I never read far into this book, but I remember the beginning being about an AI, and then a Human family crash-landing on a planet that had wolf-like aliens; these aliens had long necks and formed a consciousness by linking several seperate bodies together into a hive-mind-like pack, which could share and process information together and think as one.

  • While the answers are the same, the questions are different enough that I don't think it should count as a duplicate.
    – JAB
    Feb 27, 2017 at 17:24
  • I... am uncertain. Since I'm a gold-badge, it only takes one vote from me, so I'll abstain while others decide. They definitely have different titles. I guess the only other common theme is the mention of AI. Very different focuses depending on how far they got into the book, I suppose.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 27, 2017 at 19:21
  • Since I now have the title of the book and another forum question to reference I don't think removing this question is any large loss to me Feb 27, 2017 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


I believe you're looking for A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.

An expedition from Straumli Realm, an ambitious young human civilization in the high Beyond, investigates a five-billion-year-old data archive in the low Transcend that offers the possibility of unimaginable riches. The expedition's facility, High Lab, is gradually compromised by a dormant superintelligence within the archive later known as the Blight. However, shortly before the Blight's final "flowering", two self-aware entities created similarly to the Blight plot to aid the humans before the Blight can escape.

Recognizing the danger of what they have awakened, the researchers at High Lab attempt to flee in two ships, one carrying all the adults and the second carrying all the children in "coldsleep boxes". Suspicious, the Blight discovers that the first ships contains a data storage device in its cargo manifest; assuming it contains information that could harm it, the Blight destroys the ship. The second ship escapes. The Blight assumes that it is no threat, but later realizes that it is actually carrying away a "countermeasure" against it.

The ship lands on a distant planet with a medieval-level civilization of dog-like creatures, dubbed "Tines", who live in packs as group minds. Upon landing, however, the two surviving adults are ambushed and killed by Tine fanatics known as Flenserists, in whose realm they have landed. The Flenserists capture a young boy named Jefri Olsndot and his wounded sister, Johanna. While Jefri is taken deeper into Flenserist territory, Johanna is rescued by Tine pilgrims who witnessed the ambush and deliver her to a neighboring kingdom ruled by a Tine named Woodcarver. The Flenserists tell Jefri that Johanna had been killed by Woodcarver and exploit him in order to develop advanced technology (such as cannon and radio communication), while Johanna and the knowledge stored in her "dataset" device help Woodcarver rapidly develop in turn.

As mentioned by this fellow, the Tines are described as "wolf-like with long necks".


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