellar merchants? Can they save humanity from itself by intervening before a nuclear apocalypse ravages a planet or a solar system?

One-hundred-sixty years after their fleet departs, the Queng Ho arrive in the system of the mysterious OnOff star and its sole planet Arachna. They discover an emerging technological civilization of spider-like creatures. The spiders are only the third intelligent alien species that humans have encountered. But the Queng Ho aren’t the only humans there. Another fleet, the Emergents, have also arrived. Unlike the Queng Ho, the Emergents aren’t interested in trade. They’re interested in conquest and pillage. For the most part, their technology is less sophisticated than that of the Queng Ho, except in one critical area. The Emergents have a way to condition the minds of their slaves, making them useful tools.

Vinge has created an exciting space opera filled with memorable characters, both human and arachnid, with realistic heroes and villains in each species. Decades of espionage, subterfuge and tense action are played out against a backdrop of deep space as the author explores the social conflicts that arise from commerce, conquest, individual liberty, authoritarianism, and the desire to dominate and control the actions of others individually and collectively using computer technology. ( )
  MaowangVater | Oct 30, 2019 |
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 |
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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.

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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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