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View Diary: Sci-Fi Fantasy Club: Which Ugly SF/Fantasy Ducklings became Literary Swans? (140 comments)

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  •  A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge (4+ / 0-)

    Nobody else brought this up so I had to.

    This is a novel about an advanced space faring society that coexists with AI's that are as advanced compared to us as we are to insects.

    Vinge's innovation is to physically separate the AI's from us through distance. They cannot exist in the area of space that we live in.  Therefore, they cannot hurt us.

    Then the AI's start finding ways to infiltrate our space. Especially one really, really evil one.

    One of the reasons that I enjoyed the book is because it seems like problems that we may actually face one day such as in Neuromancer.

    The sequel, "A Deepness in the Sky," is also a killer book, although it is darker and has no real linear relationship with the first book.

    The third book totally sucks, so avoid reading it. (It skips the second book)

    •  actually Deepness is a prequel of sorts to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ender, RiveroftheWest, Brecht

      Fire, and they're both excellent books.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

      by terrypinder on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 05:55:45 AM PDT

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    •  I remember getting completely absorbed in 'Fire', (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Ender

      and its glittering ideas. Very good book. Neuromancer even more so, like jacking into something dangerous.

      In researching this diary, I came across a very thought-provoking post: Introductory Science Fiction Books for Literary Readers. Here's Edelman's take on those two Vinges, specifically in terms of how accessible they are to non-SF readers:

      Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky. The intellectual heft of this book isn’t quite so apparent at first blush, and the spider people might roll some eyeballs. But the man can write, and his discussions of individuality-versus-groupthink are both powerful and subtle.

      Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep. One whiff of the talking wheeled plant people, and your average Anne Tyler reader is outta there. A Deepness in the Sky is a better bet.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 11:37:00 AM PDT

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