A Fire Upon The Deep

by Vernor Vinge

4.05 avg rating
509 votes 10 comments

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.

A Fire Upon The Deep is the winner of the 1993 Hugo Award for Best Novel.


Other books in series

Book Awards

Won 1 awards in total


Nominated 2 times in total

Locus Science Fiction

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A Fire Upon The Deep ranks on the following lists

leave a comment

Anonymous | 2013-06-19 10:40:44
This is a fantastic book that i have read many times. It involves every theme you can think of and still be very original.
Anonymous | 2013-09-04 06:55:14
This is definitely one of the greatest and should be ranked much higher. To compare it to Hyperion is shameful as this is heads and shoulders above it.
AA | 2014-11-12 08:56:50
This was a fun ride. Definitely need to read it again. I wasn't too crazy about the dog people.
Anonymous | 2014-12-18 08:05:14
This is one of the greatest science fiction books ever written. To have Hyperion ranked above it is a joke.
cheater_1 | 2015-01-30 03:56:32
Pure UTTER garbage. An insult to all WHO admire good writing. Nearly as ASSININE as Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." AND his ex-wife obviously learned from HIM, because Joan CAN'T write worth a crap EITHER.
Anonymous | 2015-09-04 10:36:49
One of my all time favs. Huge ideas wrapped around a thrilling tale.
Anonymous | 2015-10-04 02:24:15
Fantastic book, however it IS part of a series!
Anonymous | 2016-02-05 09:55:40
This book repeatedly showed up on must read lists and I could not get a copy on Amazon for some reason. BUT I did and it was one of the best books I have ever read. READ IT!
Anonymous | 2017-06-27 03:12:21
Some good ideas, some bad. Mildly entertaining but could have done without ever reading it.
Anonymous | 2018-09-11 10:38:17
Try to max out the ones that give you attack, defence
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