“The Children of the Sky” by Vernor Vinge (Tor, 2011)

Children of the Sky

The Children of the Sky is the long-awaited sequel to the Hugo Award-winning A Fire Upon the Deep, from bestselling author Vernor Vinge.  Twenty years later in real time, and ten years later on the Tines World, the great war is over and there are some survivors: Ravna Bergnsdot who crash-landed on the planet with a number of human children, as well as a number Tines allies: the strange wolf-like humanoid pack animals after which the planet is named.  More than a hundred human children, who were in cold-sleep aboard the crash-landed vessel, have been saved by Ravna.

But the status quo does not remain, as those hungry for power begin to plan and plot and fight for it, seeking technology to gain the advantage.  Ravna will have to do everything she can to keep protecting the children and keep herself alive in this harsh world of alliances and factions warring for control and power.

The Children of the Sky is certainly not the sort of book you want to pick up for its pretty cover and start reading.  Reading its prequel, A Fire Upon the Deep, is a must to understand just what is going on; the reader may even want to read the other book in the series, A Deepness in the Sky.  Vinge continues with his incredibly complicated world of alliances and populations fighting for control and the reader can become easily lost, if he or she doesn’t stay focused and keep up.  This book is not for the faint of heart; but for those who are committed, it is a worthy reward.

Originally written on January 24, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

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A Fire Upon the Deep

“A Fire Upon the Deep” by Vernor Vinge (TOR, 2011)

Fire Upon the Deep

Practically an instant classic and winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel for 1993, A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge is now available in a new quality paperback almost a decade after its release.  The science fiction here is first-rate, as Vinge delivers an acceptable reason why we haven’t traveled to the stars yet: we live in an area of the galaxy known as the “Slow Zone,” while in the surrounding area known as the “Beyond,” faster-than-light travel is a common way of life.  And then outside the Beyond is the “Transcend,” where godlike “Powers” exist.  Humanity sticks its nose where it doesn’t belong, awakening one of these powers known as the Blight, which runs rampant like an uncontrollable virus, turning entire civilizations into controllable automatons.

Hope lies in two children who crash land in a spaceship on a medieval-style civilization consisting of dog-like creatures known as “Tines.”  An evil Tine known as Steel kills many of the survivors of the crash, destroying most of the coldsleep boxes, kidnapping one of the children named Jefri Olsndot.  A rival faction of Tines, led by one named Woodcarver, rescues Jefri’s older sister, Johanna.  And so continues the war between these two factions on this strange planet.  Meanwhile help is also on the way from an unexpected entity.

Originally written on December 1, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of A Fire Upon the Deep from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.