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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 (1084 )
5 star
 (346)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (548 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (540 )
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
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-20-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "silent messages"

    I really like VV, but one thing that bugged me were the readings of the silent messages. without the accents that were assigned to different charaxters, it was sometimes difficult to keep track. does start a little slow and the surname goo seems odd. still good listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Centavo Hämming 12-29-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Splendid, but not transcendent"

    Vinges gaze is as piercing as ever, but his creative glee is not in full force. He reaches more accuracy than truth. But make no mistake, this is an excellent book, it only pales in comparison to his best work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-13-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great story"

    plowed through this book in 3 days, relatable and believable account of the possible future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Budd Turner 07-19-16
    Budd Turner 07-19-16 Member Since 2016

    Born a "Boomer". Joined the "Now" generation. Recently realized Now has become Then.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This caused me to go on a Vinge binge"
    If you could sum up Rainbows End in three words, what would they be?

    Three words with a 15 minimum requirement…I guess I'll go for alliteration…
    Intensely Interwoven Intrigue


    What other book might you compare Rainbows End to and why?

    True Names.
    Both use their understanding of the I'net as a tool to work toward their goals.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The dancing library and events surrounding it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Discovery of those tracking/helping the main character.


    Any additional comments?

    Reviews without Spoilers (my preference) are challenging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fox 03-11-16
    Fox 03-11-16 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    4
    Overall
    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
  •  
    B. A. Ward texas 12-21-15
    B. A. Ward texas 12-21-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    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
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    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
    Overall
    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 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    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

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