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Across Realtime Paperback – Import, August 1, 1993

4.6 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 533 pages
  • Publisher: Millennium; 1st thus edition (August 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857981197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857981193
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,320,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 26, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It has been said that 90% of everything is crap. This is not strictly true; for example, 95% of science-fiction is crap. When I was younger I read science-fiction indiscriminately. Now that I am older I'm starting to pay a great deal more attention to questions of literary quality and I often find myself frustrated by the incredibly bad writing in most science-fiction. However, I found that Across Realtime very definitely falls in the remaining 5% that makes sci-fi worth reading: in fact, Vinge has written some of the best genre fiction I have ever read.
Across Realtime is actually two closely related novels and a short story. The first novel, The Peace War, introduces Vinge's star concept, the "bobble", and also chronicles the demise of the Peace Authority. Following The Peace War is Vinge's short story The Ungoverned, which introduces contract police officer Wil Brierson, further develops the bobble concept and serves as a nice little tract for the author's libertarian-anarchist political views. Finally, and in my opinion the crown jewel of the book, comes Marooned in Realtime, a masterfully plotted mystery story spanning 50 million years into the future. Marooned in Realtime is centered around Wil Brierson and a small band of friends trying to restart the human race in a post-post-apocalyptic world of decaying high-technology. Marooned is so excellent that it alone is worth the price of admission.
I think that there are primarily two reasons for Across Realtime's success.
First, the book deals with strong, unique and thoroughly expounded ideas. Almost by definition science-fiction is supposed to deal with ideas, but more often than not the ideas that authors choose to examine are old-hat and stale by the time they deal with them.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Across Realtime (My version) is an omnibus collection of two novels by Vernor Vinge: The Peace War, and Marooned in Realtime. The Second book, especially, is among the best SF books I've read.
The Peace War is, seemingly, a fairly standard SF novel: in a post apocalyptic world, a dictatorship took over, and the brave heroes fight it off. Except that it is much more than that - Vinge's talent, his characters and his ideas all turn this B movie premise to an original, powerful SF novel. Especially important is Vinge's simple but brilliant invention of the 'Bubble's - spheres which are completely shielded off the world, in which time doesn't move.
'Marrooned in Realtime' takes the premise established in the first novel, and pushes it beyond belief. The beginning of 'Marooned', especially, is idea oriented SD at it's finest - you read going WOW every two seconds.
Idea oriented SF is probnably the hardest thing in the universe to write - you need not only to know how to write well, not only to understand science, but also to come up with a scientific idea which has mind opening reprecussions. I think I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've seen Idea oriented SF done right - this is one of the prime examples.
If you're a lover of SF, Across Realtime will be a parade of ideas, characters, action and thrills. So don't miss it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I shall not bore you with another rehash of the outline of this novel, other than to say it is a sweeping saga spanning millions of years. Vinge really illustrates how we rely on our technology, and have largely lost our survival skills to cope with nature on an individual basis. Could we survive as a species if there were only a few hundred humans left? Vinge is a scientist by trade and it shows, he definitely makes you think! This novel has a very good base of scientific fact mixed with a great plot and excellent character developement, and can stand up to anything well known writers such as Asimov or Bradbury or Heinlein ever wrote, and that is saying a lot. As I began to read this book, I read perhaps ten or twelve pages a day, but I became so entranced by the story that later I found it hard to put down, it was so good. I loved the ending of the book, especially the last few paragraphs.
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Format: Paperback
...And no one seems to miss it but those who read it. What happened? Across Realtime is by far one of the most incredible books I have ever read. It took me 5 years to hunt it down again (I only remembered the story, not the title). Now that I have found it, I discover it is no longer in print. I struggle to find a copy anywhere. Vinge never got the recognition he deserved. I was moved to tears as I read about the main character left to fend for herself alone in an almost primitive Earth, yet only inches from her friends and loved ones(Marooned in Realtime). She lived her life alone and she died alone. It was heart-wrenching. An incredible murder mystery set against the eerie echoes of that main character as she relayed her life eons previously. This is the perfect story for making you think. Just when you thought the story was as big as it could get, it explodes, making you see a whole different angle. I think the revewer previous had the right quote: "Ordinary people caught up in struggles of vast importance." Now thats my kind of book.
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