I'm an aspiring author, a lawyer, a sci-fi fan, a father, and a harsh critic of pretty much everything. I enjoy audiobooks because I read very slowly, and audiobooks allow me to consume novels at a rate that would be impossible for me to achieve with printed text.
There were a number of extremely creative and intelligent ideas about the future in this tale... but the author failed to make me care about any of the characters. The result is a book with a ton of brains but no heart.
There really are two stories in this book which don't really intertwine until the very end. The story of the children on the planet and the aliens they encounter there is incredible. It's really a brain bending idea full of very interesting characters and new concepts. But the story of the people in space tasked with rescuing them... well it was kind of lame. Perhaps the first storyline was so compelling that I kept finding myself annoyed when it would switch away to something less interesting. Perhaps separated the two storylines would have been independently awesome. As it is I can really only say that I liked half this book, unfortunately the two halfs are every other chapter.
The narration of A Fire Upon the Deep is so silly that it would be preferable to have the voice cast of Dora the Explorer read this book. I could not get through more than a few hours, though I wanted to read the book. I'll be checking it out from the library.
I have never taken the time to write a review before this one. I know we all have different tastes and many have reviewed this book in a positive light (that is why I bought this in the first place). This is the first audio book where my mind would wander. My own thoughts about what to eat for dinner or which route to take home from work were more engaging than the story. Very disappointing. I have about 9 hours left and just can't finish it.
I do not know how narrators are chosen to read for an author, but if Vernor had some decision in the process, then NO, I would never listen to another book by him again. This book is probably better to have read physically than to listen too.
I have read that people describe Peter Larkin as using a "cartoonish" voice for the aliens. Of course I read that after I purchased the book. I actually began to interpret the story through the lens of the animated "Heavy Metal" movie. I thought that might be ok; first audiobook that I saw as a cartoon in my mind. But it was the constant stuffed-up-nose-muppet voices that finally killed it for me. To answer the question, anyone who can keep the listener from visualizing cartoons would be better.
I was never invested enough to care about the characters. I thought the hive mind dog pack was an original concept, but not worth building a world around. I would also cut the syllable count for the characters. Listening to the 4 and 5 syllable names over and over became pretty sing-song like and whoops, there went my attention again.
Solid novel with interesting physics, characters, and aliens. A number of new and cool concepts. Decent plot. About the writing: while VV is not likely to win an award for his literary prowess, I commend him for his straightforward style. The one negative I have is that the middle of the book seems to be much longer than necessary (Pham, Ravna, and the Skrodriders traveling through space; and the intricate details of the Tine world), but maybe that's just a pet peeve of mine, because I have made this comment on several other thick novels. Peter Larkin does a great job with the variety and quantity of voices.
Very unusual entourage and interesting story.
Just not my cup of tea...
It isn't often that I encounter a scifi book with entirely novel ideas, but Vernon Vinge seems to have imagined a universe that is truly unique. The setting, plot, and characters converge to create an all-engulfing experience that took me out of this world and into another. It's an adventure worth taking.
There is a reason that this book is considered to be one of the top 100 scifi books of all time.
Blind Vietnam veteran. Antique weapons collector. Outdoor enthusiast. Florida State University graduate with Business major. Owner of home health agency. registered nurse.
This is a sci-fi story about humanoid dogs who create castles, wagons, and all kinds of weapons by using tools they hold in their teeth - - Say What?! - - And then the author seems to have forgotten how to end a story. he goes on, and on, and on, and on.
If you have a nothing at all to do, it is OK.
Otherwise, save your time.
Philosophy, Science, Econ, Sci Fi, Medicine for now...
Amazing creativity, introduction to cool scientific ideas and compelled me to review Einstein, really fleshed out world that makes BSG or Hollywood Sci fi seem puerile by comparison.
Great vocal range and giving consistent voices to the different characters.
Yes but for lack of time....
My new favorite Sci Fi story.
pleasant imaginative escapism
Vernor is a creative world builder who leaves enough room in his creations for the a listener to explore unwritten possibilities with their own imagination. This is coupled with an ability to craft a plot of sufficient complexity to hold ones attention for many hours without taxing the listener. This book challenges only in the most pleasant ways, while I was exposed to new ways of envisioning thought and the universe I always knew the "good guys" will win in the end. Kinda like letting your brain wear pajamas all day.
puppies & potted plants vs. EVIL