A Fire Upon The Deep

(Zones of Thought #1)

Mass Market Paperback, 624 pages

English language

Published Feb. 15, 1993 by Tor Science Fiction.

ISBN:
9780812515282
OCLC Number:
221602076

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (78 reviews)

Thousands of years in the future, humanity is no longer alone in 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 this galactic threat, Ravna crash lands on a strange world with a ship-hold full of cryogenically frozen children, the only survivors from a destroyed space-lab. They are taken captive by the Tines, an alien race with a harsh medieval culture, and used as pawns in a ruthless power struggle.

12 editions

A Masterpiece of Science Fiction

5 stars

This is a masterpiece of a book, deservedly considered a classic. It starts with a group of human scientists re-awakening an AI, but everything goes pear-shaped very quickly. From there two plot lines proceed in parallel, one concerning a family from the group that worked on the AI, the other concerning a group of mixed human and alien beings that are trying to deal with the menace unleashed on the galaxy by this AI. The greatest fascination of this novel is the alien races. They are very disctinctly different, but Vinge makes them believable at the same time. The plot line of the escaped family takes them to a world inhabited by beings with group consciousness. They are like small mammals, but an individual of this species is not even conscious or intelligent. It is only when they they join together in groups of 5-8 that they become intelligent entities. โ€ฆ

Review of 'A Fire Upon The Deep' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I reread this recently, and it didn't hold up very well. Don't get me wrong - I would still recommend it as a rip-roaring good read the first time through - the universe and plot twists and turns earn all the praise they've gotten over the years. But on this later read, the weak character development and pedestrian writing style made it a bit of a slog - since I knew how things would turn out, I didn't have much motive to finish again.

Review of 'A Fire Upon The Deep' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Wow. The first three chapters alone blew me away with all the cool ideas. I was so fired up to talk about this with my friends, but when I did I had a difficult time trying not to sound like a raving lunatic. No wonder [a:Jo Walton|107170|Jo Walton|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1353809579p2/107170.jpg] wrote:

"Any one of the ideas in A Fire Upon the Deep would have kept an ordinary writer going for years."



Highly recommended for anyone who is looking for space-faring scifi that is actually challenging.

Review of 'A Fire Upon The Deep' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I had read Vinge's earlier books, but missed this one until 1997 when I
learned of it through a forwarded message from SWIL. (www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/swil/lists/sfdt.html) I remember that the title put me off, I was not expecting anything like this.

As an evocation of a certain period of Usenet, this surely helped inspire me to build olduse.net. Which involved digging up an archive and reanimating it, and I hope will end well..

All of which says nothing about AFOtD as a peice of fiction, but anything I could say has been said before anyway.

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Subjects

  • Science Fiction
  • Science Fiction - General
  • Fiction
  • Fiction - Science Fiction
  • Fiction / Science Fiction / General