Sunday, May 29, 2011

BYBS: A Deepness in the Sky

Image from Wikipedia

This week's BYBS is about the book A Deepness in the Sky by a favorite author of mine named Venor Vinge.  The book takes place in the same universe as A Fire Upon the Deep and is about two groups that are interested in trading with a culture that only becomes active once every 200 years or so.

The "good guys" are an outfit called the Qeng Ho, who have an enlightened approach to dealing with other civilizations.  The "bad guys" are from a group called the Emergents, they tend to enslave other cultures that they find.  The story revolves around the struggle for control of the operation between the two groups and the role that the alien civilization, called the Spiders, play in the whole thing.

The thing about this book was that I read it at a very stressful time.  While Venor Vinge is a very capable author, the thing that I liked was that it provided a way to get out of my head during that period, something that I find hard to do in that situation.

The real skill of the writer can be seen from the way that I wasn't able to get into another book that I read at the time, Quantico by Greg Bear (sorry Greg).  If I look at them objectively, I think that Deepness might represent a more depressing subject and the premise is less believable than Quantico; but I found myself liking Deepness better anyways.  Go figure.

Or perhaps this is not so surprising, since I managed to find another of Vinge's books, Rainbow's End to be very interesting despite the fact that the main character is a mean old man who just recovered from senility and is taking some classes at a high school.

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