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Rainbows End Audiobook

Rainbows End

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Publisher's Summary

Vernor Vinge doesn't write novels very quickly, but when he writes one, it's well worth the wait. His last two novels have won the coveted Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of the year. Rainbows End is set in the same near future as his novella "Fast Times at Fairmont High", which won the Hugo Award in 2002 for Best Novella. Set a few decades from now, Rainbows End is an epic adventure that encapsulates in a single extended family the challenges of the technological advances of the first quarter of the 21st century. The information revolution of the past 30 years blossoms into a web of conspiracies that could destroy Western civilization. At the center of the action is Robert Gu, a former Alzheimer's victim who has regained his mental and physical health through radical new therapies, and his family. His son and daughter-in-law are both in the military, but not a military we would recognize, while his middle-school-age granddaughter is involved in perhaps the most dangerous game of all, with people and forces more powerful than she or her parents can imagine.

Filled with excitement and Vinge's trademark potpourri of fascinating ideas, Rainbows End is another triumphantly entertaining novel by one of the true masters of the field.

©2006 Vinge Vernor; (P)2007 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

  • 2007 Hugo Award winner, Best Novel

"This [is] top-drawer hard SF - fast-paced, packed with action, intellectually challenging and, above all, capable of invoking SF's grail: a genuine sense of wonder." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1001 )
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4.2 (466 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Fox 03-11-16
    Fox 03-11-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome!"

    This story is surprisingly realistic. I never thought of advertising as a engineering problem before this but wow-- new perspective!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan CA, United States 01-13-16
    Ryan CA, United States 01-13-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    371
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    6
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    Story
    "Decent premise to start, quickly falls to pieces"

    The premise of the story was great, but the multiple plots are disjointed, characters unsympathetic...to me the fact that this won a Hugo award is an indictment on how Hugo's either hit dead center, or miss by miles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. A. Ward texas 12-21-15
    B. A. Ward texas 12-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    5
    3
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    Story
    "Entertaining and fun, but not mind-blowing"
    Any additional comments?

    This book started off very well. I was quite excited with where it was going; about halfway I felt it derailed. It was still worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer socal 11-15-15
    Amazon Customer socal 11-15-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    73
    19
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    0
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    Story
    "was expecting more"
    What did you like best about Rainbows End? What did you like least?

    brief action section was very engaging.
    hard to say why, but found the beginning dragged and the end anticlimactic
    unlike many sci-fi books there was a bit of character development, so kudo's for that


    Would you be willing to try another book from Vernor Vinge? Why or why not?

    perhaps, as other reviews suggest this is not his best work


    Have you listened to any of Eric Conger’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    narrator gave a creditable performance, especially the surly protagonist


    Did Rainbows End inspire you to do anything?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    was expecting more from hugo winner

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toby 07-16-15
    Toby 07-16-15
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    Story
    "Engaging but probably more so as a read."

    The back and forth of silent messaging did not work for me with the narration. Perhaps if I were reading it it would have been easier to follow. Although much of science fiction is a vehicle for what can be as far as technological advances, it seemed to me that the backdrop of UCSD and the story were contrivances solely for the exploration of what could be. I really had a hard time becoming emotionally involved with the characters. Interesting to note though, the sixth floor of the Geisel library has been cleared of books. Maybe part of this peek into the future is closer than one might think.

    I would have likeg to know who the Rabbit was. I think there is s whole story there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua A Wilson 03-14-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Digital is maybe not the best format for this one."

    The delicious irony of listening on my Android device, sitting on a subway car, my fellow passengers engrossed in their own various electronic distractions, to a distopian neoluddite B-plot about saving phyisical books from digitisation only leaves me wondering why I didn't just go in for the hard copy of the book to begin with. I found it somewhat refreshing that the author chose not to dwell excessively on the novelty of the AI character, given that by now it's such a well-worn sci-fi trope. Thankfully, this is more a story of character driven interactions than the orgy of futurism that it appears on the surface. The protagonist's Hero's Journey does its job in leaving me with the appropriate warm fuzzy feeling. While little about the story strikes me as boldly unique in the way that "True Names" did in the intetnet's infancy, it's still an engaging plot. For a 2006 release, some details already feel slightly dated -- for one, the author largely misses the emergence of social media that would have been taking shape around the time of writing.

    Unfortunately, the reader's oblivious Chinese mispronounciation takes me out of the story completely. If you're considering this book, I'd strongly encourage you to go with the dead-tree-and-ink version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Doker 01-21-15
    James Doker 01-21-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
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    Story
    "Interesting vision of the future, but dragging"

    Conceptually fascinating, but the plot gets too bloated and bogged down in the geopolitics and cyber security details of the new world. Some of the peripheral characters and subplots are just plain uninteresting, and make the whole thing less enjoyable.

    It felt like a novel constructed to illustrate the details -- both broadly interesting and painfully specific -- of this conceived near future, at the expense of good writing, character development, and plot structure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 05-06-14
    Mark 05-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not bad, but read something else"

    I expected more from a Hugo award winner. The story was okay, not terrifically imaginative, and maybe a bit too rich in computer hardware fetishism for my taste.

    It's not that I hated it, I just feel like I wasted my time listening to this when there are still some Paolo Bacigalupi and China Mieville books that I haven't "read" yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John United States 08-18-13
    John United States 08-18-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Disappointing"
    Would you try another book from Vernor Vinge and/or Eric Conger?

    yes


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

    The introductory fram of the first 15 minutes was SOOO compelling and exciting that I was really unprepared for the small, personal redemption narrative that is really the heart of the book.


    Was Rainbows End worth the listening time?

    Sure


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 02-27-13
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2011

    Reading Fantasy and SCI-FI on audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    90
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    "Fascinating view of the near future"

    This is a great book - by far my favorite Vinge novel. The technical ideas are very plausible and the characters are engaging. The performance is wonderful - especially how the reader captures the old Robert. I did think the ending was a bit of a let down - I was left wanting some more resolution. But it was very good anyway. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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