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A Fire upon the Deep Hardcover – 1 April 1992
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Frequently bought together
- Publisher : Tor Books (1 April 1992)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0312851820
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312851828
- Dimensions : 3.43 x 16.38 x 24.1 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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The writing is good, the characters likeable and memorable. The action varies, alternating tense confrontations and wrenching surprises with restful, character-developing discussions. The real strengths of this book, however, are the cleverly-conceived big ideas. Three examples:
Big Idea #1 -- Our galaxy is somehow segregated into "zones of thought." In the central "unthinking depths," intelligence and technological complexity is limited by the very fabric of space. In the "Transcend" on the outer edges, whole societies have sublimed beyond our understanding and virtually disappeared. Except for when they revisit lower realms with devastating results. Imagine how space travel, technology and our humanity itself would subtly change as we traveled between these zones.
Big Idea #2 -- An alien that has one consciousness distributed across half a dozen or so physical bodies--a pack of wolves with one shared mind. The pack members communicate with short-range sonar. Imagine the confusion when two packs mingle together. Imagine the personality changes when a single member dies or two packs shuffle members. Imagine an entire culture of these aliens encountering human beings.
Big Idea #3 -- A galaxy-wide internet where an almost-unimaginable variety of alien cultures talk to and about each other. What information would be shared and how might it be misunderstood? Who can be believed? Trusted? And we thought we had scalability problems!
And there are more fascinating ideas, large and small. This entertaining and mind-expanding book is strongly recommended. Without reservation. Savor it and swallow it. Then move on to the prequel, A Deepness in the Sky .
Book features some cool ideas and is mildly engaging, but overall it’s a frustrating experience, poorly and confusingly written.
Top reviews from other countries
But I'm glad I persisted as the world described has a huge amount of variety and is truly immersive in a way I've not really come across before. You really do feel like you start to understand this huge universe of different cultures, people and aliens that are all existing, trading and fighting their way through the millienia even as more powerful intelligences carry on in planes of existence beyond our level of intelligence. And then you're whipped down to specific worlds where you follow individual characters as they live their more mundane lives and fight their own microscopic battles amongst their own people. And then it all somehow all comes together as the story reaches its climax and conclusion. It's truly an impressive work.
I've now started the prequel which describes some events earlier in the history of this universe.
I love Peter F Hamilton books and I struggle to find anything as good but I enjoyed this as much as those.
I struggled to get my head around the main race (the Tines) and once I understood the concept, I reread some chapters again, so that they made more sense.
Great characters, great story. I'm going to find another book by Vernor Vinge
Aside from the basic errors made by the publisher this book is great, galaxy spanning space opera at its very best and unlike most of the novels released these days it tells a complete self contained story without being split into 6 or more parts.
My biggest issue with this book is that I was immediately inspired to read the 2nd book in the series - which I'm afraid is nowhere near as good.