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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
This book was well written, with interesting plot lines and characters.
The 'individuals' in this species and how they relate to the other aliens and humans is fascinating and ties the story together in a unique way.
I think I have read all of Vernor Vinge's novels and I count A Fire Upon the Deep as one of his best.
I enjoyed the climax of A Deepness in the Sky more, but the buildup of different lines coming together was consistently fun. Great read, great concepts.Published 23 days ago by B. Scannell
I first read this book when I was 12, in 1996, and I keep coming back to it. It is the only book i have ever read more than twice, and each time i learn something from it. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Jesse C. Ostrander
This novel was been described by many of the reviews as hard sci-fi. Those reviews were not written by scientists. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
good read exciting and thrilling with great characters and plot. I'm looking forward to the sequel with much anticipation. A great sci-fi readPublished 1 month ago by Justin LeCheminant