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A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought) Mass Market Paperback – January 15, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
I beg to differ.
A Deepness in the Sky is a Fire Upon the Deep turned inside out. There is a brilliant symmetry between the two novels and I definitely believe that either novel is enhanced by the reading of the other.
AFUtD was grand space opera. It was also representative of what Mr. Vinge hopes the future can be: unlimited vistas and boundless advances in technology. As a consequence, the book had a tendency to focus on its grand vision to the detriment of its characters, who ended up feeling flattened by comparison (read some of the Amazon customer reviews for AFUtD to see what I mean).
ADitS, by contrast, represents Mr. Vinge's fear of what the future may hold for us. If technology does, in fact, plateau at some level and if the technological singularity is never achieved, Mr. Vinge predicts that humanity will be doomed to an endless sequence of technological rises and falls. ADitS makes, in my opinion, some very good cases for this. As a consequence, even though the book is chock full of high technology, with respect to our civilization, and even though it imagines humanity spread among the stars, it manages to convey a sense of claustrophobia - especially for those who have read AFUtD. Because the universe is so "cramped", the focus of the novel is directed (with almost painful intensity) upon the characters of the novel.
This novel is long and it has more than its fair share of depressing aspects. I can not, however, think of anything that ought to have been subtracted from it.Read more ›
Vinge has all of the tools of a good SF writer: a mastery of science, creativity in projecting future developments, and the grasp of history necessary to make future societies believable. He's also a good writer. He creates credible characters. The good guys have weaknesses and the bad guys a few admirable traits. His scenic descriptions aren't great, but he does succeed occasionally in creating a sense of place for his exotic locales.
But what marks Vinge as great is his logic. Many writers give have their protagonists win either because their opponents are stupid or are implausibly blind to key weaknesses in their position. The baddies in "Deepness" are smart and are constantly a half step ahead of the good guys, which makes for an exciting read. And, in a particularly brilliant touch, Vinge sets up the climax to look like a cheap deus ex machina, and then returns to explain how it all makes complete sense.
Finally, Vinge also plays a neat little game with part of the narrative, making it seem to be from one point of view and then slowly revealing that it is, in fact, from another.
In sum, "Deepness" is not just a good story, but a good book by a talented author who has thought through everything. If you buy it, maybe Vinge can quit his day job and give us more like it.
A Deepness in the Sky features one of A Fire Upon the Deep's protagonists, Pham Nuwen. In the first novel, Nuwen briefly mentions his life with the space faring Qeng Ho traders. Deepness features his last and perhaps greatest adventure among the Qeng Ho. Nuwen is just one of many fascinating characters who Vinge has created. Unlike his earlier works, in which only a few characters had depth, Deepness has a large cast of characters and Vinge develops them skillfully. Vinge draws from a pool that he has created by merging the Qeng Ho with the tyrannical Emergents and alien Spiders. In doing so, he has created a massive tour de force and one of the great novels of alien first contact.
A Deepness in the Sky is a long novel (over 600 pages) with several different threads going simultaneously. We are treated to Pham Nuwen and Ezr Vinh of the Qeng Ho and Tomas Nau of the Emergents engaging in plots that are only explained in bits and pieces as the novel progresses. On the Spider side, Vinge features Sherkaner Underhill, his family and his friends.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was my first read of a Vernon Vinge sci-fi novel and it was truly a fun read. Vinge writes very well and the storyline is compelling. The world he creates is truly inspired. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Allen King
I have read a fair amount of sci-fi and nothing tops this so far. I liked A Fire Upon the Deep but this book is better IMO. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Deckard
Slower-than-light space empires, spider aliens, and meglomaniacal villains. What's not to like?Published 2 months ago by Nick Ludwig
Possibly the best hard science fiction I have ever read. Written by a guy who understands his physics, yet creates fantastic situations that reveal interesting insights into human... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Chester McFarland
Loved it as a story. As the continuation for the first book in the series, it was disconnected. Only the name Queng Ho tied them together. Read morePublished 3 months ago by rogsonl
Excellent sci-fi adventure. Vinge creates a fascinating universe bursting at the seams with intelligent life. Read morePublished 3 months ago by A. Wilson
“Humankind had often imagined, but never created a general assembler”. Nothing is easy in Vernor Vinge’s Qeng Ho universe. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Adman
A Deepness in the Sky takes Vinge's universe to an earlier and different time and surpasses his first novel (both of which are Hugo winners). Read morePublished 3 months ago by William Hansen