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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

Critic Reviews

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1993

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    636
  • 4 Stars
    471
  • 3 Stars
    202
  • 2 Stars
    55
  • 1 Stars
    29

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    548
  • 4 Stars
    397
  • 3 Stars
    144
  • 2 Stars
    46
  • 1 Stars
    15

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    549
  • 4 Stars
    360
  • 3 Stars
    176
  • 2 Stars
    58
  • 1 Stars
    18
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

hard to understand

i think if i had read the story rather than listening to it i might have been able to get it, but i don't think i liked the story enough to read the book. I'll just wait for the inevitable movie.

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Award-winning in 1993 Hugo. Worth a read

if you like action/westerns with grand ideas and multiple POV characters and plot-lines from a Sci fi great.

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I understand why this is a sci-fi classic

I loved the concept of linked consciousnesses between individual tines creatures to create awhole person.

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  • Story

Mostly Fantasy and not enough SciFi

This world/universe is solidly more fantasy than SciFi. This story is driven by the personal stories and these stories are extremely well written, however, the overall world is extremely lacking and only makes sense if the universe is ruled by magic or we are just programs on a computer. It is engaging, but I suggest buying it on a sale.

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what an adventure!

Simply put, a tale that is beaming with imagination. Space has never looked so interesting

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  • Story

Opps…Listened to this first

What did you love best about A Fire Upon the Deep?

Sustained high tension.

What did you like best about this story?

Multiple seemingly unrelated stories woven together for climax.

Which scene was your favorite?

Climax

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

Didn't adversely enjoyment by reading Book 2 > 1 > 3

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not bothering with the next one

What did you like best about A Fire Upon the Deep? What did you like least?

I was looking forward to more of the story of Pham Nuwen and liked the concept of the Zones of Thought.

What was most disappointing about Vernor Vinge’s story?

But the Zones never really were explained in any meaningful way and the characters didn't develop in a way that increased my interest in what happens to them next.

Would you be willing to try another one of Peter Larkin’s performances?

Peter Larkins's performance was good enough. I did like his alien character voices which were distinct and interesting.

Did A Fire Upon the Deep inspire you to do anything?

I'm going to put this series away. Not worth a credit to go on to the next installment.

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  • Story

epic!

what a great book love the authors way with words and his interpretation of what the future may hold. very smart, thought provoking and theological/philosophical stuff. great character development and voice acting and what an epic scale!

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Brilliant fantasy with hints of sci-fi

Absolutely brilliant story, very thought-engaging, twists and full of action. Strong fantasy universe linked together with sci-fi events.
Not the biggest fan of the narrator but still good.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Good Narrating, better story!

Narrator might have had a cold at some point, but his voice matched the story well enough for my taste, and his voices good enough to keep me interested. Blight concept may seem confusing at first, but great story.