A Deepness in the Sky

Mass Market Paperback, 792 pages

English language

Published Jan. 15, 2000 by Tor Books.

ISBN:
978-0-8125-3635-5
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4 stars (102 reviews)

After thousands of years searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. Two human groups: the Qeng Ho, a culture of free traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds.

The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens' very doorstep for their strange star to relight and for their planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifty years....

Then, following terrible treachery, the Qeng Ho must fight for their freedom and for the lives of the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, while the aliens themselves play a role unsuspected by the Qeng Ho and Emergents alike.

More than just a great science fiction adventure, A Deepness in the Sky is a universal drama of courage, self-discovery, and the redemptive power of love. …

14 editions

Perfect winter book

5 stars

Sometimes it felt like a Cold war story complete with the capitalistic Good Guys, the mind ruling Bad Guys and the hint of mutually assured destruction or whatever. Then for the space twist: throw in some sentient spiders, weird astronomy and some trully brutal characters that makes you sick (without having to go into gory details, Vinge sure knows how to make a story pretty fucking dark) and you got an emotionally tough story on the cover.

Despite this, I was deeply hooked like never before! Usually there's some side story that makes you groan and cause a little struggle with a book, but here I was completely engulfed in each and every page, every side story engaging and contributing to the overall story. I've never had this strong engagement with a book before and I can't really articulate why. I guess my mind and mood was in a winter …

Excellent 2nd book in the Zones of Thought series

5 stars

Start with a single planet orbiting a white dwarf star nicknamed the OnOff star because it is consistently dormant 215 out of every 250 years. Add in a sentient species that survives on the planet. Finally toss in two competing, space faring groups of humans come to investigate. Mix well and enjoy the result!

Review of 'A Deepness in the Sky' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

A decent follow up to the excellent "Fires Upon thr Deep". Although set in the same universe, Vinge tackles a different aspect of a reality where the majority of mankind is trapped in a scientific and technological cage in a partitioned galaxy. The book only obliquely explores the reality of a species spread and separated across thousands of light years with only fraction of light speed travel to hand (though much more than in the previous book) - instead the primary focus is on interaction with a novel lesser developed species and a human civilization of slavery and tyranny. The writing is a times a little clunky, and there is a little bit too much melodrama for my tastes (with a few silly moments), with the overall feel more towards a feel-good space opera than hard sci-fi. But the ideas are there, and the space opera is fun and interesting …

Review of 'A Deepness in the Sky' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I'd give this 3 and a half stars if I could - it isn't quite a four star read for me, but 3 stars doesn't do it justice. Like some other reviewers, I found it slow going early on, and had to push myself to persevere, but I was very glad I did. Vernor Vinge can write alien intelligences and different cultures with an authenticity and a strangeness that few others achieve, and he does so wonderfully here, weaving the stories of the Qeng Ho, the Emergents and the Spiderkind together into a neat web of intrigue and action. It wasn't, for me, quite as brilliant as 'A Fire Upon the Deep', which he wrote first but which takes place after this book - but it's still a very worthwhile read, and adds insight to Pham's character which I hope will enrich a subsequent re-reading of 'A Fire Upon the …

Review of 'A Deepness in the Sky' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I've read it at least three times, with varying experiences.

I think the first time I wanted more of AFOtD and didn't quite get it, but did get lots of other great stuff (particularly programmer-archaeologists who still knew about the unix epoch), and just want along for the thrill ride.

Second time I was focused on the Focused, and got a bit blindsided at the ending.

Third time, I read it quite slow and found a lot of things I'd not found before, including the exquisite way the last quarter was put together.

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Subjects

  • Science Fiction
  • Science Fiction - General
  • Fiction
  • Fiction - Science Fiction
  • Science Fiction - High Tech
  • Fiction / Science Fiction / General