Synopses & Reviews
A Fire Upon the Deep
is the big, breakout book that fulfills the promise of Vinge's career to date: a gripping tale of galactic war told on a cosmic scale.
Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit a universe where a mind's potential is determined by its location in space, from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths, where only simple creatures and technology can function. Nobody knows what strange force partitioned space into these "regions of thought," but when the warring Straumli realm use an ancient Transcendent artifact as a weapon, they unwittingly unleash an awesome power that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial intelligence.
Fleeing the threat, a family of scientists, including two children, are taken captive by the Tines, an alien race with a harsh medieval culture, and used as pawns in a ruthless power struggle. A rescue mission, not entirely composed of humans, must rescue the children-and a secret that may save the rest of interstellar civilization. A Fire Upon The Deep is the winner of the 1993 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
"Fleeing a menace of galactic proportions, a spaceship crashes on an unfamiliar world, leaving the survivors--a pair of children--to the not-so-tender mercies of a medieval, lupine race. Responding to the crippled ship's distress signal, a rescue mission races against time to retrieve the children and recover the weapon they need to prevent the universe from being changed forever. Against a background depicting a space-time continuum stratified into 'zones of thought,' the author has created a rarity--a unique blend of hard science, high drama, and superb storytelling."
"A tale that burns with the brazen energy of the best space operas of the golden age. Vinge has created a galaxy for the readers of the '90s to believe in...immense, ancient, athrum with data webs, dotted with wonders."
--John Clute, Interzone
"Vernor Vinge's best novel yet."
--Greg Bear, author of Moving Mars
"Vast, riveting, far-future saga...The overall concept astonishes; the aliens are developed with memorable skill and insight, the plot twists and turns with unputdownable tension. A masterpiece of universe building."
"The first grand SF I've read in ages...Vinge is one of the best visionary writers of SF today." --David Brin, author of Earth
"Fiercely original...Compelling ideas in the book include problems and advantages of group mind, galactic communications turbidity, and the prospect of civilizations aspiring to godhood." -
-Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog
“Heart-pounding, mind-expanding science fiction at its best.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge is a genuine galactic epic. Weaving a large cast of humans and aliens, Vinge tells an exciting story in space and on several planets packed with ideas and wonder. This is big-scale science fiction at its best.” —Fred Cleaver, the Denver Post
“Vast, riveting far-future saga involving evil gods, interstellar war, and manipulative aliens, from the author of The Peace War and the splendid Marooned in Realtime. No summary can do justice to the depth and conviction of Vinge's ideas. The overall concept astonishes; the aliens are developed with memorable skill and insight; the plot twists and turns with unputdownable tension.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Thoughtful space opera at its best, this book delivers everything it promises in terms of galactic scope, audacious concepts, and believable characters both human and nonhuman.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Vinge, whose characters are as interesting as the science this time, has produced a cosmic epic the equal of any in recent years.” —The Houston Post
“Vernor Vinges A Fire Upon the Deep is a wide-screen science fiction epic of the type few writers attempt any more, probably because nobody until Vinge has ever done it well. It has Hugo Winner written all over it.” —The Washington Post Book World
"Fleeing a menace of galactic proportions, a spaceship crashes on an unfamiliar world, leaving the survivors, a pair of children, to the not-so-tender mercies of a medieval, lupine race. Responding to the crippled ship's distress signal, a rescue mission races against time to retrieve the children and recover the weapon they need to prevent the universe from being forever changed."--"Library Journal."
"The author of The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime has created a rarity--a unique blend of hard science, high drama, and superb storytelling" (Library Journal). A rescue mission races against time to save a pair of children being held captive by a medieval lupine race, and recover the weapon that will keep the universe from being changed forever.
In this popular and widely praised novel, a rescue mission races against time to save a pair of human children being held captive by a medieval lupine race-and to recover the weapon that will keep the universe from being changed forever.
In 1992 Vernor Vinge amazed the science fiction world with this epic novel of star-spanning adventure. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, and has since become a landmark in the field. Now, with the long awaited sequel The Children of the Sky about to be published, we are proud to offer the first-ever trade paperback edition of this big-screen SF classic. A Fire Upon The Deep is the winner of the 1993 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
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 Rainbows 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 Marooned in Realtime and 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.