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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
Having just finished this book, I'm left with a feeling I haven't had since I was nine years old, after seeing Star Wars in the theater. Read morePublished 22 hours ago by Scott(y)
A writer. A book. A book with words. Words arranged without verbs. Sentence fragments opening paragraphs. More fragments which confound understanding. Read morePublished 2 days ago by A Reader
A wonderful mind-expanding trip across the galaxy. Easily in my top 10. However, since this is my first Vinge book, that may change.Published 4 days ago by Jim Nau
The book is badly dated, but as such, it's an entertaining read of what direction things could have gone in. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Deb
Vast in scope. Good science fiction can change the way you view the world. A Fire Upon the Deep does that with different technological levels of thought via zones in the... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Clyde Nicholas
Spanning a galaxy and 5 billion years, medieval to transcendent evolution. This book devoured my weekend. Vv is top notchPublished 13 days ago by Brayton Fisher
Vernor Vinge is brilliant, and his Fire Upon The Deep has got everything that really good science fiction should have. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Daniel Burton
Takes a bit to get going, but in the end a satisfying and entertaining read. The alien species are very interesting and well drawn, the conflict is engaging, and the writing fluid. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Wyddr
The quality of the writing is unfortunately not as good as other sciFi writers, but the story is quite clever and you will always want to read the next page to know what's comingPublished 29 days ago by bernard hauzeur