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Marooned in Realtime (Peace War) Paperback – September 9, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"The scope and grandeur of the plot mark this novel as a high point in hard SF ccreativity. Highly recommended." -- Science Fiction Review

About the Author

Vernor Vinge has won five Hugo Awards, including one for each of his last three novels, A Fire Upon the Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1999), and Rainbow's End (2006). Known for his rigorous hard-science approach to his science fiction, he became an iconic figure among cybernetic scientists with the publication in 1981 of his novella "True Names," which is considered a seminal, visionary work of Internet fiction. His many books also include The Peace War.

Born in Waukesha, Wisconsin and raised in Central Michigan, Vinge is the son of geographers. Fascinated by science and particularly computers from an early age, he has a Ph.D. in computer science, and taught mathematics and computer science at San Diego State University for thirty years. He has gained a great deal of attention both here and abroad for his theory of the coming machine intelligence Singularity. Sought widely as a speaker to both business and scientific groups, he lives in San Diego, California.

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Product Details

  • Series: Peace War (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765308843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765308849
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Rodney Meek VINE VOICE on July 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
**This review contains spoilers!**

Ya know, I've really got to start reviewing more books that I loathed with a passion so that I can't be accused of just handing out five stars to every novel I ever picked up. Yet "Marooned in Realtime" has earned every accolade I could give it. Most books fade rapidly from my memory, providing a passing diversion at best. This one is deep, moving, wrenching, thought-provoking, tragic. If I could only keep, say, ten books, this would be one of them.

Vernor Vinge picks up on the milieu he created in an earlier book and expands upon the use of "bobble" technology. The bobbles are stasis bubbles that can be set for durations ranging from hours to centuries. Since nothing inside them experiences the flow of time, they can be used as a kind of one-way time travel ticket to the future. Simply set the parameters as desired, pop up a bobble around you, and see what the world's like in two centuries.

This is what a group of men and women are doing on a deserted future Earth, slowly making their way up the timestream to see what lies ahead, and hoping to come back into synch with the rest of scattered humanity. Vinge does a good job of introducing and developing characters, making you identify with or understand them. The key figure is from close to our time and acts as our point of view.

He is the one that has to investigate what could only be a murder, when the group bobbles up for another leap and one of their members is left behind. For the others, only an instant passes; for the stranded woman, years of isolation and loneliness go by, with her only hope being to live long enough for the bobble to dissipate and provide her salvation and succor. And...she doesn't make it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By themarsman on May 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Taking place 50 million years after The Singularity -- a point in the 23rd century in which most of humanity disappears mysteriously -- The Peace War's sequel, Marooned in Realtime, centers around a murder mystery. Who killed one of the few remaining humans left on Earth by stranding the person outside of the bobbles -- a spherical stasis field in which time stops -- inside which everyone else was letting the centuries slip by?
Marooned in Realtime is certainly the equal of its predecessor, The Peace War...if not slightly better. In this book, there is genuine suffering as well as genuine hope...both human conditions conveyed by several different characters and both portrayed very well. Vinge makes the reader truly feel for the characters...even the villians.
Vinge also does a reasonably good job of conveying the far-future world...with its myriad of lifeforms and strange well as describing the peoples' reactions (good and otherwise) to this new world.
The only problem with the story was slight. I thought Vinge could have drawn the action scenes a bit better...I found them to be a bit tough to visualize. (Was that the point?) But overall, Vinge has once again created a marvelous story of a future with its flaws and excesses...but also one which should inspire those today to leave our progeny something in which they may not only be proud, but in which allows them the best possible lives they can have...and then to do the same for those in which come after them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Valdivielso on March 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A mystery, a tale of survival, the government of New Mexico, the Peacers, bobbles and millions of years in the future. Tinkers, low tech, high tech, ungovs and statists. Wil W. Brierson, a police detective from the 21st Century, had been shanghaied - forced into a bobble against his will. Now he, and the last remains of mankind and culture, were doing all they could to survive.

And one of the most important persons on Earth, the one with the plan to save them all, is murdered. So after millions of years he gets a new job. To solve the crime.

Set in a Earth far in the future, with advanced techonolgy, interesting characters, realistic problems and new animals the book is a great read. Dogthings, social spiders and fishermonkeys remind me of a Dougal Dixon book. And as Vernor Vinge is a fan of Mr. Dixon there is a reason for that.

I don't have the Peace War but I do have the short story The Ungoverned in which Wil stops the NM invasion of Kansas so I did know some of the background of his character and why the New Mexicans dislike him. This book is just great with the first book. In other words, it pretty much stands on its own.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wes Edens on August 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a whodunnit to beat them all--who murdered the human race? I had some problems with some of the ideas in the book--namely, that humans zapping ahead millions of years into the future would find themselves on an Earth that was compatible with human life every step of the way. That said, this was a terrific read. Vinge is a rare talent--he writes the hardest of hard SF with style and grace. The story is a vehicle to explore Vinge's concept of the Singularity. This is the idea that humanity is on the verge of transcending itself in one blinding step, through artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, or something yet to come. This book is hard to put down, and one of my new favorite SF novels of all time.
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