Posted 20 hours ago

A Deepness in the Sky: Vernor Vinge (S.F. MASTERWORKS)

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In the elite group of authors of speculative fiction that truly understand the power of story and are masters of it, we must include such names as J. To say anything more would venture into spoiler territory, but I will leave it at: the setting makes for some extraordinarily complicated relationships and motives, and leaves the reader with a very foreboding atmosphere.

The title is coined by one of the story's main characters in a debate, in a reference to the hibernating habits of his species and to the vastness of space. It takes longer than it should for the ties to grow strong enough to tug on your heart-strings, and somewhere in that delay the fifth star is lost from the rating.

Humanity never broke the FTL barrier here and the Quen Ho travel from star to star in ram scoop ships that manage about . As someone who loved A Fire Upon the Deep, I have been meaning to read the prequel novel for quite a while. Speaking of protagonists, I like this Pham Nuwen much better than his clone in A Fire Upon the Deep. The scale of A Deepness in the Sky‘s story is restricted to human-occupied space, before it was discovered that higher Zones of Thought exist.

Sure, it’s an innovative approach, but it made these characters much more ‘conventional’ than they would normally be in a sci-fi context. It's a really good, interesting book - Vinge does a fabulous job (again) with his alien characters and creates a culture that will live long in the memory.Published in 1999, the novel is a loose prequel (set twenty thousand years earlier) to his earlier novel A Fire Upon the Deep (1992). Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement.

By the end, that all makes sense, but it makes the reader suspicious, you're trying to put your finger on what's out of kilter - it makes the book a bit of a puzzle - and in that mindset you're not engaging with the characters, you're not investing emotionally. I don't know about you, but I spend an inordinate amount of time meditating upon the far future of humanity. If you must do without something, do without beautiful prose and artsy metaphors and just tell a rip-roaring good yarn which people will sit around campfires and recount for as long as humans live under the stars. As much as I liked A Fire Upon the Deep, its hard-science-fiction tropes never quite cohere, and the story and characterization suffer as a result.When the spidey senses are tingling, better watch out for 8 legged surprises spinning towards your colonialists. It’s only a tragedy from a perspective outside the book, where you know that there’s so much more they could have had and Pham is going the wrong way at the end.

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