My biggest issue with Deepness in the Sky is that I had trouble picturing the spider-like people. I just never got a good mental image. Unlike the collective Dog species in Fire Upon the Deep, which was very vivid in my mind.
I agree with that, that “A Deepness in the Sky” is merely good compared to the greatness of “A Fire Upon the Deep” just means it suffers by comparison. Don’t think I read the third novel though.
I figured the “bad” comment was in regards to Children of the Sky. I loved A Deepness in the Sky and thought it was every bit equal to A Fire Upon The Deep. Both won a Hugo back when that was actually a real award.
On a side note Vernor Vinge wrote a 12,000 word book that bridges the gap between A Fire and Children of the Sky called "After the Battle on Starship Hill: Prologue to The Children of the Sky"
It is currently available for free on Amazon.
Yeah I can’t really comment on “Children of the Sky” since I haven’t read it. I’ll go look for that bridging book and what the heck, maybe I’ll buy Children too.
Thanks for this, I’d have totally missed it. Looking forward to reading it!
And hey! Thanks for the heads up on the free book that bridges the gap.
I don’t have too much to add beyond what I said in the thread @Rock8man linked, but in my opinion Children of the Sky was just Vinge’s wanting to play around with all the various permutations of the Tine’s semi-hive-mind concept. He just sort of slung the various characters around the globe and showed what would happen with the Tines if they did X or Y. The human plot was just sort of filler… and confusing filler if I recall correctly.
On the other side, Deepness in the Sky was almost entirely focused on the human drama and how the heroes got around the very imposing tech of the bad guys. It was almost a “Heist” book. The alien spider-folk were (possibly intentionally?) very human-like in their attitudes and interactions. it was always a shock when Vinge kind of pulls us back and reminds us that they have non-binocular vision and multiple legs and go into long-term hibernation or whatever… but their alien nature was never part of the central dilemma like the Tines’ nature was in Fire. Instead, the primary conflict was between two human cultures that were very alien to one another.
I just got done reading the Lost Fleet, which was pretty cool. Space combat with the actual problems of relativity and the vastness of space.
Now I’m reading Elric, since the first volume was on sale on Amazon for like $6-7. It’s pretty cool, but I don’t know if I’m willing to drop the $15 or whatever insanity they’re asking for the later volumes, though I guess I should given how much it has influenced.
Not sure if I’ll continue Elric or go back to the later series from the Campbell (Lost Fleet). Or maybe something else entirely, though both were good enough to read more of.
Thanks for the tip. Just finished 2 chapters and I’m enjoying them. Is this a series or just this one book?
The book is self-contained.
However, there is another book called “Deepness in the Sky” that’s set in the same universe. But there’s no real connection in the story itself.
And apparently there’s a sequel called “Children of the Sky” that I haven’t read yet, which doesn’t live up to the quality of the other two books, which both won Hugo Awards.
Its part of a series of books in a shared universe called The Zones of Thought series. A Fire Upon the Deep is followed by A Deepness in the Sky, which while it takes place in the same universe, the connections to the first book are there but tenuous. On the plus side A Deepness in the Sky is a fantastic novel in its own right.
Many years after A Fire Upon the Deep, Vinge wrote a direct sequel to it called Children of the Sky, it’s a decent novel and I enjoyed it but it is nowhere near the same level as the previous two books.
Cool! The previous great recommendation on Tor was Gardens of the Moon, which was great but I didn’t finish due to the fact that it was a series of 10 books. I don’t think I have the stamina to do a 10-book binge reading.
Anybody have any thoughts on the new humble bundle:
I’m not sure if the content in the tiers are worth it, I would welcome any QT3ers thoughts on this.
Only thoughts I have is I wish they wouldn’t mix in graphic novels. I’d prefer to see a separate bundle of those.
Oh hey, that’s awesome. I only own one already, Deathbird Stories, and that’s very good.
As requested, thoughts:
Of course tastes vary, but there’s a lot of stuff there that I’d probably never read. On the other hand, “The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of his Mouth” is worth the $15 all by itself. Same for Deathbird Stories. The Nancy Kress short stories are excellent work. I haven’t read Connie Willis’ “Inside Job” and IMO her writing has gone downhill pretty dramatically of late, especially since “Passage” which is absolute dreck as far as I am concerned.
John Brunner is always worth reading, if you like early-70s style sociological SF, and maybe even if you don’t. Bester’s “The Computer Connection” is certainly not his best work, but I found it worth reading. Mike Resnick is a good romp. I haven’t read the Emshwiller short story collection, but she’s a fine writer. “Babel-17” is early Delany, but he’s one of the most influential writers around. And Octavia Butler is always a thought-provoking writer who does an excellent job with her characters. I find her plots less compelling, but she creates great characters.
There’s certainly enough there to justify the price, if you haven’t read most of it already.
I loved Passage! I love everything by Willis. She’s just a really great author. I will admit though, I haven’t read anything by her since Passage. The only one I tried was the compendium of Christmas stories, and I couldn’t make my way through that. I just put that down to Christmas being her blind spot or something.
This looks like a great bundle to me. I always meant to read a lot of these Nebula award winners. There’s also the dubious “Nominated Author” and “Winning Author”, but at the very least I want to read the Winning books out of this bundle.
While I’m here may I recommend, yet again, David Drake?
Northworld Trilogy. Free from several sites.
The Square Deal. A Car Wars story.
The RCN series Based upon the Aubrey/Maturin books.
The Reaches Series. Some of the best science fiction based books that take their basis from sea warfare.
And so many more. Read him. You owe it to your brain.
Edit: I put this here because many of his books and stories are free. Just gotta dig a bit.