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A Fire Upon the Deep (Korean Edition) by Vernor Vinge

A Fire Upon the Deep (Korean Edition)  by Vernor Vinge
  • Author Vernor Vinge
  • Title A Fire Upon the Deep (Korean Edition)
  • Category Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Subcategory Science Fiction
  • ISBN 8989571707
  • ISBN13 978-8989571704
  • Size PDF 1772 kb
  • Size FB2 1728 kb
  • Size EPUB 1900 kb
  • Publisher Haingboghan Chaigilgi (January 1, 2011)
  • Language Korean
  • Rating 4.4
  • Votes 394
  • Pages 488 pages

Hugo Award winning novel and acclaimed as the New York Times Notable Book of the Year A FIRE UPON THE DEEP by Vernor Vinge. Korean edition translated by Kim Sang Hun. Vol 1 of 2

Reviews about A Fire Upon the Deep (Korean Edition) by Vernor Vinge

This is the first book I have read by Vernor Vinge. It is full of mind boggling ideas and wonderfully complex aliens.

One mind boggling idea that the galaxy has zones. The closer you get to the galaxy center, the dumber you are, and the slower you go, the longer you live. A fast, smart, malevolent force from the outermost region reaches into the lower zones spreading death and destruction.

Vinge depicts different types of non-human intelligence in a really thought provoking way.
example the Tines who are dog like animals who have human or greater than human intelligence when gathered in packs; they are intelligent, pack animals that live on a close-in feudal world. Many individuals make up a personality. They don’t have hands but use their jaws and paws together in a coordinated way to get things done.
The Skroderiders who are plant-like creatures who become intelligent when paired with carts that some being had created for them billions of years ago
and beings of nearly god-like intelligence created by evolving computer networks, and more.
He also comes up with interesting astronomy by splitting the galaxy up into zones in which physics is differentiated, so that it's possible for certain creatures to travel at beyond light speed and become advanced, and for others to be trapped in zones of slowness (like Earth).

The entertainment to cost ratio of this book is enormous. It is long, it is well written, it gets you thinking when you put it down, and it makes you want to re-read it.
Vinge gives us a truly interesting, galactic-level speculation on how the universe may work, tying together physics and theology by positing that the laws of physics vary according to one's observational point. In other words, sentient beings close to the galactic core are governed by a time-space that is different from the time-space of the fringe.

There are innumerable civilizations, which rise, change, and become extinct over millions and billions of years. Moreover, some of these close to the core discover space travel, and gradually "transcend" as they are able to travel farther from the core.

The narrative and realization of this concept is not bad but nothing special. There is a basic good adventure story, but it is wordy and sometimes a bit immature. It's a long book, and I skipped over entire pages.

Also, the book falls down sometimes on the creation of alien species, especially the dog-like race at the center of much of the action.

But the concept still comes through. If Fire Upon the Deep were well-written, and all the alien species well thought-out, this would be one of the great sci-fi novels of all time.
This is one of my favorite light reads in SF (my other favorite authors are Kim Stanley Robinson (novels, not short stories), U.K. LeGuin, and (despite points of incoherency/inconsistency) Phillip K. Dick). AFUtD start with an original if rather bizzare premise through which faster-than-light travel is possible in some regions of space, and then stays true to this premise without introducing other major violations of our current laws of physics. A real "page-turner" that alternates between two interconnected stories in high-tech and low-tech civilizations, with aliens that are deeply alien in physiology but are still driven by needs and desires that make them familiar. There is a great deal of good-guys/bad-guys structure, which makes for good chase/confrontation scenes, but it is not without exception or occasional subtlety, and thus I found this aspect quite tolerable.

One note: I found the "prolog" weak and (perhaps intentionally) confusing, and it put my younger son off the book. If you want to make sense of the book without this, you could skip it, or (possibly better) start with Chapter 8, in which some new characters are introduced to each other and brought up-to-speed on what's going on in the universe, and read until they leave The Wandering Company. Then go back and start in Chapter 1.
This unusual tale is highly entertaining and intellectually challenging. I greatly enjoyed the degree to which I was thrown off base by the authentic strangeness of the aliens and the immeasurable scale of the cosmic background. The universe of "A Fire Upon the Deep" is complex and is developed in good detail. Instead of a lot of exposition, the reader finds out how the universe works by virtue of the rules that the characters have to face up to through exciting action. As they get into more and more difficulties, the reader comes to understand why things are happening; it's also as though the reader is experiencing the complexities of the strange and inhuman cosmos at first hand: much more effective than just being told that this is the way it is. Lots of good lyrical passages, clear description, and a story that moves along but still manages to engage the emotions.