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Vernor Vinge Books In Order

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Publication Order of Across Realtime Books

The Peace War (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Marooned in Realtime (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Across Realtime (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Tatja Grimm Books

Tatja Grimm's World (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Grimm's World (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Zones of Thought Books

A Fire Upon The Deep (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Deepness in the Sky (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Children of the Sky (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
After the Battle on Starship Hill (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Barbarian Princess (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fast Times at Fairmont High (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cookie Monster (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

True Names... and Other Dangers (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Threats... and Other Promises (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Publication Order of Anthologies

Analog 6(1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow...(1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May 1986(1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Under African Skies(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Explorers(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
I premi Hugo 2002(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Analog, October 2003(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hard SF Renaissance(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's Best Science Fiction: 21 Annual Edition(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Year's Best SF 16(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Vernor Vinge is an American author who specializes in science fiction novels. He is best known for his award winning novels most notably “A Fire upon the Deep,” “Rainbow End,” and “A Deepness in The Sky”. Vinge is also an accomplished academician, having held teaching position in Mathematics and computer science at the University of San Diego. He was born in 1944 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. His first successful work was the novella “True Names,” which was released in 1981. It is largely credited as a pioneering representation of the cyberspace which many other authors of that era drew inspiration from. Vinge has also delivered dozens of scientific write-ups in computer science that have been instrumental in driving the technology explosion of the last two decades. In these essays as well as in his novels he visualized ideas that were many years in the future, and which have come to pass. His former wife Joan D. Vinge is also an accomplished writer who has several prestigious writing awards under her belt.

The first novel in the series “The Peace War,” published in 1984, further stamped Vinge’s arrival on the literature scene. In the novel, a group of radicals calling themselves the Peace Authority discover a way to separate sections of the universe into their own realms using spherical force fields known as bobbles. The Peace Authority, uses the technology to banish government and military installations from all over the world in one of these bobbles. The aim of the group is to maintain peace by removing all military capability from the earth. While they achieve the desired results with war and killings eliminated, it has the adverse effect of curtailing scientific innovation. Within 50 years, this reverses civilization to rudimentary levels of many centuries before. With scientific exploration and innovation banned, the future looks bleak. That is until a secret band of scientists called Tinkers plot a coup on the Peace Authority to free the masses suffering under their rule. The group, led by a brilliant mathematician called Paul Hoelher -the same man who had discovered the bobbles- have to be extremely cautious and ingenious in their quest to depose the dictatorial legion or risk losing their lives. Peace War oozes the quality of a writer who was at the peak of his narrative prowess, with the gripping, suspense entertainment and almost visionary imagery that it offers. It is a serving of literary genius that many seasoned fantasy writers would love in their locker. The hypothetical world that Vinge imagines has many of the intrigues that plague modern societies. While he keeps explanations simple rather than using unfamiliar technology jargon, the bobble technology is based on unproved assumptions, and readers who are sticklers to science facts will find hard it to forgive Vinge for that. For the average reader however, the setting yields dreamy fascination that make them want to keep on reading on. Racial stereotyping is reflective of a novel from simpler times; the black Spanish speaking boy who befriends Paul unsurprisingly lends his thieving prowess to the cause. Readers in today’s era might find that a bit sickening but ultimately takes little from Vinge’s exemplary novel.

Marooned in Realtime is the sequel to Peace War which means that it has some big strides to match. The book, published in 1986 leaps fifty million years from the events of the previous novel. The bobbles from The Peace War are still an important component in this novel. Sometime in the 23rd century, people are using them for many different purposes until a glitch occurs that makes everyone but those in the bobbles disappear in a massive extinction of humanity. Yelev and Marta Kolorev have managed to organize the living humans together and are using the bobbles to leap from through time looking for more survivors. Only 300 humans survive the cataclysm and they run the risk of annihilating each other through civil war, as they divide themselves into two bitterly polar groups, the high-techs and the low-techs. The main bone of contention is whether to continue using bobbles to explore the future or try to resurrect the human race. When Marta is murdered mysteriously, a lonesome cop ex-cop Wil Brierson finds himself trying to work through the chaos to bring the perpetrators to book. He stumbles upon evidence of sabotage and together with high-tech intergalactic explore Della Lu, they scour the high-tech ranks, believing they are the only ones with the technology to strand Marta in an isolated bobble. The investigation goes deep into Marta’s past and in so doing, Vinge takes the reader into a lengthy detour guided by Marta’s diary. He explains the extinction of man in the 23rd century as well as numerous intrigues that Marta endured during her 40 years exile before her death. Ultimately the book is faulted for the many seemingly forced twists. While the main protagonist of the novel is Brierson, the reader ends up interacting more with Marta. While the characterization itself is defective, the immersion into the fantasy world of the future is something that the reader would feel compelled to refuse to let go of. As with The Peace War, various scientific concepts fail to hold up to fact scrutiny, but should never be an issue with any fantasy write-up. Many readers recommend reading the two books together because many of the concepts in the Marooned will seem strange, even pedantic when readers stumble into them without any background on them.

Ultimately, Vernor Vinge is a scientist turned author and while the two qualities seem to subtract from each other rather than complement each other, his penchant for imagination is right up there with the likes of J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkens. The difficulty of synthesizing a block of text based on a topic as exotic as Vinge picks for this series cannot be underestimated and achieving the level of cult following that his writings have garnered speaks volumes about his imagination qualities. The characters in the novels are extremely relatable despite existing in a setting far removed in terms of time and place from any living reader.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Vernor Vinge

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