This stands as one of the best damn space operas ever created, standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Hyperion. It’s packed with incredible ideas and interesting characters and wrapped around with high adventure. Folks, it doesn’t get better than this. So read the damn thing.
A Fire Upon the Deep is one of those books that some love and some hate, but needs to be read. It’s a book with an incredible vision of the galaxy and man’s future among the stars, but it’s also a rip roaring tale that doesn’t get lost in all that “vastness”. A perfect combination between story and ideas. This book won the Hugo Award and it’s pretty easy to see why it did.
There’s a lot of “back story” going on, but the basic premise is this: the galaxy is divided up into various zones. The more sophisticated the technology, the further zones you can go. The laws of physics are relaxed in the zones which make computing and technology such as faster than light travel possible that’s not possible in the Slow Zones. Earth is stuck in the Slow Zone but humanity has in fact made it into the Beyond and founded a few civilizations. The irony is that when you have made it to the Beyond, it’s hard to reach the Slow Zone because the laws of physics are more restrictive. The perfect utopia of the Beyond comes to a grinding halt when human scientists accidentally unleash an ancient evil that basically gobbles up the known world. And the fight to save the universe is on.
A Fire Upon the Deep is a fantastic read for anyone who loves old school Space Opera with plenty of hard science fiction mixed in. Indeed, there’s a hell of a lot thrown into the basket which includes physics, hard sci-fi technology, different races, galactic history, political wrangling and betrayals, conspiracy, a passionate war thriller, and even romance.
There’s an awesome prequel to this and as of 2012, a long awaited twenty years in coming sequel “Children of the Sky” was released. So there’s plenty of fodder in this universe to be entertained by.
Fans of Space Opera and/or Hard Sci-Fi will love this one. If you are a fan of Author C Clark, Larry Niven, or Peter Hamilton, Simmon’s Hyperion, read it. Even if you are not, read it!
This book has everything - a compelling story, cool aliens and characters I liked. The story was so exciting that I found myself almost shouting at the book at times; Vinge is great at creating situations where the reader knows what's going on and the characters don't. I look forward to the sequels!
Enjoyed this book so much that I re-read it in 2014. There are few books that get that honor.
Just finished reading. One of those books you pull all nighters to finish. The plot follows a couple humans thousands of years in the future, stranded on an alien world that is roughly in our middle ages. With a futuristic space ship racing to save them. Fun technology combinations of bows and arrows with ultra light speed travel and phasers.
Took off one star because I felt it dragged a little in the second half before the plot climax at the end.
Looking forward to starting Children of the Sky.
Imaginative to the extreme and grounded enough to feel real.
The pack life form is well developed and explored in depth, the story is gripping, the characters real, the tension non-stop, a great great read.
Followed by the strong sequel, Children Of The Sky.
Classic early '90s Hugo -winning sf novel, which I had never read. Pure old fashioned science fiction, with spaceships, aliens, imagined cosmology, etc. It was interesting to see the narrative advanced by quoted interstellar communications apparently modeled on internet newsgroup postings.
Excellent big-idea science fiction. Great characters, aliens, storyline.
I found this a very interesting book with a lot of new and, to me, novel ideas. I had never heard of Venge before finding this book in a used book free pile somewhere, but have gone on to read many of his books. This is still my favorite. If you like it, "A fire On the Deep" might be of interest as well. It has come connection but is again full of new and different ideas.
One of my very favorite science fiction novels. Also try Deepness in the Sky by Vinge, and there is a third book hopefully being released in 2011.
A cracking good yarn! Space Opera at its best! Top Notch!
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