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Questions tagged [vernor-vinge]

Vernor Vinge is a retired professor and computer scientist best known for his Hugo-winning novels *A Fire Upon the Deep*, *A Deepness in the Sky*, and *Rainbows End*

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Which zone is the OnOff system in?

In A Deepness in the Sky, the OnOff star and the spider's planet both exhibit unusual properties. The star itself spends most of its time essentially dark; while the planet contains minerals which ...
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What is Rabbit and what does “carrot greens” hint?

I just read Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End. I strongly suspect that Rabbit is an AI, but here in Ch 25 You Can't Ask Alice Anymore, there's a line: It was amusing that despite the carrot greens and ...
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Can a bobble be bobbled?

I've started rereading Vernor Vinge's Peace War stories and wondered whether his "bobble"-type stasis fields could enclose another bobble field. In Niven's Known Space universe we know the answer: ...
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Explain ending of “BFF's first adventure (Clouded view)”, by Vernor Vinge [2015]

It's a one-page short-story, full text available at nature online. (Their PDF link also works). EDIT another BFF story in the same universe: Legale (Seconds to disaster). I like the plucky and ...
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What are Vernor Vinge's transport trays?

Sadly there is precious little info on these machines, which appear in the novel Rainbows End. A character who works on a transport tray for shop class comments on "solid-state robots" while looking ...
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What is this “tracer” in The Peace War?

From the chapter "Flash forward" in The Peace War, page 31: She recognized the smell that that still hung on her helmet: the tracer stench that tagged their landing fuel. What is this "tracer that ...
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What do “temp” and “bactry pit” mean?

On page 33 of A Deepness in the Sky, by Vernor Vinge we read: This was the innnermost bladder of the temp. Besides the spar and power pile, it was the only part that was absolutely necessary: ...
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What does “Tas” mean?

Page 20 of A Deepness in the Sky: "Tas been done often enough afore, dontcha know? Get ‘em when they don’t know technology—or haven’t yet rebuilt it,” said Brughel. What does "Tas" mean?
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What does “native volatiles and ores” refer to and what are they used for?

I'm really struggling to understand a sentence from page 23 of A Deepness in the Sky But you can't eat diamonds, not raw anyway. Without the usual mix of native volatiles and ores, fleet life ...
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Will there be a 4th 'Zones of Thought' book?

Is there any word on a sequel to Vernor Vinge's Children of the Sky (the 3rd in the Zones of Thought books)? It seems to be ends as if there will be another book, but a cursory Internet search has ...
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Did Vernor Vinge originate the euphemism “you-gotta-believe-me”?

Charles Stross's latest "Laundry series" novel, The Rhesus Chart, uses the phrase "you-gotta-believe-me" to refer to mind control powers. The first time I came across this was in Vinge's Rainbow's End,...
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What is the point of Slow Zone dredges?

In Fire Upon the Deep, the Vrinmini Organization recovers Pham Nuwen from, what the head of the Org (Grondir? Grondor? I don't know how to spell his name...) describes as a Slow Zone Dredge. Ravana, I ...
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Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought - Perversions

Does VV at any point, either in or out of the three Zones of Thought book, give any details as to the nature of "Perversions"? In the second book Fire Upon the Deep, the "Straumli Perversion" destroys ...
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Who wrote the Spider chapters in A Deepness in the Sky?

It's hinted that the spider chapters were written by human translators and this is the reason why everything sounds so "human". Was is Sherkaner writing through Trixia? How does that coincide with the ...
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Are the mass properties of bobbles well defined?

In Peace War and Marooned in Realtime, bobbles are spheres that are completely reflective of electromagnetic energy. Within them, time stops. From my recollection, it seems like the bobble still has ...
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How do the Zones work?

Does Mr. Vinge ever mention how the Zones work in his Zones of Thought series? I know that the book mentions that they may or may not have been created by a higher power, and that they are shrinking ...
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What happened to the Qeng Ho?

Does Mr. Vinge ever mention what happened to the Qeng Ho during the events of A Fire Upon the Deep?
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A Fire Upon the Deep: how come the refugee ship goes so fast to the Tines' world?

It takes Ravna and friends months on a damaged, but modified bottom lugger (the OOB2) to reach the Tines' world. Yes there is a Zone storm happening, but it seems that it took the Orlsnot refugee ship ...
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New Zones of Thought book?

I keep seeing a cover for a Vernor Vinge book called Zones of Thought. Is this an actual book or is this a planned book or neither?
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Does the book “A Fire Upon the Deep” ever give an exact date?

In A Fire Upon the Deep, does anybody ever mention the date or at least the year that the book is set in?
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What happened to the Sjandra Kei Commercial Security Fleet?

What happened to the Sjandra Kei Commercial Security Fleet after its encounter with the Blight? Does the book ever specify how many Sjandra Kei ships survived?
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Viola and voila in Rainbows End

In Vinge's Rainbows End, the word 'Viola' is used three times where 'Voila' seems to be the word that was meant. In every instance, Rabbit is the one that makes the mistake, but since no other ...
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In “A Fire upon the Deep”, why does Old One's godshatter bother slowing the Blighter fleet?

It wasn't going to affect countermeasure anyway, which was Old One's concern. It seems unlikely to me that he would just do it so that our heroes and Tine's World would have a few decades to develop ...
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In “A Deepness in the Sky”, what were the “authoritarian turns of speech” in Tomas Nau's dinner speech?

Of the speech by Tomas Nau, Trixia Bonsol (postdoc linguist) says: "[...] I heard a dozen authoritarian turns of speech--and they didn't seem to be fossil usages. The Emergents are accustomed to ...
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Who controls Dangerous Knowledge?

In Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End, Mr. Rabbit takes control of the Greater Scooch-a-mout during the conflict between the Hacek and Scoochi belief circles. However, it appears that he's evenly matched by ...
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Who is Mr. Rabbit?

Does Vernor Vinge ever expand upon the identity of Mr. Rabbit? In an interview from 2006, Mr. Vinge indicates that there's nothing in the book that directly identifies who or what Mr. Rabbit is, but ...
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What is “anguille borkner” in Vernor Vinge's zones of thought series?

I am currently reading "The Children of The Sky" and I come across this word. "Anguille borkner" seems like some kind of skill. It has been a long time since I read "A Fire Upon the Deep", I don't ...
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After the OOB flees from RIP and is being pursued by three fleets, how doesn't their communication with Jefri get intercepted?

So what bugs me is this: 1. there are hints that communication between Jefri and Ravna stops just as the OOB enters the slow zone. 2. the event of 1. happens several days after the OOB flees RIP ...
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How did the cavorite function in the OnOff system?

In A Deepness in the Sky, the Arachnids discover diamond nano-tech particles mixed in with shale formations from the ancient past of the planet. When sifted from the surrounding shale, the nano-tech ...
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How did Flenser gain control of Tyrathect?

In A Fire Upon the Deep, the pack known as Flenser When the radio cloaks are developed, Tyrathect wears the first prototype. She finds that the radio delay makes it difficult to communicate within ...
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What are Dirokimes?

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 ...
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What is the significance of “Hexapodia is the key insight”?

In Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep there is a rather odd communication relay message that contained the keyword phrase "Hexapodia as the key insight": Crypto: 0 As-Received-By: OOB ...
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In the Zones of Thought series, is Earth in the slow zone?

I think I remember something about the location of Earth in Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought series. I'm now reading The Children of the Sky and I can't find the reference in A Fire Upon the Deep. ...
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How far did the Blight fleet travel during The Children Of The Sky?

In Vernor Vinge's new novel The Children Of The Sky, humans are preparing for a confrontation with the Blight fleet some 30 lightyears away from the Tines' world. The book takes place over 10 years, ...