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A FIRE UPON THE DEEP

Vinge, Vernor.

40,760 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0312851820 / ISBN 13: 9780312851828
Published by Tor., NY:, 1992
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About this Item

HC in dust jacket. 1st Printing. Winner of the Hugo Award. This copy signed by Vinge. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 25479

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A FIRE UPON THE DEEP

Publisher: Tor., NY:

Publication Date: 1992

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In a future universe in which a mind's potential is determined by its location in space, Straumli realm scientists use an ancient Transcendent artifact as a weapon and unwittingly unleash a power capable of destroying the universe.

Review:

In this Hugo-winning 1991 SF novel, Vernor Vinge gives us a wild new cosmology, a galaxy-spanning "Net of a Million Lies," some finely imagined aliens, and much nail-biting suspense.

Faster-than-light travel remains impossible near Earth, deep in the galaxy's Slow Zone--but physical laws relax in the surrounding Beyond. Outside that again is the Transcend, full of unguessable, godlike "Powers." When human meddling wakes an old Power, the Blight, this spreads like a wildfire mind virus that turns whole civilizations into its unthinking tools. And the half-mythical Countermeasure, if it exists, is lost with two human children on primitive Tines World.

Serious complications follow. One paranoid alien alliance blames humanity for the Blight and launches a genocidal strike. Pham Nuwen, the man who knows about Countermeasure, escapes this ruin in the spacecraft Out of Band--heading for more violence and treachery, with 500 warships soon in hot pursuit. On his destination world, the fascinating Tines are intelligent only in combination: named "individuals" are small packs of the doglike aliens. Primitive doesn't mean stupid, and opposed Tine leaders wheedle the young castaways for information about guns and radios. Low-tech war looms, with elaborately nested betrayals and schemes to seize Out of Band if it ever arrives. The tension becomes extreme... while half the Beyond debates the issues on galactic Usenet.

Vinge's climax is suitably mindboggling. This epic combines the flash and dazzle of old-style space opera with modern, polished thoughtfulness. Pham Nuwen also appears in the nifty prequel set 30,000 years earlier, A Deepness in the Sky. Both recommended. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

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