Vernor Vinge established himself as one of our greatest living science-fiction writers with his critically acclaimed, best-selling, Hugo Award-winning novel A Fire Upon the Deep. Now he returns to the captivating universe of that book, transporting us back 30,000 years.
After thousands of years searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. There are two human groups: the Qeng Ho, a culture of free traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds.The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens' very doorstep for their strange star to relight and for their planet to reawaken, as it does every 250 years
Then, following terrible treachery, the Qeng Ho must fight for their freedom and for the lives of the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, while the aliens themselves play a role unsuspected by the Qeng Ho and Emergents alike.
More than just a great science-fiction adventure, A Deepness in the Sky is a universal drama of courage, self-discovery, and the redemptive power of love.
©1999 Vernor Vinge; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
This book won the Hugo award for good reason. It has everything you want from a scifi epic. The characters were very believable and very interesting. The villains were over the top, and worth while for the most part. The concepts featured in the book about the state of human civilization were extremely interesting, and the conclusion to the book was worth while. I read a fire upon the deep. It was a good book but the ending was unsatisfying. Although this book was set on a far smaller stage than a fire upon the deep, it came much closer to home when it spoke of the state of the human condition. I here that Verner Vinge is writing another book set in this Universe. The sequeal to a fire upon the deep. I will be very interested in reading it, but I am even more interested in reading about Pham Nuwen, and a sequal to A deepness in the sky.
The only gripe that I had about this book was that it was a bit long, and seemed to drag on at times. Other than that the book was excellent. The only scifi book that I would rate above it was Hyperion.
One more thing. The Narrator Peter Larkin is among the best I have ever listened to. His acting is impeccable and his voices bring life to the story. I highly recommend this book.
I think this is my favorite Vernor Vinge book to date (though I should listen to Rainbow's End again). The beginning was slow, but the second half of the book made it all worthwhile. A great cast of likable characters, two parallel worlds that eventually come together, lots of cool SF gadgets and surprises, interesting back stories, and more. I hope there is another book that takes place between this one and a "Fire Upon the Deep".
While there exists better voice acting, the story is strong enough to pull one through most of the strange vocal affectations and pronunciations, some of which is normal to a single narrator effort. For myself, character development and plot support are required for engagement. Vinge has this, and while there is a lot of backstory, it is needed for character motivations. I enjoyed the whole ziphead thing and much more. But if you are not into hard scifi, then go to those writing the fast action versions that use more common phraseology and shorter sentence structures. Myself - I appreciate Vinge winding narrative, logical plot development and creativity.
I work from home and to prevent cabin fever I walk my dog for hours each day, listening to audiobooks.
I enjoyed the first book, ''A Fire Upon the Deep'. It was okay. But this is a masterpiece. I did not want it to end. I don't want to give anything away, but if you read the first book and thought, like me, that you really didn't care for more of the same, don't worry, this isn't. Pham is the man!
the universe it creates is complete, and somewhat origional for a sci fi book. I listen to a lot of books, and prefer classic sci fi, and this fit that vein. characters were well fleshed out, believable, and you could actually care about them and remember them from day to day. I cannot say that about some books i listen to.
The alien side of the story.
He is a good reader, never taking away from the book. I think he could use more inflection in different characters, but that is a minor observation.
good guys win?
The book starts out in full narration. After the first hour, I still did not have a clue where this was going, and contemplated not listening further. I gave it another hour, and things started coming together. making sense. I would encourage the listener to hang in there, as he book is worth it.
I enjoyed the Spider story line, but found the space opera to be a much lacking. In the end it somewhat redeems itself, but just barely.
Peter Larkin was the great redeamer of this book. Had I not enjoyed his ongoing performance, I might have given up on this book. Easily he has been added to one of my favorite performers and I hope to hear him again.
Not a chance.
I enjoyed the place the story eventually took me to.
The ending and learning about the aliens
Felt as though I was there.
I love the Peter F Hamilton books this was not like that, however it had similarities.It would be nice if there was more to keep my interest up, as it's a long book.The book did drag on in places, and I had trouble remembering who was who.It did win a HUGO award, so maybe its just not my style of book so I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Judge for yourself.
ps It's also a bit like Brian Aldis's Helliconia trilogy, but sadly not as good, as I was riveted by that.
An epic sci-fi story, and I enjoyed it a great deal and would recommend it to fans of the genre, especially in the Peter Hamilton style. My only criticisms are that the author allowed himself a few too many opportunities to veer off on a tangent for several minutes in areas that ultimately had little or no import on the story as a whole, and the story could have benefitted from a little judicious editing. Also, the spider babies were made to be a little too "cutesy" in my view. That may have been largely in the "baby voices" used by the narrator, which eventually were a little annoying, but a little too much unnecessary spider children attention.
The other reviews are right: You have to stick with this book. It seems at first to be a standard space opera, but the plot gets more complicated as it evolves. The description of a sub-light speed space faring community is well thought out and believable. And the author knows his science.
Less believable are the aliens, who seem very human in their reactions. Given the cultural differences among earthlings, it is hard to believe that an alien world would have such similar psychologies to Americans. And the plot's pacing is somewhat erratic, sometimes slow and sometimes fast. I didn't mind it, but others may. And, yes, the author repeats things, but more as a reminder of where you are in the plot and where the character is at that moment. There are a number of leading characters to keep track of.
The story has its share of unexpected twists and turns, which kept me engaged. I look forward to more stories about the deep space traders.
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