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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rainbow's End, by Vernor Vinge

A shorter than usual (for me) book review.

I read Vernor Vinge's Rainbow's End, a science fiction book set later in this century, in the San Diego area. Vinge is a good writer. He won the Hugo award for A Fire Upon the Deep. I remember that chiefly for the society of telepathic dog-like creatures on a far planet that Vinge made up. A Deepness in the Sky is about an intelligent spider-like species.The two books also have some underlying cosmological/philosophical ideas.

Rainbow's End is pretty good science fiction. The ideas that it extrapolates into the future include curing some currently terminal diseases and crowdsourcing. There's also a lot about the extension of the Internet and computing. People wear computers, sort of like a shirt, and glasses, so that they can access information and communicate wherever they are, or almost wherever. While wearing such a computer, you can see hyperlinks for most of the landscape features around you, which is both scary and intriguing, I guess.

Vinge is a good "hard" science fiction writer -- there's no magic in his works, other than technology.

Thanks for reading.


Elliot said...

I've really got to get around to reading some Vernor Vinge books...

Martin LaBar said...

I liked Fire Upon the Deep best.


Tap said...

"Hard" science fiction implies, to me, that what happens is consistent with what we know. Having zones in the galaxy beyond which miraculous and incomprehensible things occur is not exactly what I would consider hard science fiction. (I am thinking of Fire Upon the Deep here.)

Martin LaBar said...

You are right, Tap. That isn't "hard." I mostly ignored that part of Fire Upon the Deep, though, and I had forgotten it.