A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It took me forever to read but that's because I had a baby in the middle. Last time I had a baby I was reading the same author's A Fire Upon The Deep so I thought it appropriate to follow up with the prequel. I preferred the first book which I found kind of hallucinatory but that was probably due to lack of sleep. This one was brilliant too, but the first was more ground breaking in its view of the universe I thought. I read a review that complained that the aliens in Deepness were too un-alien, but I think that is the point - you do find out in the end why that might be, that the book is basically filtered through another point of view and not everything the Spiders do is to be taken literally.
I found the depiction of ordinary (and not so ordinary) people living under a dictatorship, and how they come to terms with that, to be very interesting, and I enjoyed the portrayal of the ultra-market-led Qeng Ho and Pham Nuwen, although I'm not sure I would enjoy living in a society so driven by market forces.There are many moments of genuine horror here as well, and they slap you in the face unexpectedly - such as what happens to Qiwi's mother and how Qiwi finds out. All in all, great book, easier to read than Fire I think (or possibly I have an easier baby this time). I hope Vernor Vinge is writing more novels, and I would like to read his short stories now.
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