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Marooned in Realtime (Peace War) Paperback – September 9, 2004
Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
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"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
Ya know, I've really got to start reviewing more books that I loathed with a passion so that I can't be accused of just handing out five stars to every novel I ever picked up. Yet "Marooned in Realtime" has earned every accolade I could give it. Most books fade rapidly from my memory, providing a passing diversion at best. This one is deep, moving, wrenching, thought-provoking, tragic. If I could only keep, say, ten books, this would be one of them.
Vernor Vinge picks up on the milieu he created in an earlier book and expands upon the use of "bobble" technology. The bobbles are stasis bubbles that can be set for durations ranging from hours to centuries. Since nothing inside them experiences the flow of time, they can be used as a kind of one-way time travel ticket to the future. Simply set the parameters as desired, pop up a bobble around you, and see what the world's like in two centuries.
This is what a group of men and women are doing on a deserted future Earth, slowly making their way up the timestream to see what lies ahead, and hoping to come back into synch with the rest of scattered humanity. Vinge does a good job of introducing and developing characters, making you identify with or understand them. The key figure is from close to our time and acts as our point of view.
He is the one that has to investigate what could only be a murder, when the group bobbles up for another leap and one of their members is left behind. For the others, only an instant passes; for the stranded woman, years of isolation and loneliness go by, with her only hope being to live long enough for the bobble to dissipate and provide her salvation and succor. And...she doesn't make it.Read more ›
Marooned in Realtime is certainly the equal of its predecessor, The Peace War...if not slightly better. In this book, there is genuine suffering as well as genuine hope...both human conditions conveyed by several different characters and both portrayed very well. Vinge makes the reader truly feel for the characters...even the villians.
Vinge also does a reasonably good job of conveying the far-future world...with its myriad of lifeforms and strange ways...as well as describing the peoples' reactions (good and otherwise) to this new world.
The only problem with the story was slight. I thought Vinge could have drawn the action scenes a bit better...I found them to be a bit tough to visualize. (Was that the point?) But overall, Vinge has once again created a marvelous story of a future humanity...one with its flaws and excesses...but also one which should inspire those today to leave our progeny something in which they may not only be proud, but in which allows them the best possible lives they can have...and then to do the same for those in which come after them.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing. Almost impossible to believe this was written before the internet. Now that we are in the dawn on the singularity the concept, the book, and the very last words arrives... Read morePublished 2 months ago by GUSTAVO PRADO RGUEZ
Another good one from Vernon. Didn't even realize book was written so long ago, nothing was out of date regarding future tech potential.Published 4 months ago by Matthew C.
This was a very clever and surprising book, highly recommended. Read the Peace War first though.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I'm sure lots of other reviewers have given a lot more detail... So I'll just point to my title.Published 9 months ago by Hyperlexic
Smashed a bug with it one night, don't know if he liked it, but i did.Published 12 months ago by Anthony B. Klinger
This was a good book to let you suspend reality and lose yourself in an alternate reality. Human frailty and the dark side we each have was overcome by the good strong side of... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Vernon J Chute III
Good as a weekend read! This novel is very interesting, but the twists (I think) fail keeping "jumping" as a astrategy to see the plot. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Complete Robot
Great story. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Vinge's other novels.Published 17 months ago by Todd
I am a huge sci fi fan so it was surprising to find such a brilliant writer that I had never heard of before. I can't wait for enough time to pass to read his books again. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Lobuche East