A Deepness in the Sky: Vernor Vinge (S.F. MASTERWORKS)

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A Deepness in the Sky: Vernor Vinge (S.F. MASTERWORKS)

A Deepness in the Sky: Vernor Vinge (S.F. MASTERWORKS)

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Campbell Memorial Award, [3] the 2000 Prometheus Award [4] and the 2004 Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis for Best Foreign Fiction; [5] as well, it was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel, [6] the 2000 Arthur C. The innermost, the "Unthinking Depths", surrounds the galactic core and is incapable of supporting advanced life forms at all. The third in the trilogy, The Children of the Sky scores significantly lower here on Goodreads than either of the first two ( an average of 3. I've had a great affection for creepy-crawlies since childhood - to the extent of once keeping a black widow spider as a pet - but even distancing myself from my own bias as best as I can, I personally think that the 'Spiders' are more lovable than Spielberg’s pet-like goofy E.

I thought I had read this novel before--I know it had been sitting on my shelves for years, even somehow had a rating, but I couldn't remember anything about it--for good reason--I'm sure I hadn't read this before--I would have remembered.Unfortunately, it's a bad story, which Cole immediately picks up on, and comments, "You have to add some twists and stuff. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. The character Pham Nuwen is the only one from A Fire Upon the Deep, though his role is much larger here and he is not quite the same character. I don't just worry about the future of my generation, or the future of the generation after mine, or the future of a couple of generations down the line. Their world is the sole planet in orbit of OnOff, a brown dwarf that enjoys 35 years of life-giving brightness before dimming for 215 years (hence its name).

While the Quen Ho/Emergence folks are tied up in a L1 orbit above the planet, lurking, Vinge takes us to the spiders and tells there story. The plot begins with the discovery of an intelligent alien species on a planet orbiting an anomalous star, dubbed OnOff because for 215 of every 250 years it is dormant, releasing almost no detectable energy.The bad guys are among the evilest ones I have ever come across in science fiction and the odds against the good guys are among the longest as well. Meanwhile, Hrunkner Unnerby, collaborating with the most fanciful person alive and observing the craziest ideas materialize, will see his world from a different perspective; Tomas Nau, playing the deadly politics of the Emergents and gambling big to win, will do everything he can for his absolute success; Pham Trinli, rejoining the Qeng Ho after a long time and working hard to maintain his cover persona, will begin to set up his own schemes; Qiwi, living half her childhood between the stars and growing up learning about survival in space, will fall victim of the political games; and Little Victory, born along with her siblings out-of-phase and spending her years in hiding, will set off on adventure that will mark her life forever. The novel can be seen as a homage to many SF classics, from Foundation with its idea of rise and fall of civilizations and the attempt to prevent it; The Moon is a Harsh Mistress with its pro-free market libertarian and anti-tyranny ideas and a lot of others. It's a testament to the book that I managed to finish it while in the midst of an extraordinarily busy semester. This three-way contest, with Qeng Ho and Emergents fighting a bitter war with each other full of treachery and dashed hopes, while the fate of the Spiders hangs in the balance, makes for a compelling story all the way through to the end.

What might seem cruel, sick, and disturbing for humans would be completely normal, even necessary for them, and create no real suffering because they aren´t that emotional or have a different, difficult to understand mentality in contrast to the completely oversocialized humans. John Clute lauded it as "the most extended example of dramatic irony ever published," in that not only do none of the characters ever learn the truth about the universe, neither does anyone who has not read Fire; he did, however, criticize "the odd dozen-page segments given over to hard-SF geekishness about orbits and computers and stuff". I love science fiction stories that incorporate novel concepts, and this one introduces several intriguing concepts. Taken together with this prequel, its title always reminds me of "Smoke on the Water" ("Fire in the sky! In a sense, they are human computers, something like the Mentats of Frank Herbert‘s Dune but far less independent.But unfortunately, just like the previous book, I found their societies somehow lacking in alienness or menace. The Qeng Ho and the Emergents arrive simultaneously at a strange star that flares into brilliance for a few decades and then goes dormant for centuries in a perfectly regular cycle. The "Focus" is one of the most chilling forms of slavery I've seen in fiction--one where with your mind enslaved, your body follows. Children are conceived at the end of the cycle (the Waning Years) and grow to adulthood during the next Brightness.

It involves the most memorable and vibrant of the human characters, Pham Nuwen and his time among the trading fleet, the Qeng Ho. When I think about encounters with the alien, I am much more inclined to believe in aliens that are truly inscrutable and terrifying, like those in Peter Watt’s Blindsight, for example.It's a form of literal intellectual slavery, a substitute for the lack of high-performance computing that's the legacy of living in the "Slow Zone" of the galaxy, where no artificial intelligence is possible.

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