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The Children of the Sky (Zones of Thought) Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 11, 2011
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"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
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
I wouldn't bother reading this one unless a sequel comes out that is good, otherwise there isn't much point.
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.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not a completion of the zones-of-thought series. It's a novel about betrayal and co-existence, of politics versus friendship and family ties, of the various kinds of... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Alf P. Steinbach
The author went off in a totally different direction than expected, resulting in a plodding, choppy bore. Read morePublished 26 days ago by BunsenHoneydew
This book just goes on and on. Deepness in the Sky and Fire Upon the Deep were excellent books. Vinge tries to make a novel out of a short story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bob M
Been a fan of Vinge ever since someone handed me "A Fire Upon the Deep" years back.Published 2 months ago by Mike P.
I am glad that there is finally more to this story, I had to reread the first book and I am hoping that he writes a 3rd that will tie the story up. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Alex
Has a knack for putting you in unexpected situations. I enjoyed it.Published 2 months ago by Theodore Russell Moore
Not sure what to think. Do I love this book because the author is so adept at keeping you frustrated at some of the characters ongoing naivety and stupidity or do you hate the book... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
The stuff I liked most from A Fire Upon the Deep seem like only the backdrop to a story all about local politics and betrayals in this book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Chris