Is there any detailed explanation or description offered for what the Dirokimes are?

In A Fire Upon the Deep, two characters are introduced on the Ølvira that are described as Dirokimes, Glimfrelle and Tirolle. Little is given by way of explanation as to exactly what Dirokimes are, although they are mentioned other places in the book.

We know they are described as a race, have something called "longfingers", seem to travel primarily (exclusively?) in pairs of brothers and sisters, were living on Sjandra Kei in something described as "dream habitats", and do not exist elsewhere this side of the Transcend.

Presumably they are aliens, although I suppose an altered line of humans could be possible.

Is there an explanation given, or further description, in anything else by Vernor Vinge, published or unpublished?


1 Answer 1


They are certainly non-human;

A million years ago they had burst out of the Slow Zone, colonizing the three systems that humans one day would call Sjandra Kei

There are several brief notes about them in the special edition of A Fire Upon the Deep which contains copious indexed notes by Vinge himself (I have a kindle copy, I don't know if its available in print) the main references are;

Note 1180
* Dirokimes: deer image, Bambi grown up, longfingers and short

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Dirokime. 
The brothers are not identical twins but they operate as a unit in reproductive strategy - have to think on that

* [vsv] QU so what is the Dirokime reproductive strategy (something that involves brothers)?

* IMP ID BKG background on Dirokimes can be used to make some of this more plausible and affective. 
Their race is very old, was localized to the Sjandra Kei system. 
Spent most of its time dreaming now that it had seeded the transcend so many times. 
The brothers are unusual - even old races have fun and young individuals. 
Thus, they are not real attracted by the notion of a pogrom back in the Middle Beyond, 
if there are possible mates in the Aniara Fleet. This background needs to be RETRO written, too.


* Critters related to Bambi
  • where did you get the author's notes of a fire upon the deep?
    – user5543
    Mar 29, 2012 at 4:22
  • @FrancisHaart there is a "special edition" ebook that contains all of Vinge's working notes - hard to find microsoft.com/reader/find/book.aspx?bookID=2402
    – Alex K.
    Mar 29, 2012 at 9:23
  • In 1993 a CD was published containing (i think) all the Hugo-nominated stories, with annotations on AFutD. Years later a friend gave me one of his two copies, but I was never able to open the annotations :( Dec 31, 2018 at 5:45

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