Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by bookbazaars
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good having possibility of underlined, highlighted sentences. Textbooks may not include their supplements like CD, access code, info track, etc. Fast shipping.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Children of the Sky (Zones of Thought) Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 11, 2011

3.2 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Zones of Thought Series

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 11, 2011
$3.47 $1.58

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly
"A Criminal Magic" by Lee Kelly
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel and casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties. Learn more

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Editorial Reviews


Advance praise for The Children of the Sky:

“Imagine bootstrapping a fallen civilization into transcendence using nothing but a collection of hive-mind Machiavellis, a crippled hyperadvanced spaceship, and a pack of surly, scheming orphaned adolescents. Oh, and then there’s the vengeful god ramscooping itself to relativistic speeds a mere thirty light years away. Vinge’s explosive imagination and deft storytelling make epics sail past like hummingbirds—you’ll steal daytime moments to read more, and lie awake at night contemplating what you’ve read.” —Cory Doctorow, bestselling and award-winning author of Little Brother

“Vernor Vinge’s stories and novels have always surprised and entertained me, and The Children of the Sky carries on that grand tradition!” —Greg Bear, bestselling author of Hull Zero Three

“No one has ever crafted a more complex, fascinating, and strangely realistic alien race than Vernor Vinge’s marvelous Tines.” —David Brin, bestselling author of The Postman and Startide Rising

Raves for A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

“This is big-scale science fiction at its best."  —The Denver Post

“With uninterrupted pacing, suspense without contrivance, and deftly drawn aliens who can be pleasantly comical without becoming cute, Vinge offers heart-pounding, mind-expanding science fiction at its best.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“There are not too many novels that leave this reader screaming violently for more. Vernor Vinge's has done so." —Locus

"When I was young and had to write my address in a school notebook, I would begin with my street and apartment number and then go on through city, county, state, country and continent in a litany of ever more grandiose place names that did not end until I reached ‘Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, The Universe.’ In those days, it thrilled me that my small corner of the Bronx was just one part of the vastness I could see in the sky at night. This is the feeling I got from reading A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.” —New York Times Book Review

No summary can do justice to the depth and conviction of Vinge's ideas. The overall concept astonishes; the aliens are developed with memorable skill and insight; the plot twists and turns with unputdownable tension. A masterpiece of universe-building.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Though Vinge's galaxy is huger than one can begin to grasp, it is, at the same time, entirely seeable in the mind's eye. To find out how he does this trick, how he has managed to create a setting intimate enough to hold a single tale and big enough to tell a thousand, just read the book." —John Clute, Interzone

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 Marooned in Realtime and 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.

Product Details

  • Series: Zones of Thought (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312875622
  • ASIN: B0085RZGD6
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,545,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cary on October 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I consider Fire Upon the Deep & Deepness of the Sky to be among the greatest sci fi books ever written. So it was disappointing for me to see how inferior this book was. It is simply not in the same league.

Hard Sci Fi: The world is interesting as always, and Vinge expands on the Tines by giving a variation of their species. That was well done. He further expands on the technology, its limitations in the Slow Zone and all the impossible technology the "Children" (survivors of the crash) miss so much. Also interesting. His creation of the alien Tines is thorough and mostly well done, although I felt their civilization bears far too much similarity to our own considering how very different they are from us. Still, I enjoyed them.

Plot: Plot was actually both positive and negative. Sometimes, the plot would race forward and you would hang on the edge of your seat. But other times - most times - it was a chore to read; all in all, very haphazard and amateurish. Many parts dragged, or were highly repetitive. It felt like a case of a lazy or indulgent editor. With top editing, Vinge would have been told to re-write much of it and scrap other parts. Many sections were utterly unnecessary - the same thing would be said later, or the conflict presented was repeated later - and this was especially frustrating given that IT DOESN'T HAVE AN ENDING!

The main negative was what I just said: No ending. I mean exactly what I say, not "no ending for some major points" I mean "no ending." It just ends in the middle of the major conflicts. Really this is just inexcusable, particularly since so much of the book could have been removed with zero difference in plot or conflict.
Read more ›
13 Comments 181 of 195 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Chufi on October 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very little Science in this Science Fiction novel. The plot is all political scheming on the tine world between the humans and tines. I had a hard time slogging through it, the characters and actions are not typically believable (and typically act very stupidly even though they are all supposed to be geniuses. Most of the time I didn't care about characters or the plotting. There were some decently paced sections but most of the book is overly verbose and honest fairly boring - I had to force myself to read it in hopes it would get better. Some of the ideas about the tines group intelligence/personality were semi interesting, but really there wasn't much there. There is no ending to the book, just sort of stops in a pause in political maneuvering. The natural assumption/hope I had for the book was that we would find out what happens with the blights ships trapped 30 ly from the tine world. There are few hints early on that this was going to be the case. Nope. It mostly seems like a set up for the real follow up to that plot - one that could have been a chapter long and just explained the current political setup if it was needed.

I wouldn't bother reading this one unless a sequel comes out that is good, otherwise there isn't much point.
1 Comment 78 of 84 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Fire Upon the Deep is one of my favorite SF books, so it was never really in question that I'd read this. Kindle delivery was instantaneous as usual, and I read it in one long sitting on my day off. If you like Vinge's work or the earlier books, it's a given that you'll enjoy it.

However, it's not of the same caliber as the earlier books in the series. The characterization in particular is just all over the place, and a lot of the motivations seem to be more of the "because the story needs it" than organic development. The Tines are as devious as you'd expect, but their machinations are haphazard and occasionally veer into the absurd. The big revelations about what was going on were obvious far in advance. Several times there was an inexplicable jump in sequence or point of view to create drama or uncertainty that just felt cheap. It would be expected of a younger author, but this is VV we're talking about, and it felt like this book needed to cook a little longer or be tended by a harsher editor.

Also as has been mentioned, the Blight threat is not resolved in this book and if that's what you were reading for, you'll have to wait for another book.
Comment 65 of 70 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of Vernor Vinge. I think 'Fire Upon the Deep' and 'Deepness in the Sky' are significant science fiction masterpieces, and I consider 'Rainbows End' to be important literature that everyone should read. Vinge's latest work, however, does not even aspire to reach those same heights. Be warned, this review will contain spoilers.

The story takes place, for the most part, ten years after Ravna's escape to the Tine's world. Realizing that the Blight's threat is mere thirty light years away, she sets to transform the pre-technical world to a modern civilization capable of defending itself against the coming crisis. As interesting as all of that sounds, it is not the heart of the story. Instead, we're forced into an implausible conflict between two factions of the surviving children, one that believes Ravna's story, and another that cannot accept it. One might wonder how can that be possible? Everything that transpired in Fire Upon the Deep is available to everyone through Ravna's ship, Oobii, and the events are hard to dispute. We are forced into the trivial melodrama with an explanation concerning how some of the children do not believe their parents could have made a mistake, and that the mastermind behind the Denier movement, Neville, is 'evil'. In order to kick start the contrived plotline, the characters initiate a series of illogical actions, along with several ad hoc additions to the plot to cover some of the holes. For example, we are told that Ravna had been spying on Woodcarver's nemesis, Flenser, and now she feels very guilty for hiding the fact from her friend. Her guilt compels her to tell the first person she encounters, who happened to have an evil agenda of his own.
Read more ›
Comment 22 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?