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A Fire Upon The Deep [Format Kindle]

Vernor Vinge
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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In this Hugo-winning 1991 SF novel, Vernor Vinge gives us a wild new cosmology, a galaxy-spanning "Net of a Million Lies," some finely imagined aliens, and much nail-biting suspense.

Faster-than-light travel remains impossible near Earth, deep in the galaxy's Slow Zone--but physical laws relax in the surrounding Beyond. Outside that again is the Transcend, full of unguessable, godlike "Powers." When human meddling wakes an old Power, the Blight, this spreads like a wildfire mind virus that turns whole civilizations into its unthinking tools. And the half-mythical Countermeasure, if it exists, is lost with two human children on primitive Tines World.

Serious complications follow. One paranoid alien alliance blames humanity for the Blight and launches a genocidal strike. Pham Nuwen, the man who knows about Countermeasure, escapes this ruin in the spacecraft Out of Band--heading for more violence and treachery, with 500 warships soon in hot pursuit. On his destination world, the fascinating Tines are intelligent only in combination: named "individuals" are small packs of the doglike aliens. Primitive doesn't mean stupid, and opposed Tine leaders wheedle the young castaways for information about guns and radios. Low-tech war looms, with elaborately nested betrayals and schemes to seize Out of Band if it ever arrives. The tension becomes extreme... while half the Beyond debates the issues on galactic Usenet.

Vinge's climax is suitably mindboggling. This epic combines the flash and dazzle of old-style space opera with modern, polished thoughtfulness. Pham Nuwen also appears in the nifty prequel set 30,000 years earlier, A Deepness in the Sky. Both recommended. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

From Publishers Weekly

It has been six years since Vinge's last book ( Marooned in Realtime ), but the wait proves worthwhile in this stimulating tale filled with ideas, action and likable, believable characters, both alien and human. 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 with ancient technology in order 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. As the Blight begins to spread, a few humans flee with a secret that might destroy it, but they are stranded in a primitive low-tech world barely in the Beyond. While the Blight destroys whole races and star systems, a team of two humans and two aliens races to rescue the others, pursued by the Blight's agents and other enemies. With uninterrupted pacing, suspense without contrivance, and deftly drawn aliens who can be pleasantly comical without becoming cute, Vinge offers heart-pounding, mind-expanding science fiction at its best.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1647 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 624 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1857981278
  • Editeur : Tor Science Fiction (20 mars 2007)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°93.131 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un roman S.F. brillantissime 10 juin 2007
Ce livre est un tour de force, une saga S.F. avec plusieurs récits entremélés et plusieurs genres mélangés, portés par un suspense haletant.

Où l'humanité affronte une créature extraterrestre transcendentale (la Gale), où deux enfants humains s'écrasent sur une planète à bord d'un vaisseau transportant quelque chose que cette gale recherche désespérément.

Où l'on découvre, sur ladite planète, une civilisation pré-industrielle basée sur une intelligence collective où 5 animaux s'associent pour former un esprit unique.


Des idées de ce genre il y en a encore à foison! Je citerai juste pour finir une conception très originale d'un univers composé de plusieurs zones de conscience.

Et le tout dans un seul roman!

On n'est pas très loin de la S.F. flamboyante de David Brin avec ces romans de la série Elevation (Sun divers/Startide rising/Uplift war).

Mais Vinge réussit là où Brin a échoué avec sa dernière trilogie d'Elevation (Brightness Reef/Infinty Shore/Heaven's Reach), qui commence très fort mais se traîne sur 3 volumes et se termine comme un mauvais Philip José Farmer.

Vinge, lui, parvient à maîtriser son récit du début à la fin et surtout à rester à la hauteur de ces personnages et de leurs émotions.

Quand on referme le livre après le mot Fin, on se dit qu'on aura du mal à trouver un roman plus fort que celui-là.
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1 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 un grand récit de SF 25 novembre 2004
Par morientes
Un récit dans la lignée de Feux sur l'abime, puissant, entraînant, original, avec des extra-terrestres comme vous n'en avez jamais rencontrés dans un roman !
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  468 commentaires
82 internautes sur 86 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 27 octobre 2002
Par not4prophet - Publié sur Amazon.com
Finally, a science fiction novel that does actually live up to the hype. "A Fire Upon the Deep" is a fast-paced, exciting, and incredibly inventive book. As many others have mentioned, Vinge's unique vision of the future is one of the novel's biggest strengths. He has created a galaxy where different species are moving upwards through a series of "zones of thought" as their technology becomes more sophisticated. The catch is that once humanity has ventured into "the beyond", it's difficult to go back to "the slow zone" because the new spaceships and computers won't work there. Vinge's ingenious plot device is to have a spaceship carrying two children and some vital information crash-land on a planet that's right on the border of "the slow zone", forcing a ragtag group of spacefarers to attempt a desperate rescue mission. While almost all science fiction writers include intelligent aliens, the species that Vinge dreams up are quite different from anything I've ever seen in any other book. There are the Tines, a race where a single consciousness controls a group of several individuals, the Skroderiders, a species that was sessile until they were provided with mechanical carts, and numerous others that help add color to the book.
But in addition to its remarkable futuristic world, "A Fire Upon the Deep" also contains an action-packed plot. The author springs a major surprise on you in almost every chapter: characters that you though were good turn out to be traitors and vice versa, certain groups turn out to be more powerful than you thought, etc... The bottom line is that you never know what's going to happen next, and Vinge manages to keep the suspense up throughout the entire book, despite its 613 page length. "A Fire Upon the Deep" is very well paced, and Vinge never keeps you confused about a concept for very long before providing an explanation. I personally felt that the ending did a good job of wrapping up the plot while at the same time giving readers a few facets to wonder about. Overall, this book deserved its Hugo Award, and a place on the shelf along with the best science fiction works of all times.
344 internautes sur 386 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Some like it, some hate it. Regardless, read it. 16 novembre 1997
Par Walter Flaschka - Publié sur Amazon.com
Most of us are probably aware of how, as you read more and more science fiction, your stack of 'extremely good' books stays mostly level while the stack of 'acceptable' books outgrows your bookshelf. You start to appreciate the writers who have done their duty to science fiction by studying the Drexlers, the Minskys and Feynmans -- the scientists whose sheer extrapolative powers really push the borders of imagination.
Vinge is one of those hardworking writers. He is the author of the hard-to-find "True names and other dangers..." which means you can credit him for adding several of the future- or tech-based memes most of us take for granted today.
The ratings for this book waver between 6-10, with a '2' thrown in by some poor fellow. Don't worry about Vernor Vinge's grammatical capabilities -- he writes a mean sentence, and some of the best technical descriptions I've ever read. For a genre which pedestalizes Asimov, who could hardly string 6 words together coherently (guess he was moving too fast), some people are MIGHTY picky!
Also, you won't find the "-oid" syndrome which you get with Bujold, for example, where contemporary items are made to sound science-fictiony just by giving them a new name. You won't read sentences like "He grabbed his key-oids and jumped in his car-oid..."
Vinge's science is deep, and the ramifications of everything from the 'slow zone' to the 'unthinking deeps' to the 'agrav fabric docks' to the hi-tech of the beyond, to the cute extrapolation of an Internet of galactic scope, to the effect of radio upon the Tines (a sophont race), to the matter-of-fact acceptance of racial senescence... all of these things are well thought out and brilliantly presented. You will see many of Vinge's concepts become commonplace in science fiction, and you'll be able to say you saw it here first. :)
Vinge is a scientist/mathmetician, after all, and he seems constitutionally unable to write the soft-science glop which is taking over science fiction. His science fiction is as hard as diamond, and the only bad side effect is that the people you read between the 'good ones' will seem much more inept and unimaginative.
Don't worry about Vinge's characterizations... they're strong and capable (especially those of the skroderiders (plants) and the tines (pack intelligences)). You'll be fascinated by his treatment of alien mentalities... and if you aren't, well, luckily science fiction isn't about characterization anyways.
If you want character, read a novel, which is the genre of the character. If you want science fiction, you could do MUCH worse than come here... you'll be adding a nice thick book to your small stack of 'extremely good' books.
72 internautes sur 79 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Complex hard sci-fi, but still filled with imagination. 24 juin 2000
Par D. J. Rizzo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Vinge introduces you to a new viewpoint of our galaxy, it's future-history and it's stratified physics, through the eyes of those who live in it. Don't expect a lesson, you're learning through exposition. Subsequently, you spend much of the first part (3 part book) discovering how this galaxy "works"; including a usenet-type of communication backbone. [I was amazed that the book was authored in '91, before most of us knew what a newsgroup was... then again the author is a comp sci professor.]
The meat of the book takes place in three locations: 2 of which are on a "medieval" world with an amazing race and the other is in the greater galaxy. There are subtle but distinct parallels between the good/evil battle on this planet and the one waging in the galaxy. Both contain complex and engaging characters and races.
The book becomes harder to put down as the characters in these three locations move together, eventually occupying the same space. Like three volatile chemicals coming together, you know it's going to be big!
A Fire Upon the Deep is a wonderful read for fans of "hard" science fiction. Vinge brings so much into it: the physics, races, and technology of hard sci-fi; the history, conspiracy, and duplicity of a political thriller; the excitement and passion of a great war novel; and even a little romance and weightless space-sex!
I strongly recommend it to fans of Larry Niven and Arthur C. Clarke.
149 internautes sur 173 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Even the 5 star reviews have reservations 11 décembre 2005
Par Victory - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is tough. "A Fire Upon the Deep" is not for everybody. I read review after review trying to figure out if I should devote the time necessary to read such a tome. Now I understand the mixed yet overall positive reviews here.

This read is not like a "York Peppermint Patty" commercial. I never got the sensation of "driving those huskies across the frozen tundra!" No. This read was more like "slogging through the jungle underbrush with nothing but a machete and a heavy pack." It's like reading Hamlet when you're not that crazy about Shakespeare. (By the way, I LOVE Shakespeare, but that's something that came over time). While reading "Fire" I got the idea that this was a great and important book but perhaps wasn't my type of book.

Try as I might, I couldn't give a rip about the dog packs. Each pack is a character with sub-character individuals acting as only part of the whole pack. If a pack member dies, the pack will accept a new member into its character. The pack "character" is a little too fluid in this case to effectively sink into a reader's psyche. It is appropriately "alien" to the reader and the gap is never fully bridged from familiar to alien.

The kid characters living with the alien dogs have child-like personalities and so are appropriately 2 dimensional.

The most interesting conflict is between the main female character, Ravna, who is racing to save the children and thwart the evil Power and a resurrected Asian scoundrel, Pham, who has an affair with Ravna and who surreptitiously is acting as a Power's spy. Unfortunately, this conflict is in the back seat of the plot and is revealed in the first half of the book.

You'll like it if you don't mind taking a leisurely, extended stroll with alien dogs that can't readily communicate with humans. If half the fun in your mind is finding out how aliens would effectively communicate with humans then you'll like at least half of this book. The other half is a race to beat a net virus, a Power, that seeks to destroy worlds like a boy pouring gasoline on an ant hill. The overarching plot weaves the two halves together. Sounds great but beware.

So I think I can define what TYPE of reader would like this book.

You might like this book if . . .
-You like cyber sci-fi (William Gibson)
-You like "bio" sci-fi
-You like the "Rama" series by Clarke for its unique aliens and the way they interact with humans
-You like the "Hyperion" series by Dan Simmons for its portrayal of a future internet and advanced Artificial Intelligences
-You like "Dune" for its mental games and intrigue

You might NOT like this book if . . .
-You like fast paced adventure
-You like deep and complex characters
-You like the "Rama" or "Ringworld" series for their advanced technology and grand vistas
-You like the "Hyperion" series for its human driven plot and characterization

Hope this helps.
27 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Almost perfect 7 janvier 2002
Par Dana - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
I read this shortly after "A Deepness In The Sky", its 'prequel'. (A note: except for the character of Pham Nuwen there is no connection between the two books; this is neither a praise, nor a critique; simply an information which might be useful if you are looking for any connection between the two.)
The style is very similar: two different and initially completely distinct threads of action, one involving humans and one aliens, come together slowly to a common conclusion.
One thread involves two humans (well, one not-so-human: an 'evolved' Pham Nuwen from Deepness) and a pair of aliens on a desperate quest: an all-powerful evil force is rapidly taking over parts of the galaxy and the only possible solution is aboard a ship crashed on a medieval world at the other end of the known space.
The other thread takes place on the medieval world and involves two children survivors of the crashed ship and the local intelligent race, dog-like creatures who are only able to achieve consciousness in packs.
I found the ideas in this book to be wonderful.
The description of the pack intelligence of the dog race was completely new to me; perhaps it has been used before, but not to my knowledge (there is a short note somewhere on the first pages about a short story by somebody else who used the same idea). The possibilities deriving from this kind of civilizations are many, and the author explores them to the reader's complete satisfaction: partial awareness of one's self, what happens when only part of an individual survives, the nature of the soul, how the memories and personality of each individual play a distinct role. Also, the author explores the frigthful liberty this unique situation gives for the ones who want to create super beings, or packs with special characteristics.
Another idea I enjoyed was the 'Zones of Thought': the galaxy is divided into several concentric regions in which different rules of physics apply. Coming from the center of the galaxy ('The Unthinking Depths') and going outwards to the 'Transcend', FTL travel becomes possible. What functions in one zone doesn't in another. This separation ensures the protection of the under-evolved races, making it possible for them to build their own civilizations and expand outward at their own pace.
The minus of this book comes from the fact that this division is never explained in scientific terms; you just have to accept it as it is. Perhaps the author himself could not think of an explanation :).
Many reviewers have complained about the description of the Net, the communication network which unites all the worlds in the more evolved regions of the galaxy, saying that it was simplistic (being only text-based). Don't forget that this book was written in 1992, when the Internet wasn't what it is now. And the issue is not so important at all to the plot, it is just collateral.
The characters were nicely built; I have to admit that I cared more for the Tines (packs) than for the humans, though (the same as I cared more for the Spiders in A Deepness In The Sky).
The ending was very good and not rushed, even if a little 'forky'. True, no grand epic descriptions there, but in my opinion they were not necessary at that point.
What I would like now is a book that takes place before this one but after Deepness, finishing the quest suggested at the end of Deepnees and perhaps dwelling on the evolution of the human race towards the setting in Fire: how they reacted in discovering the Zone Thoughts and so on.
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