The Children of the Sky continues the epic scifi adventure of Hugo award-winning A Fire Upon the Deep!
“Vinge is one of the best visionary writers of SF today.” —David Brin
Thousands of years in the future, humanity is no longer alone in a universe where a mind's potential is determined by its location in space, from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths, where only simple creatures, and technology, can function. Nobody knows what strange force partitioned space into these "regions of thought," but when the warring Straumli realm use an ancient Transcendent artifact as a weapon, they unwittingly unleash an awesome power that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial intelligence.
Ten years have passed on Tines World, and Ravna and the children have survived a war. While there is peace among the Tines, there are those among them—and among the humans—who seek power…and no matter the cost, these malcontents are determined to overturn the fledgling civilization that has taken root since the humans landed.
Tor books by Vernor Vinge
The Peace War
Marooned in Realtime
Tatja Grimm's World
Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge
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The sequel to Vinge's Hugo Award winning A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) undergoes a jarring but effective change in scope. On a distant planet, 10 years after creating a technology-crippling "slow zone" to defeat the encroaching Blight, Ravna Bergsndot and the surviving cryo-frozen Children attempt to rebuild a civilization with the help of the telepathic, doglike Tines. Their efforts are stymied by hostile Tines and humans skeptical of the Blight's menace. Vinge has brilliantly shifted gears, offering a postsingularity novel in which the singularity has been destroyed and the formerly advanced humans struggle to cope. Vinge throws in political intrigue and even a road trip (complete with characters going incognito as circus performers), and the resulting low-tech tale is a sharply crafted masterpiece. Fans should forgive the shift in subgenre and lack of recap, but will likely chafe at the frustrating ending, which makes it clear that this is the middle book in a trilogy.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A Solid Sequel
While not as broadly scoped and creative as it’s predecessor this is still a good read. It begs for a third book at the end.
A good read! Lousy ending.
After reading such a long book with such a intricate plot and captivating story, the ending was a total disappointment! I just finished the book and wish I did not waste my time as there was no conclusion, the book just stopped. I would have been satisfied even if a kinetic energy weapon from the blight wiped all life off the Tine world.
It is entertaining to the next to last page. Then make up your own ending because Victor could not come up with one.
Good read with an upbeat "civilization lost" theme
While important to note that this novel certainly would benefit from a familiarity with the world found in the prior novel, Vinge has nonetheless created a work that can stand on its own and pull a new reader in. With an upbeat tone throughout, Vinge focuses more on the robust and comprehensive human-alien interactions and relationships than on detailing every aspect of the background technology that underpins the premise.
The result is a novel that explores the sometimes brutal confrontation between naïveté and cynical real-politik both for individuals and for the goals of a society on the brink of evaporation.
Imaginative and interesting, The Children of the Sky is a good read for both sic-fi readers and general audiences.