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The Peace War Paperback – December 1, 2003
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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"A fascinating scientific concept worked into a colorful, carefully thought out future."
"Vinge, himself a mathematician, conveys the excitement of a conceptual breakthrough as well as the gap between theory and actuality."
From the Inside Flap
After the World Ends
Fifty years before, the "Peace Authority" took control of governments worldwide with a radically different weapon, the "bobbler," which encased its targets within an impenetrable force field, rendering resistance impotent. After the decimation caused by severe plagues, civilization fell into a semifeudal state, and all high technology was banned.
But Paul Naismith, inventor of the bobbler, has never given up hope, and having hidden from the usurpers for decades, he is finally ready to lead the tinker underground against the evil he helped to create. The odds against them seem impossibly long. Nothing has been able to defeat the Peace Authority's bobbler.
Until now . . .
"Combines the tautness of a political thriller with strong characterizations. A suspenseful story."
"Conveys the excitement of a conceptual breakthrough as well as the gap between theory and actuality."
"A fascinating scientific concept worked into a colorful, carefully thought-out future."
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Top Customer Reviews
In The Peace War, a rogue research group, later calling itself the Peace Authority, takes control of the world after perfecting the art of conjuring and projecting bobbles...impenetrable spherical force-fields. Fifty years after they've taken down nearly every national government on the planet by negating the governments' every weapon with the bobble, a rebellion is finally stirring, a rebellion led by Paul Naismith...a Tinker whose mastery of Banned technology (high-tech stuff was banned by the Authority because it presents a threat to the Authority's power...namely the sole proprietorship of the bobble technology) puts Naismith in the perfect position to help bring about an end (with the help of his fellow Tinkers) to the Peace Authority's tyrannical rule. But Naismith is an elderly man (around 80), and knows his time is waning. Because of this, Naismith takes on an apprentice, someone he can pass his Tinker secrets to...an heir. He chooses (or has thrust upon him, depending on the point of view) Wili Wachendon...for most intents and purposes a thief...but also a mathematical genesis of the highest caliber -- once Naismith instructs him on some fundamentals anyway. Naismith and Wachendon, along with their Tinker friends and a few others, ultimately confront the Peace Authority on their own turf...in more ways than one...where nothing short of the fate of the world lies in the hands of Naismith, Wachendon, and their friends.Read more ›
I also found the characters a bit thin. Paul, Wili, and the rest just don't seem real to me. I don't have a sense of how these people got to where they are now. So, Paul is a genius, and has something to do with the origins of the bobbles. Great, but what happened to him in the 50 years that the bobbles have been around? How did he get to where he is? Unanswered questions.
Overall, I'd skip this and stick with the other two books I mentioned.
As a scientist, I have to admit that I really liked the idea of scientists forcing peace on the world through their inventions. And, no doubt, it would be a disaster if this were to occur in real life...
The only quip I have with the book is that none of the characters were very compelling, due to a lack of development. Superior character development is one of the biggest reasons why I would recommend reading "Fire" and "Deepness" before this one.
This is one of two books that I know of that deal with a mathematical concept that Vinge invented called the "BOBBLE." In the not so far future, some scientists discover that using novel technologies and lots of power they can create these things called bobbles which are giant bubbles that can be used to encapsulate cars, cities, pretty much anything. The bobbles are roughly spherical aberrations of space time - nothing can get inside a bobble and nothing can get out, not light, not air, not a nuclear blast -- nothing can destroy a bobble. Bobbles reflect light and heat perfectly and are perfectly smooth (no dents or anything) and has no friction...if a human puts his hand on a bobble's surface, it feels warm not because the bobble is warm but because it reflects the warmth of the hand that rests on its surface. If the contents inside a bobble are lighter than the outside, it floats, etc. Bobbles can't be built inside bobbles and they can't intersect each other. The concept is dizzyingly cool and makes for a great science fiction premise.
These scientists who invent the bobbles decide to end all wars and as such they set out to bobble up nuclear silos, cities, anything that can be used to wage war. In the end they wind up bobbling most of the major metropolises of the world - thereby killing hundreds of millions of people who were trapped in the bobbles and there is writing in the book that poses some conjecture about how those poor people must've perished inside the bobbles soon after they were encapsulated.Read more ›
The characters are interesting, but insufficiently fleshed out. We read an "explanation" of Miguel's motivations, but that explanation seems a little to facile. Allison notes that Paul seems to want her to leave, but we don't really get into the internal conflicts that must be racing through Paul to give her that impression. That Della would fall for Miguel seems only to move the story, not to reveal Della's heart. The examples could continue.
The plot, however, is briskly paced and well structured, with victory wrapped around defeat, wrapped around victory, in an interesting overlay.
There are some minor problems with timing. Della seems to contact Avery while still under Wili's quarrantine. And Avery doesn't seem to have enough time after he fully understood the bobble to use that knowledge in the Renaissance plan.
Don't look for deep insights into philosophy, science, politics, or the human person in this book. (Contrast it with Jablokov's "Carve the Sky," which is a moving, poetic meditation on the significance of aesthetics.) Instead, it is a well-paced, entertaining visit to a fairly credible future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent piece of pre singularity literature. Follows a good science fiction rule of only one piece of unattainable technology. Moves quickly. Read with confidence.Published 28 days ago by Zachary P. Stewart
Nice to see a new, non fantasy take on the future. Good characters that act in real ways. I liked the use of possible science that adds depth to the story without being a god... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Scott G. P. Morrison
This was a fantastic story! Don't know how I missed reading it back when it was published!Published 11 months ago by Keith J. Trouwborst
In fairness, I'm comparing to Vernor's Fire Upon the Deep and a Deepness in the sky, which were 5 star. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jeffrey B. Barbieri
Kept my attention. Plenty of action and compares with real life cases well.Published 15 months ago by Dennis M. Markwith
On the positive side, this slightly dated dystopian novel of the near future is suspenseful and for the most part, easy to read and compelling, once the reader accepts the... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Alanzzzz
I enjoyed a deepness in the sky and the zones of thought books. I bought this
and it was fun and engaging.
I consider 4 stars is a very high rating. Read more