Vernor Vinge - A Fire Upon the Deep - Orion Publishing Group

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    • ISBN:9780575128811
    • Publication date:24 Jan 2013
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A Fire Upon the Deep

By Vernor Vinge

  • Paperback
  • £10.99

The Hugo Award-winning masterpiece of modern space opera - a gripping tale of galactic war told on a cosmic scale.

Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit 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 'zones of thought', but when the warring Straumli realm use an ancient Transcendent artefact as a weapon, they unwittingly unleash an awesome power that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial intelligence.
Fleeing the threat, a family of scientists, including two children, are taken captive by the Tines - an alien race with a harsh medieval culture - and used as pawns in a ruthless power struggle. A rescue party, not entirely composed of humans, must free the children - and retrieve a secret that may save the rest of interstellar civilization.

Biographical Notes

Vernor Vinge (1944 - )
Vernor Steffen Vinge was born in Wisconsin in 1944. He is a retired San Diego State University Professor of Mathematics, a computer scientist and science fiction author. He is best known for his two epic space operas A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) and A Deepness in the Sky (1999), both of which won the Hugo Award and were shortlisted for the Nebula. He is the winner of 5 Hugos, 4 Prometheus Awards and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, among many others. In addition to his works of science fiction, Vinge authored the influential 1993 essay 'The Coming Technological Singularity', in which he argued that the creation of superhuman artificial intelligence will mark the point at which 'the human era will be ended', such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473211957
  • Publication date: 07 Jan 2016
  • Page count: 608
  • Imprint: Gollancz

A Deepness in the Sky

Vernor Vinge
Vernor Vinge

The prequel to A Fire Upon The Deep, this is the story of Pham Nuwen, a small cog in the interstellar trading fleet of the Queng Ho. The Queng Ho and the Emergents are orbiting the dormant planet Arachna, which is about to wake up to technology, but the Emergents' plans are sinister.


Zones of Thought

Vernor Vinge
Vernor Vinge

Vinge's masterpieces together at last, in one epic volumeThe Hugo Award winning A FIRE UPON THE DEEP and its epic companion novel A DEEPNESS IN THE SKY, set in the same universe but 20,000 years earlier, were benchmarks for SF in the last decade of the 20th century. In FIRE 'Vinge presents a galaxy divided into Zones - regions where different physical constraints allow very different technological and mental possibilities. Earth remains in the "Slowness" zone, where nothing can travel faster than light and minds are fairly limited. The action of the book is in the "Beyond", where translight travel and other marvels exist, and humans are one of many intelligent species. One human colony has been experimenting to find a path to the "Transcend", where intelligence and power are so great as to seem godlike. Instead they release the Blight, an evil power, from a billion-year captivity.' Publisher's Weekly In DEEPNESS, '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.' Dave Langford


Across Realtime

Vernor Vinge
Vernor Vinge

Encompassing time-travel, powerful mystery and the future history of humanity to its last handful of survivors, Across Realtime spans millions of years and is an utterly engrossing SF classic.

Barry N. Malzberg

Barry N. Malzberg (1939-) Barry N. Malzberg is an American writer, editor and agent, whose prolific career has spanned numerous genres - most notably crime and science fiction. Malzberg was particularly active in the science fiction scene of the early seventies, although he became disillusioned with the market forces defining the field, and has rarely published SF works since. His most recent activity in the field has been in the form of advice columns for writers in the quarterly magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Barry N. Malzberg has been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick.

Bob Shaw

Bob Shaw (1931 - 1996) Bob Shaw was born in Belfast in 1931. After working in engineering, aircraft design and journalism he became a full time writer in 1975. Among his novels are Orbitsville, A Wreath of Stars, The Ragged Astronauts and his best-known work Other Days, Other Eyes, based on the Nebula Award-nominated 'Light of Other Days', the story that made his reputation. Although his SF novels and stories were for the most part serious, Shaw was well-known in fannish circles for his sense of humour, and his witty 'Serious Scientific Talks' were a favourite of attendees at Eastercons. Bob Shaw won two Hugos and three BSFA Awards. He died in 1996.

Colin Greenland

Born in 1954 and educated at Oxford, Colin Greenland is the author of a number of acclaimed science fiction and fantasy novels, including the BSFA and ARTHUR. C. CLARKE AWARD-winning TAKE BACK PLENTY. He has contributed short stories to many anthologies and magazines as well as reviews of new fiction for the GUARDIAN, the INDEPENDENT, and many other publications. He has also had stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

David Bischoff

David Bischoff is an American SF author. Born in Washington D.C. and now living in Eugene, Oregon, Bischoff writes science fiction books, short stories, and scripts for television. Though he has been writing since the early 1970s, and has had over 80 books published, Bischoff is best known for novelizations of popular movies and TV series including the Aliens, Gremlins, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and WarGames.

David Moody

David Moody was born in 1970 and grew up in Birmingham on a diet of trashy horror and pulp science fiction books and movies. He worked as a bank manager and as operations manager for a number of financial institutions before giving up the day job to write about the end of the world for a living. He has written a number of horror novels, including AUTUMN, which has been downloaded more than half a million times since publication in 2001 and has spawned a series of sequels and a movie starring Dexter Fletcher and David Carradine. Film rights to HATER have been bought by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) and Mark Johnson (producer of the Chronicles of Narnia films). Moody lives in the Midlands with his wife and a houseful of daughters and stepdaughters, which may explain his pre-occupation with Armageddon.

E.E. 'Doc' Smith

E. E. 'Doc' Smith (1890 - 1965) Edward Elmer Smith was born in Wisconsin in 1890. He attended the University of Idaho and graduated with degrees in chemical engineering; he went on to attain a PhD in the same subject, and spent his working life as a food engineer. Smith is best known for the 'Skylark' and 'Lensman' series of novels, which are arguably the earliest examples of what a modern audience would recognise as Space Opera. Early novels in both series were serialised in the dominant pulp magazines of the day: Argosy, Amazing Stories, Wonder Stories and a pre-Campbell Astounding, although his most successful works were published under Campbell's editorship. Although he won no major SF awards, Smith was Guest of Honour at the second World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago, in 1940. He died in 1965.

Fredric Brown

Fredric Brown (1906-1972) was an American SF writer and Edgar Award-winning crime writer. Although the author of a number of SF and detective novels, he remains most famous for his prolific short story writing.

Fritz Leiber

Fritz Leiber is considered one of science fiction's legends. Author of a prodigious number of stories and novels, many of which were made into films, he is best known as creator of the classic Lankhmar fantasy series. Fritz Leiber has won awards too numerous to count including the coveted Hugo and Nebula, and was honored as a lifetime Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. He died in 1992.

Garry Kilworth

Garry Kilworth (1941 -) Garry Douglas Kilworth was born in York in 1941 and travelled widely as a child, his father being a serviceman. After seventeen years in the RAF and eight working for Cable and Wireless, he attended King's College, London University, where he obtained an honours degree in English. Garry Kilworth has published novels under a number of pseudonyms in the fields of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction and Children's Fiction, winning the British and World Fantasy Awards and being twice shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie Award for Children's Literature.

Gentry Lee

Gentry Lee held a number of important posts in NASA's deep-space exploration programme, which made him an ideal writing partner for Arthur C. Clarke. He has also been a screenwriter on Carl Saga's COSMOS TV series. Lee co-wrote RAMA II, GARDEN OF RAMA and CRADLE with Arthur C. Clarke

Gordon R Dickson

Gordon R. Dickson (1923 - 2001) Gordon Rupert Dickson was born in Alberta, Canada, in 1923 but resided in the United States from the age of thirteen. Along with Robert A. Heinlein, he is regarded as one of the fathers of military space opera, his Dorsai! sequence being an early exemplar of both military SF and Future History. Dickson was one of the rare breed of authors as well known for his fantasy as his SF - The Dragon and the George, the first novel in his Dragon Knight sequence, was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award and won the British Fantasy Award. Dickson's work also won him three Hugos and Nebula. He died in 2001.

H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent in 1866. After working as a draper's apprentice and pupil-teacher, he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in 1884, studying under T. H. Huxley. He was awarded a first-class honours degree in biology and resumed teaching but had to retire after a kick from an ill-natured pupil afflicted his kidneys. He worked in poverty in London as a crammer while experimenting in journalism and stories. It was with THE TIME MACHINE (1895) that he had his real breakthrough.

Jack Finney

Born in 1911 the American author Jack Finney wrote numerous SF novels, thrillers and mysteries, several of which were adapted to film. He is best known as the author of The Body Snatchers, which became the hugely popular and influential film, The Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. He was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1987. A long time resident of Californa he died in 1995.

Jack Womack

Jack Womack (1956 - )Jack Womack was born in Kentucky in 1956 but currently lives in New York City. In addition to his writing, he has worked in publicity for a number of major US publishers such as HarperCollins and Orbit. Exploring themes such as urban breakdown, racial tension and class wars, the city of New York plays a large part in the post-Cyberpunk, Near-Future setting of his novels. He won the 1993 Philip K Dick award with Elvissey and has the distinction of being William Gibson's favourite author.

Jaine Fenn

Jaine Fenn studied Linguistics and Astronomy at university before embarking on a career as an IT consultant. She is the author of the Hidden Empire books PRINCIPLES OF ANGELS, CONSORTS OF HEAVEN, GUARDIANS OF PARADISE, BRINGER OF LIGHT and QUEEN OF NOWHERE. She lives with her husband in Hampshire.You can learn more at, or by following @jainefenn on twitter.

James E Barry


Joe Haldeman

Joe Haldeman was born in Oklahoma in 1943 and studied physics and astronomy before serving as a combat engineer in Vietnam, where he was severely wounded and won a Purple Heart. The Forever War was his first SF novel and it won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, a feat which The Forever Peace repeated. He is also the author of, among others, Mindbridge, All My Sins Remembered, Worlds, Worlds Apart and Worlds Enough and Time.