Thoughts: A deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by jon snow, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. jon snow

    jon snow Full Member

    Anyone read this? What are your thoughts?
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Hi Jon!

    You mean A Deepness in the Sky. I love it! It's the second instalment in Vinge's Zones of Thought setting after A Fire Upon the Deep where c is not a constant. It takes place approximately 30,000 years before the events in Fire. Both are novels of first contact. In Deepness, two distinctly different (and antagonistic) human cultures notice a peculiar star's even more peculiar behaviour and they join resources to investigate, because both think there might be material advantages. Time is expressed in seconds, so you might need to get used to intervals expressed as 10^x. It's a seriously great space opera, almost tying as my favourite Vinge novel together with his earlier Marooned in Realtime. Lots of action, lots of drama, plenty of cool concepts. Definitely recommend.
  3. jon snow

    jon snow Full Member

    Ah right. I got them mixed up. I probably did mean book 1 haha. I will give it a go.
  4. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    You don't need to read book 1 first. Unrelated stories. Besides, I thought book 2 was way better than book 1.
  5. jon snow

    jon snow Full Member

    My friend said the same thing and that book 3 wasn't great.

    Should I bother with Book 1 then?
  6. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Yes. I liked book 1 much more than 2. It's the publishing order so why not?
  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I read A Fire Upon the Deep first and liked it. The prologue grabbed me immediately. The aliens are strange to comprehend and very peculiar. The problem lay for me in its pacing. And while the overarching plot of the novel is quite grand, you don't feel the impending doom, because most of the novel's perspective zooms into a feudal society and the threat that the tantalising prologue hinted at feels very far removed for most of the narrative. But like I said, I still liked it. The very concept of the Zones that this novel introduces is pretty spectacular, if a little too fantastic.

    But, for me, A Deepness in the Sky is pure class. The story sets itself up very well, builds well, fluidly melds different story strands, is a lot more high tech, and the aliens - whilst being very alien - are far more relatable. The tension was so tautly strung at times that I just couldn't make myself stop reading. And there was near equal attention paid to both perspectives, the alien & human, and also to that slippery slope of a game between cooperation and deception to get ahead between the human factions. And I really liked the alien characters.

    I never read the third instalment, which is supposed to be a direct sequel to either Fire or Deepness, I think. But these two are unrelated, except for the overall setting in the Zones and a name.

    I think you'd be fine to go with the first book, too, if you feel the strong need to read in order, even though it won't make any difference.
  8. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    My problem with Fire is what the aliens are. Huge phobia. But I finished it. The ending is worth the bad dreams.
  9. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    You'll have the same problem with Attanasio's Last Legends of Earth, then. And from what I've heard, also with Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time (this I want to read).
  10. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Yes, I already found out as I did begin Last Legends. Too bad but I can't be having with any 'o that. I am trying the second book in the series and Carl is about to turn into light.
  11. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Shame about the nature of the Z√łtl. I'm sure you would have loved it...
  12. ofer

    ofer Regular Member

    The first book was pretty good, although apart from the great prologue, the first third of the book is somewhat confusing.

    I really should pick up the second book.

    BTW, there is a novella in the same world which is permanently free on Amazon US.

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