- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Orb Books; First edition (August 17, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780312875848
- ISBN-13: 978-0312875848
- ASIN: 0312875843
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge Paperback – August 17, 2002
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“A masterful novel, complex in style and plot, heavy with science and social speculation . . . . Vinge is truly an original writer.” ―NOVA Express on A Deepness in the Sky
“Thoughtful space opera at its best, this book delivers everything it promises in terms of galactic scope, audacious concepts, and believable characters both human and nonhuman.” ―The New York Times Book Review on Fire Upon the Deep
“True science fiction and a delight.” ―Publishers Weekly on True Names
“No summary can do justice to the depth and conviction of Vinge's ideas.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on A Fire Upon the Deep
About the Author
Vernor Vinge has won five Hugo Awards, two of them in the Zones of Thought series: A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. 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, Rainbows End and The Peace War.
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My favorite five are:
"The Blabber" is one of my all-time favorite science fiction stories--for reasons I won't explain because of how it connects to the Zones of Thought series.
"The Accomplice" takes place in a "future" 1993 as envisioned by Vinge from 1966. Vinge reports being embarrassed by the various ways he got the future wrong, but he got some interesting things right, too. The story itself is enjoyable enough. Although the story within the story is better, of course.
In "Long Shot" we witness Earth's last and best explorer leaving our solar system behind. The explorer has an important mission. If memory serves.
In "Original Sin" humanity encounters an alien race that is shorter-lived, more intelligent, and more aggressive. The outcome seems foreordained.
"Win a Nobel Prize!" is one of those short-short science fiction stories that appeared in Nature during 1999-2000. It's notable for its mention of the "focus" that played a central role in A Deepness in the Sky.
Vinge supplies both introductions and afterwards for each story, establishing a conversational style that escorts the reader through each story. More anthologies could benefit from this technique, which allows authors to set the stage without spoilers, then offer post-reading analysis to the fully-informed reader afterward. Vinge does this well. The stories are very good, too.
This collection of short stories is interesting both for the stories themselves and for the way they chart a truly excellent writer's evolution. The first few stories are amateurish and awkward. Very soon, they improve in both content and style. I ended up buying several of the books that grew out of the short stories included in this collection, and they were even better than the stories that inspired them.
I really enjoyed this collection of stories. Mostly, I was just pleased to realize that even someone who is as mind-blowingly intelligent and skilled as Vinge did not spring full-formed from his father's forehead, but developed incrementally into the writer he is today. I especially recommend this book to aspiring writers as inspiration.
The other surprise was how many of the stories were similar in theme, especially with his later popular novels like Deepness and Marooned in Realtime.
An excellent read in small doses.