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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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  •  
    Jack St Petersburg, FL, United States 11-14-12
    Jack St Petersburg, FL, United States 11-14-12

    Blind Vietnam veteran. Antique weapons collector. Outdoor enthusiast. Florida State University graduate with Business major. Owner of home health agency. registered nurse.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A Good Story Even If You Are Not A Sci Fi Fan"

    My son recommended this book. All he reads is sci-fi. I don't. I started the book with a bias against it, however it turned out to be a good story and the performance was excellent. Good character development. It kept my interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan United States 10-31-12
    Ryan United States 10-31-12 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "It's no AFUTD, but it's good stuff for sure!"

    This book starts off VERY slow. I almost stopped reading it. Then it really picked up, and my patience was well-rewarded with an exciting hard scifi read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rob Montpelier, VA, United States 10-19-12
    rob Montpelier, VA, United States 10-19-12 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "First Vinge book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    There was a good story here. Original and well put together.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure why I couldn't give it more stars. I thought it was an original, creative story. It was well put together. But I just didn't love it. But it was good enough for me to try another. I'll try another Vinge book in the future and see how I like that one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 04-16-12
    James 04-16-12 Member Since 2014
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    "The future of computing + a good spy story"

    Vernor Vinge's "Fire upon the Deep" was one of the first 'real' sf books I read when I was a young teen. Once I read it, I looked for everything VInge and devoured it. Unfortunately, Vinge doesn't publish too frequently, but when he does...ka-blam-oh!

    "Rainbows End" is great sf. It's got good science, developed characters and an engaging story arc, plus there's a nicely veiled, implied reference to some of the AI stuff in "Neuromancer."
    If you're into spy thrillers, espionage and plausible future tech, this will be a book for you.

    My only beef is that I'm not a Pratchett reader, and there was a whole section that I feel would have been much more interesting had I been. Oh well, still a good read.

    Eric Conger is a fine narrator, not fantastic, but he does his job well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dielle 11-09-11
    Dielle 11-09-11 Member Since 2016
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    Story
    "kind of fun but not worth a re-read"

    at several points I got lost in the techno jargon, the story is a little bit thin but it was still enjoyable, some interesting ideas about where the internet and gaming could end up in 20 years. I agree with another reviewer who said it would have made a great short story, but stretched into a novel it became a little light.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Buberel Sunnyvale, CA USA 10-25-11
    Jason Buberel Sunnyvale, CA USA 10-25-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Story was OK, characters underdevloped"

    The story did introduce a few interesting concepts - especially the notion of a behavioral control attack that is based on a biological vector that is triggered with specific sensory input.

    But the character development left me feeling uninspired. I found it hard to convince myself to really care about them or their outcomes in the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy College Station, TX, United States 03-28-11
    Timothy College Station, TX, United States 03-28-11 Member Since 2016
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    "Disappointed, couldn't finish it."

    I loved "A Fire Upon the Deep", so I got this with great expectations. After slogging through about 2/3rds of the book, I ultimately just couldn't finish it. Frankly, I found it boring, and full of characters I didn't care about and situations I found either uninteresting or too implausible. Its presentation of the near-future world was somewhat interesting, but not enough to keep me going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-12-10

    Wildflower Native

    ratings
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    2
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    "Good for Geeks"

    If the author had spent as much time developing the story line and the characters as he did describing the technology, this might have been a much better read for the average computer-literate person. It seemed to get more and more bogged down with techno-detail as the story got thinner and thinner, and before the end of part 1, I lost interest and stopped listening, sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben 10-14-10
    Ben 10-14-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Erratic, but enjoyable if you are open to it"

    The setting and circumstances are intriguing. Vinge describes a believable, compelling, and fascinating world where a ubiquitous evolution of the Internet has reshaped human existence in the not-too-distant future. Particularly because of its role in education, this new technological medium has catapulted a generation of youth far beyond the capabilities and values of their parents.

    As in other Vinge works, a broad, eclectic array of plot pieces are set into motion in order to arrive at a final climax. One moment you're reading about a miserable old poet who's been given a second chance on life, but must choose between his old talents and the brave new world. Then suddenly it's about children coming of age in a technological utopia. At one point it seemed to veer into a lecture on the merits of libertarian capitalism. For far too long it dwells on an unimportant sub-plot about teaching old dogs new technological tricks. And there's this grad student, desperate to find an original thesis. And then it's about a team of nostalgic rebels who fight against the violently rapid progress around them. Oh, and I almost forgot, there's a worldwide team of secret-agent anti-terrorist saviors who have been infiltrated and manipulated by a villain with a plan for world domination (except they drop that plot for such a long time that you forget if it was this book or another that you remember it from). And a husband-wife team of super military analysts. And a super-powerful AI screwing with all of them, just for fun. Oh, oh, and then there's a huge Pokemon battle! And some Bollywood executives, and some sort of worldwide technological catastrophe. No, I'm *not* making this up!

    While it was never completely ridiculous, it was nevertheless frustrating to be constantly wondering, even well into the final 1/3 of the book, what the heck the main story was supposed to be, and how it all fit together. It does come together loosely, but then rushes into resolution and epilogue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    paul 08-29-10
    paul 08-29-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What Moore's law might provide"

    Interesting sci fi of a few decades from now without the full apocolypse having occurred yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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