I finished it on a southbound northern line train that was being held at Camden. The door frames were obscuring the right half of a poster (You can’t talk [something] because [something]) but the words drawn in black marker in the yellow background were clearly visible : ‘Because God forbids it’. It is moments like these that make me regret giving up camera phones.
Someone once said (I think it was Stephen King) that once you commit to creating as good a story as you can you become incapable of evil. I believe this, at least for Vernor Vinge, to be true.
I must say that I read A fire Upon The Deep first, and although they were written in that order A Deepness In The Sky takes place before the events in A Fire Upon The Deep. It’s been described as ‘hard’ science fiction, the implication being that focus (you’ll get the pun if you read it) is on technology and science, and even though flawlessly emulated interactions between brilliantly extrapolated technologies is abundant, there’s at least the same amount of character development present with heavy humanist undertones (delivered via a society of huge spiders lol). Vinge’s mind reaches out trough vast expanses of space and time as easily as it dives into the depths of sentient souls – and the gifts it brings are (surely) a match for any Qeng Ho mission bounty. Thank you.
P.S. I highly recommend reading ‘A Fire…’ first, the connection is subtle at best but it vastly enriches the experience.