Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
The Children of the Sky (Zones of Thought) Mass Market Paperback – April 24, 2012
"The Tuscan Child" by Rhys Bowen
From New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rhys Bowen comes a haunting novel about a woman who braves her father’s hidden past to discover his secrets… | Learn more
“Vinge has brilliantly shifted gears, offering a post singularity novel in which the singularity has been destroyed and the formerly advanced humans struggle to cope…the resulting low-tech tale is a sharply crafted masterpiece.” ―Publishers Weekly
“One of the genre's most accomplished writers and storytellers, Vinge has crafted a tale that should captivate his fans and win him a larger and well-deserved audience.” ―Library Journal, starred review
“Imagine bootstrapping a fallen civilization into transcendence using nothing but a collection of hive-mind Machiavellis, a crippled hyper-advanced spaceship, and a pack of surly, scheming orphaned adolescents. Oh, and then there's the vengeful god ramscooping itself to relativistic speeds a mere 30 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.” ―Boing Boing
“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
“A Fire Upon the Deep is one of my all-time favorite works of fiction, so I've been looking forward to Children of the Sky for months. I am a particular fan of Vinge's work because, unlike the work of many science fiction writers, his writing is fiction first, with the science and technology a muted part of the background to the story. Vinge always delivers complex, realistic characters the reader can care about, along with a gripping, well-crafted plot that invariably leaves my fingers paper-cut from turning pages so eagerly. And as for the science in Vinge's science fiction, that is also exceptional in its vision and technical integrity. Vinge is undeniably one of the greatest hard science fiction writers to put pen to paper, and he can easily be compared to such greats as Arthur C. Clarke, Poul Anderson, or Stanislaw Lem.” ―Wired
“What a year for Science Fiction it's been and now along comes Vernor Vinge to show us all again how this is really done with The Children of the Sky. The Children of the Sky, in short, was brilliant. No one out there does space opera like Vinge. There are books who have great plots with well thought out ideas, but normally characterization suffers because of it. The book is a showcase for a thought experiment…Vinge does it all. The characters are real and you feel for them. The book is a page turner. And the ideas are wonderful (the Tines are still up there as my favorite aliens I've ever met in a book). I loved it. I loved it. I loved it. This is a great book, but the story is not done yet. The problem is, I WANT TO KNOW THE REST, DARN IT! Now we have to wait for Vinge to finish the story. If The Children of the Sky is any indication, the wait will be well worth it in the end.” ―Elitist Book Reviews
“Vinge makes it feel more like this is a living, breathing world that keeps on going, even if you're not there. And for hard science fiction, that's an accomplishment…. It's hard to say everything I want to say about novels that cover this much ground, but rest assured that this is a worthy follow-up to A Fire Upon the Deep.” ―Literary Omnivore
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.
- Publisher : Tor Science Fiction; First edition (April 24, 2012)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 704 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0812579925
- ISBN-13 : 978-0812579925
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.14 x 1.12 x 6.78 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #892,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
If you expected to learn more about the Zones, Powers, the Blight .. or to meet an amazing new alien race (which nevertheless shares enough with humans that we can relate)... or to see how Ravna and the Children or their descendants fought off the Blight fleet in the end... or even new machinations by the remnants of lords Flenser and Steel or some new brilliance by Woodcarver... or indeed anything at all like "Fire" or "Deepness", then forget about it. I plodded through page after page expecting the real story to finally start, but it never did. What a shame, I hoped to learn more about programmer anthropologists, applied theology and so much more on this return to the Zones. SIGH.
Later I read A Fire Upon the Deep. When I first read that one I was a little confused because I was expecting it to be more like the first. Really, it just had a loose connection. I Read that one again recently (actually reread the whole series) and then followed it with this one. The slightly older me thanks it is fantastic. I read a lot of "Amazon" churned out books. Some of them are really good but most are watered down like modern popular music. It feels really good to read a high quality novel with some real meat.
Read it but don't start with this one. A Deepness in the Sky is still the best but I HIGHLY recommend them all.
It's not terrible. Somewhat interesting in it's own right, but to understand how completely disappointing this novel is, you have to understand how ground breaking "A Fire Upon the Deep" was. All of science from Carl Sagan to modern science fiction that posits a galaxy containing thousands or millions of intelligent races must answer the question: "then given the billions of years in which intelligent races could have evolved in the galaxy, why aren't they here? Why is there no evidence of intelligent aliens ever visiting earth?" The answers to these questions underlie much of the current scientific search for extra-terrestrial life and most modern science fiction.
Vinge's unique idea is that the galaxy is divided into "zones of thought" from the slow-zone where earth is and super-human machine intelligence and faster than light travel are impossible, to the "Transcend" where civilized races evolve godlike intelligence and powers.
The question in "Fire Upon the Deep" is "what happens when one godlike intelligence decides to take over the entire galaxy?" Humans browsing in a lost library archive in the Transcend accidentally re-awaken an ancient evil super-intelligence that ruled the galaxy billions or years before and which then proceeds to start to take over once again.
The other half of the story is a rather interesting but trivial story of primitive but intelligent "good-doggie" versus "bad-doggie" aliens who befriend or menace the human survivors who have crash landed on their world.
After 20 years one might have thought that Vinge would have something interesting to say about his grand themes of galactic conflict and the question "can human level intelligence or independence survive in a galaxy with godlike races?"
But, he's apparently only interested in the struggles between certain idiot spoiled survivor children and the Tines.
His main character from Fire Upon the Deep, Ravna seems to have had a lobotomy and spends 1/2 the book making one incomprehensibly stupid decision after another. The only interesting additional characters are the Tines "Tycoon" who is founding an industrial empire. Sadly we don't spend that much time with him.
We learn NOTHING whatever about the fate of the galaxy after the end of the last novel. Is the Blight (the super-intelligent evil power) really dead? What happens to the blight fleet? If the counter-measure enemy of the blight really dead or only dormant? What's going to happen?
I expected that at least we'd get to see the Tines enact some form of space-faring civilization, but the novel mostly deals with the "Perils of Ravna" who is kidnapped and menaced by evil and spends much of the book attempting to fight her way back to civilization. What? She didn't think to carry a hand-gun when facing danger? She controls the ship computer but never thinks to use her power to block ship's access to the evil children for about 400 pages?
If Vinge wanted to write an interesting novel about Tines World, he could at least have had them develop space travel. It would have been fun to see the Tines making their way in the galaxy and interacting with the "slow-zone" aliens there as in Vinge's other previous novel "A Deepness In The Sky". But, no. . . .
Unless Vinge decides to write a concluding novel to this saga the story will forever be wrapped in enigma, ending not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Top reviews from other countries
The story didn't go at all in any direction that I could have anticipated, and I was so busy waiting for what I thought SHOULD happen that I almost completely missed what DOES happen.
There were a couple of sections which caught my attention however, and I immediately went back and re-read the book.
It's great! Once you realise that the entire tale will be set on Tines world, and that 10 years have passed and the Children are not all kids anymore, the story moves along at a fair clip, and the characters and situations are fabulous.
Read it at least twice. I guarantee, your eyes will be opened :)
10/10, Mr. Vinge!
EDIT: I'm now in the process of listening to the audiobook edition. I've never listened to an audiobook before, but I'm finding this story even more enjoyable through this medium. Amazed!
2nd EDIT: I can't stop listening to this audiobook. Some really important plot points are created simply by specific Tines characters using specific voices at specific times... something that might be slightly lost in translation when reading the written dialogue as opposed to its importance being highlighted when listening to the narrator's interpretation. I'm amazed to say that the audiobook presentation is far superior to the written version. The narrator (Oliver Wyman) does a wonderful job with a great-fun story.
***** 5 STARS ALL ROUND! I want MORE!