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Marooned in Realtime (Peace War) Paperback – September 9, 2004
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"The scope and grandeur of the plot mark this novel as a high point in hard SF creativity. Highly recommended."
"Marooned in Realtime combines the expansive mode of hard SF with the narrow focus of the detective story, complete with a final orchestrated showdown. The result is exciting; you can hardly turn the pages fast enough."
"Splendid long-range sequel to The Peace War. A marvelous extrapolative tale, to which no summary can do justice, with a gripping blend of high-tech razzle-dazzle and good old-fashioned murder-mystery--all spiced with that unique and awe-inspiring new twist on the time-travel theme. Easily Vinge''s best work, and highly recommended."
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 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Marooned in Realtime" is a sequel to "The Peace War." Their stories are independent, especially that of "The Peace War," which has a fairly decisive ending. Though I found "Marooned in Realtime" the more exciting and original of the two, I benefited significantly by reading the prequel. Historical and political foundations were laid, and one important character is prominent in both books. This is the intense, likeable little raven-haired oriental doll called Della Lu.
In "Marooned in Realtime," the population of Earth circa 50,000,000 AD has dwindled to only a few hundred. These few are here because they travelled to the future, inadvertently travelling past a mysterious singularity in which all other humans were eliminated. It is a suspenseful scenario because a few hundred people may not be enough to continue the existence of the species. And among the few who remain, bickering factions disagree on the nature of future society, and even if society should continue at all. After a powerful person is murdered, factional war becomes eminent. Will mankind survive?
Vinge's prose is agreeably brisk. It is not completely shorn of background detail, nor is it excessively laden with it. The story is a tasteful blend of fictional themes: science fiction, time travel, thriller-suspense, adventure, and mystery. Because I have not read much science-fiction mystery outside of Asimov's Lije Baley series, the last trait was particularly pleasing. As in "The Peace War," the characters display tangible personalities. Some parts of the book are not especially interesting, though none are boring. Be patient and you will get to parts that ARE especially interesting, even exciting.
If you appreciate good fiction, do not pass this one up. It is solidly good, and the ending is happy.
And one of the most important persons on Earth, the one with the plan to save them all, is murdered. So after millions of years he gets a new job. To solve the crime.
Set in a Earth far in the future, with advanced techonolgy, interesting characters, realistic problems and new animals the book is a great read. Dogthings, social spiders and fishermonkeys remind me of a Dougal Dixon book. And as Vernor Vinge is a fan of Mr. Dixon there is a reason for that.
I don't have the Peace War but I do have the short story The Ungoverned in which Wil stops the NM invasion of Kansas so I did know some of the background of his character and why the New Mexicans dislike him. This book is just great with the first book. In other words, it pretty much stands on its own.
I enjoyed this book as well. Excellent read, and significantly easier to get into than the other.
The Bobbles idea was awesome. I would like to see a sequel involving more evolutionary aspects of future Earth - perhaps these or other humans can watch another species rise to sentience, either getting involved or staying invisible. I believe this book mentioned the scarcity of intelligent life, how difficult it was to evolve past a certain point, so I'm not holding my breath. Still, the scope of the universe created left me wanting more.
I'm also glad a certain mystery was never explained - it is better as a mystery.
Wil has two smaller mysteries to solve as well. The embezzler who trapped Wil, tearing him away from his family, was caught and put into a nearby bobble timed to emerge shortly after Wil. This was considered a just punishment for involuntary bobbling. But Wil's enemy has been given a new face and name by the leader of the survivors. Wil is expected to abandon any plans for revenge because every surviving human being is needed to make their colony viable. Wil is reluctant to end his search.
The second mystery is also tied to bobbling. Marta, one of the colony's leaders, is deliberately trapped outside of the colony's next bobble-jump to the future. She spends 40 years as the only living person in the wilderness of Earth, before dying of old age. Marta's companion is grief-stricken and furious. Wil is tasked to identify the murderer, using Marta's diary and other decades-old clues. Everyone seems to be a suspect.
Complicated? Yes. But well-written and easier to follow than this brief summary. The interactions between members of the colony who originated in different eras are carefully thought out and produce interesting cultural conflicts. While this story stands alone, it is a sequel to The Peace War and includes a few characters from that book. The author's short story "The Ungoverned" also fits into this sequence. It can be found in The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge. All three related stories are collected in Across Realtime.