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.
The Peace War Paperback – December 1, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Combines the tautness of a political thriller with strong characterizations. A suspenseful story that will appeal to fans of sf and intrigue alike."
"A fascinating scientific concept worked into a colorful, carefully thought out future."
"Vinge, himself a mathematician, conveys the excitement of a conceptual breakthrough as well as the gap between theory and actuality."
From the Inside Flap
After the World Ends
Fifty years before, the "Peace Authority" took control of governments worldwide with a radically different weapon, the "bobbler," which encased its targets within an impenetrable force field, rendering resistance impotent. After the decimation caused by severe plagues, civilization fell into a semifeudal state, and all high technology was banned.
But Paul Naismith, inventor of the bobbler, has never given up hope, and having hidden from the usurpers for decades, he is finally ready to lead the tinker underground against the evil he helped to create. The odds against them seem impossibly long. Nothing has been able to defeat the Peace Authority's bobbler.
Until now . . .
"Combines the tautness of a political thriller with strong characterizations. A suspenseful story."
"Conveys the excitement of a conceptual breakthrough as well as the gap between theory and actuality."
"A fascinating scientific concept worked into a colorful, carefully thought-out future."
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Originally published in 2003, this novel is still a great example of hard SciFi. The characters are multi dimensional, and well textured. And yes, the drive the plot, and drive it well. Plus we have the BDO (Big Dumb Object) to contend with.
Our heroes are an unlikely band of survivors, that come from various pasts. But Paul, in particular, has a fifty year grudge to settle, and oh yeah, destroy the current world domination scheme. Part of his continuing anger results from how the Peace Authority misuses the aforementioned BDO in rising to power.
The storyline is well conceived, and well written. Plenty of surprises along the way, and this is a very compelling read.
Even less believable is the entire story line. The principal bit of technology around which it's based seems more like magic than science - even the supposed experts have no idea why or how it works. I also had trouble reconciling the world of 2050 envisioned by the author, though it might have played better thirty years ago when he wrote it. It just didn't seem viable to me. And I was a bit disappointed that after all the philosophical and moral buildup, the climax of the story revolved around a pretty garden-variety chase and thrill scene that turned out fairly predictably. On the whole I found the ending less than satisfying.
As you might expect from a near-future, post-nuclear apocalypse story published in 1984, it follows an alternate history from ours of 2011. Still, the technology is sharp; for example, a rifle uses smart bullets that have video and a CPU. The vestigial human civilization, in which the largest city has only 50,000 people, is ruled oppressively by the Peace Authority. It retards technological progress, and large consumption of electricity is prohibited. All in the name of peace. But a rebellious underground, "Tinkers," allowed to exist because they apparently dabble only in harmless games and gadgets, has secretly developed impressive hardware using microprocessing.
Vernor Vinge's prose provides the essentials without burdensome detail. Don't worry about being bored. His characterizations are not elaborate, but his characters have character. My favorite is Wili, a skinny little negro who appears to be a child and a thief, though he has the mind of an adult mathematical genius. This 300-page novel reads fast, and it stands alone with a solid conclusion, but you will probably want to read the sequel, "Marooned in Realtime."
(Note: The cover art on my 2003 Tor trade-paperback edition is faulty. You can see inside the dome, contradicting the story's "bobble" technology.)