Vernor Vinge – The Ungoverned

The Ungoverned is the sequel to The Peace War, which I read late last year. According to my Reader’s statistics, it’s only 30 pages long, so it should be a quick read.

The Across Realtime series was written in the latter half of the 80s, and it rather shows, being much concerned with totalitarianism, clashes of economic culture, and the post-apocalyptic landscape. Even so, the first book was a fun read, so I have high hopes for this one.

The first Vinge I ever read was A Fire Upon The Deep, a novel about the galactic usenet and the super-intelligences that ruled the edges of space. I was in high-school, and I guess I didn’t really understand the implications of what I was reading at the time. I’ve since gone back and re-read it, and wow, Vinge is pretty profound stuff. Further, he’s subtle. He doesn’t rub your nose in it. He just sort of shows it to you. It’s a little weird, but you buy it, and it gently warps the way you think about other things.

More recently, I picked up a paperback copy of Rainbows End, which I can’t recommend highly enough. I suspect that in some ways Rainbows End will seem as thematically dated in a decade or two as The Peace War seems now, but that’s ok. What’s powerful about it is the view it can provide of the present, using the mirror of a particular imagined future.


~ by voidptr on April 7, 2010.

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