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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
My overall impression of this book surprised me. I found some details a bit off, but before I could really make note of why, the plot dragged me onward into great action and... Read morePublished 1 day ago by A. R. Davis
Loved the deep SF ideas and alien societies & species. The story itself could have been better written and a little more engaging and is the only reason I didn't rate this 5 stars... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Arik Elberse
Vernor Vinge may be the best writer of science fiction ever. This book and the even better, "A Deepness in the Sky" are entirely mind-blowing in terms of creativity and... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Michael A. Kalm
Don't like the dark tone and simplistic characters in this novel. I hated Game of Thrones for same reason though so take that with a grain of salt. Read morePublished 17 days ago by T. J. Trentadue
Vinge's creative juices flow in abundance to produce Fire Upon the Deep. I'd give it 5-stars for that alone, but the narrative does bog down and suffers from an almost-unrelieved... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Chip
Loved the first half of this book, great concepts and well written, it just began to drag a bit towards the end. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Philip Harrison
The writing style reads as if written for teens. I know there are hundreds of positive reviews, and the friend who loaned it to me enjoyed the series. But I just don't get it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. A. Long
An overall enjoyable book. Interesting character development and world building going on. The book is a bit predictable and the ending is a bit a of a let down with this regard. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer