Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Fire Upon the Deep

A Fire Upon the Deep
by Vernor Vinge

A Fire Upon the Deep is 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, the farther from the galactic core the smarter you can become. At the galaxy's rim transcendent super-intelligent entities dwell. Nobody knows what strange force partitioned space into these "regions of thought," but when an ancient Transcendent artifact is used as a weapon, it unwittingly unleashes 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.

Winner of the Hugo award in 1993 this is an adventure story full of thought provoking scientific ideas. Aliens, interstellar war, ancient artifacts and evil gods maneuver for control of the galaxy. Dog lovers will enjoy the Tines; a pack-mind alien race. Vinge keeps you wanting to know what happens next alternating between events in space and events on the Tine world. A sequel called The Children of the Sky is due this October. Vinge published a prequel A Deepness in the Sky in 1999.

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