Titel: A Deepness in the Sky
Illustrator: Chris Moore
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This is science fiction on the grandest of scales - a cast of thousands set across hundreds of years and in the farthest reaches of Human Space. A prequel to his earlier novel A Fire Upon the Deep, this new novel is epic in scope and a thoroughly riveting read. A Deepness In the Sky is the story of Pham Nuwen, a small cog in the interstellar trading fleet of the Queng Ho. Both they and the Emergents are orbiting Arachna, a dormant planet which will shortly wake up when it's On/Off star relights after decades of darkness. Both groups hope to exploit the coming age of technology and commerce on Arachna. But while the Queng Ho seek only to trade aggressively, the Emergents plans are far more sinister, amounting to little short of genocide ...Review:
This hefty novel returns to the universe of Vernor Vinge's 1993 Hugo winner A Fire Upon the Deep--but 30,000 years earlier. The story has the same sense of epic vastness despite happening mostly in one isolated solar system. Here there's a world of intelligent spider creatures who traditionally hibernate through the "Deepest Darkness" of their strange variable sun's long "off" periods, when even the atmosphere freezes. Now, science offers them an alternative... Meanwhile, attracted by spider radio transmissions, two human starfleets come exploring--merchants hoping for customers and tyrants who want slaves. Their inevitable clash leaves both fleets crippled, with the power in the wrong hands, which leads to a long wait in space until the spiders develop exploitable technology. Over the years Vinge builds palpable tension through multiple storylines and characters. In the sky, hopes of rebellion against tyranny continue despite soothing lies, brutal repression, and a mental bondage that can convert people into literal tools. Down below, the engagingly sympathetic spiders have their own problems. In flashback, we see the grandiose ideals and ultimate betrayal of the merchant culture's founder, now among the human contingent and pretending to be a senile buffoon while plotting, plotting... Major revelations, ironies, and payoffs follow. A powerful story in the grandest SF tradition. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk
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