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A Fire Upon the Deep Audiobook

A Fire Upon the Deep

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1992 Vernor Vinge; (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1993

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (858 )
5 star
 (351)
4 star
 (302)
3 star
 (139)
2 star
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1 star
 (23)
Overall
4.1 (674 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (661 )
5 star
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4 star
 (234)
3 star
 (101)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
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  •  
    Patrick J. OToole Westwood, NJ USA 05-23-15
    Patrick J. OToole Westwood, NJ USA 05-23-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great world building and story but too long."

    This book has some great world building, interesting aliens, and interesting idea about different zones in the galaxy. But in the end I felt it was too long and too crowded. There are two main story lines in this book. The main story about the blight and the zones of the galaxy, and a side story about the dog-like group-mind creatures called Tines.

    Both stories are interesting and would have made nice books. Together, they were just too much and nothing was gained, IMO, by having them together. The main story about the blight could have functioned just fine without the Tines sub-plot. As it is, I felt the Tines story was distracting.

    Venor Vinge gets bonus points for the exploration of the idea that the galaxy has different zone where intelligence and physics differ. This was fascinating. He explores this in detail and does it well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 03-30-15
    Josh 03-30-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth a listen"

    Good story, great characters. The ending was a little to abrupt for all the build up. Would recommend to others. Narrator performance was outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam BUTLER, PA, United States 03-08-15
    Sam BUTLER, PA, United States 03-08-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A head-spinning revalation!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Fire Upon the Deep to be better than the print version?

    The genius of the novel is self-evident in any format.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I really loved the scrode-riders.


    What does Peter Larkin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His characters are filled with life. Peter Kenny and he have a lot in common in this respect.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. It's too long to listen to in one sitting, obviously, but I finished it in a few days.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rob Erickson 01-24-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Fun Jaunt"

    great story with rich characters. the ending is weaker than expected and Pham much less of an engaging character than in Deepness in the Sky.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Williams Arkansas USA 12-28-14
    C. Williams Arkansas USA 12-28-14 Member Since 2012

    Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
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    16
    7
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    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good Story Torn apart by bad narration"

    The story and premise are really good, but god that narration. The cartoonish voices have been frequently mentioned but what really got me was how congested the narrator sounded. It's like he had a really bad cold or flu and they decided to record anyway. I couldn't finish i'll have to get a hard copy of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dejan Brisbane, Australia 12-07-14
    Dejan Brisbane, Australia 12-07-14

    Interested in futurism and hard science fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    14
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    4
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "I couldn't finish it..."

    A fascinating story at the beginning of the book took a wrong turn and never recovered. The narrator didn't help either with oddly shrill, comic voice which didn't belong to any of the characters in the book. I've asked for a refund.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shark Likes Tecumseh, MI, United States 11-11-14
    Shark Likes Tecumseh, MI, United States 11-11-14 Member Since 2007

    I'm the most boring person on the planet.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    369
    46
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good ideas here, but not enough to carry the story"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the space opera side of this story, but not the medieval side. I found myself dreading when the story would come back to the Tine world thread. Many novel thoughts within this story, but not enough to carry it for me. I give one more star to the ideas than I would otherwise to the story proper.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    More space opera and less Tine story line. And to be honest, not a lot of excitement in the journey. I wanted to like this story more, but just couldn't. Still, the ideas and the narrator took me to the end, which is further than they would have without Peter Larkin.


    Any additional comments?

    I had never listened to Peter Larkin before, but will wholeheartedly do so again. He was great. Had this story been by a narrator I thought less of, I probably would have given up about halfway through...

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Farrell 10-16-14
    Farrell 10-16-14

    Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    85
    ratings
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    452
    289
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    7
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard to get into"

    The story is a bit hard to get a handle on for the first quarter of the book. After that it gets a bit smoother. The end is OK but is a bit too convenient.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KD La Jolla, Ca United States 08-18-14
    KD La Jolla, Ca United States 08-18-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Favorite Sci-Fi book of all time"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Fantastic book filled with many new sci-fi ideas that add flavor and discovery to every page. Vinge's obvious interest and personal depth in science and math clearly come out in the book - and yet it is his character's complex and often endearing personas that make the book so engaging. The story must have been something crafted in Vinge's mind long before he ever wrote it - the way he pulled all the pieces together to a final climactic ending that was overwhelming, elating, and yet bittersweet.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 05-07-14
    Paul 05-07-14

    A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    78
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    6
    0
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    Story
    "Solid Big Space novel with super narration."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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