- Series: Zones of Thought (Book 2)
- Mass Market Paperback: 800 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (January 15, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812536355
- ISBN-13: 978-0812536355
- Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.3 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (374 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought) Mass Market Paperback – January 15, 2000
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
This hefty novel returns to the universe of Vernor Vinge's 1993 Hugo winner A Fire Upon the Deep--but 30,000 years earlier. The story has the same sense of epic vastness despite happening mostly in one isolated solar system. Here there's a world of intelligent spider creatures who traditionally hibernate through the "Deepest Darkness" of their strange variable sun's long "off" periods, when even the atmosphere freezes. Now, science offers them an alternative... Meanwhile, attracted by spider radio transmissions, two human starfleets come exploring--merchants hoping for customers and tyrants who want slaves. Their inevitable clash leaves both fleets crippled, with the power in the wrong hands, which leads to a long wait in space until the spiders develop exploitable technology. Over the years Vinge builds palpable tension through multiple storylines and characters. In the sky, hopes of rebellion against tyranny continue despite soothing lies, brutal repression, and a mental bondage that can convert people into literal tools. Down below, the engagingly sympathetic spiders have their own problems. In flashback, we see the grandiose ideals and ultimate betrayal of the merchant culture's founder, now among the human contingent and pretending to be a senile buffoon while plotting, plotting... Major revelations, ironies, and payoffs follow. A powerful story in the grandest SF tradition. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Library Journal
A war between two rival civilizations over trading rights to the planet Arachna results in the virtual enslavement of the Qeng Ho by the victorious Emergent culture. As the Spider-folk of Arachna evolve in their customary cyclical pattern, unaware of the threat that lies in their near future, a few Qeng Ho rebels work desperately to free themselves and save Arachna from conquest. This prequel to A Fire Upon the Deep (Tor, 1992) demonstrates Vinge's capacity for meticulously detailed culture-building and grand-scale sf drama. Recommended for most sf collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 67%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
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. As for the sense of pessimism, I think that it is absolutely critical to read this in context of the largert universe presented in AFUtD. Yes, the characters, and their cultures, are trapped within a cosmological box, but it's a box that DOES have an open end. An opening that will, more importantly, be found by Pham Nguwen... just not yet.
In sum, I think that this is a true tour de force and an entirely apt sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you read science fiction then you probably read for the ideas more than the human...Read more