June 25, 2006

A Deepness in the Sky

I just finished re-reading A Deepness in the Sky, another Vernor Vinge book that I think is very good. This book stands alone from his previous work, A Fire Upon the Deep, but knowing what you do from reading that book does make certain things both more clear and also places things in a different, larger light. It is something that changes how you will perceive the book and the things it talks about.

There are lots of interesting concepts and technologies worked into this story. The Spiders are a unique and interesting species, that have evolved in a way very different than what you would expect possible given their unique environmental conditions. There is also a strange virus or bacteria called mindrot, which when controlled can create a "Focused" person who becomes an intelligent computer, essentially achieving the dream of artificial intelligence, but at the cost of a person. Another interesting concept threading throughout the story is the physical, social, and cultural difference between Spiders and humans.

In addition to of all that, the story itself is very exciting and the characters very interesting to read about. The character Pham Nuwen has a very special role, especially knowing what his fate will be from reading A Fire Upon the Deep. There are other characters who are also uniquely intriguing, such as Qiwi because of howw she is molded and manipulated by the villian Thomas Nau, and Ezr Vinh who has an unbreakable loyalty to the woman Trixia Bonsol even though she is lost to him for decades.

Posted by josuah at June 25, 2006 2:46 AM UTC+00:00

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