RE: virus: Book Submissions

Vicki Rosenzweig (
Mon, 04 Mar 1996 11:10:00 -0800 (PST)

I liked the Vinge, but I suspect anyone reading them for
virus-related ideas will be disappointed. In particular, while
various of the characters in Marooned in Real Time
speculate about the nature and causes of the
singularity, they don't know. This is hardly surprising:
Vinge is writing about a possible future event that,
by his own definitions, is not comprehensible by people
today. But it's a bit disappointing.

I also found the one Zindell book I read, The Broken God,
disappointing. Part of the problem there may be that it's
the first of a trilogy, and doesn't even pretend to come to
any conclusions. But I would not call the prose sparkling,
and too much (including what amounts to an accidental
genocide) is simply abandoned because it doesn't fit
Zindell's philosophical agenda (which, frankly, I was not
impressed by, to the extent that I could figure out what he
was talking about).

Vicki Rosenzweig
From: virus-owner
To: virus
Subject: virus: Book Submissions
Date: Sunday, March 03, 1996 4:27PM


Anything by Vernor Vinge, specifically:

o Marooned in Realtime
o A Fire Upon the Deep

These books explore the events near a technological Singularity. In
Marooned in Realtime, characters have been preserved past Earth's
Singularity by stasis devices called Bobbles. Under the guise of a
murder mystery, of sorts, Vinge explores the mystery of the Singluraity
after the fact.

A Fire Upon the Deep takes place in a quite fictitious far-future
galaxy, where pre-existing plot-devices called the Zones govern
(literally) what technology can function. In the Depths, neither FTL
nor sentient thought is possible. In the Slow Zone, organic sentience
is possible, but not FTL. In the Beyond, FTL and machine intelligences
are possible, and in the Transcend miracles are possible and
individuals, groups of individuals and/or machines can 'transcend' into
godhood-- but they can't exist anywhere but in the Transcend.

Fascinating books, both.

Anything by David Zindell, which currently includes:

o Neverness
o The Broken God
o The Wild

All of these are going to be difficult to find in the United States.
The last will be nigh-impossible to find in the States, as it has just
been published in the UK in hardback. Mine was delivered by a friend.

These books are far more philosophical, mystical and metaphysical than
Vinge's books, but are well worth reading nonetheless. The prose is
sparkling, and the apotheotic and philsophic ideas just keep coming.
They're all set in the same far-future millieu where it is possible, but
difficult for individuals to achieve godhood.

The first chronicles the life of Mallory Ringess. The second two are
the first two volumes of the trilogy A Requiem for Homo Sapiens, and
chronicle the life of Danlo Ringess.

Must reads.
John S. Novak, III
The Humblest Man on the Net