A Fire Upon the Deep


Vernor Vinge


Hard science fiction



1992 hard-scifi space opera by Vernor Vinge.


Between 400 and 600 pages in paperback, I think.

First read (March-May 2015)Edit

15 05 06 A Fire Upon the Deep

Progress graph, generated by Goodreads.


Kindle app on my phone


I knew the author was supposed to write about the Singularity, and that this was one of his popular books. I'd previously read his Rainbows End' and enjoyed it, so I knew the author already.

I discovered that it was recommended by Eliezer Yudkowsky (see below) and was a prerequisite, along with Greg Egan's Permutation City, for his short story The Finale of the Ultimate Meta Mega Crossover.

On the 10th of February 2013 I bought it for Kindle, a long with its prequel A Deepness in the Sky, on the 10th of February 2013 with money given to me by Ed and Kevin for Christmas 2012.

From the 19th of March to the 6th of May 2015 I read it on my phone. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The setting and concepts were interesting, the alien races were varied and weird and fun, the idea of a rolling, endless, barely-coherent intergalactic civilisation was really well portrayed, and the mixed in feudal Tines made it all the more fun to read. Like Game of Thrones mixed with Foundation.



Ratings, awards, mentions and recommendationsEdit

Said by someone on Less Wrong to be as good as or better than HPMoR.

Yudkowsky's recommendationEdit

Books of future shockEdit

(Referring to this, True Names, and Marooned in Realtime)

Three books, in three completely different Universes, that present in three ways the Vingean Singularity. Will the rise of greater-than-human intelligence be like this? No. Of course not. It'll be completely different. We can't see beyond that horizon... but Vinge takes us right up to it, and makes us see the wall stretching ahead. Short of experiencing our actual Singularity, the Vinge novels come as close to drawing a picture of What Lies Beyond, as we will ever see...

A Fire Upon the Deep is probably the best of these; it comes right out and shows you the Transcendents, awesome, moving on a galactic scale. And oh, yes, it won a Hugo.

Links and referencesEdit