It has been six years since Vinge's last book ( Marooned in Realtime ), but the wait proves worthwhile in this stimulating tale filled with ideas, action and likable, believable characters, both alien and human. Vinge presents a galaxy divided into Zones--regions where different physical constraints allow very different technological and mental possibilities. Earth remains in the ``Slowness'' zone, where nothing can travel faster than light and minds are fairly limited. The action of the book is in the ``Beyond,'' where translight travel and other marvels exist, and humans are one of many intelligent species. One human colony has been experimenting with ancient technology in order to find a path to the ``Transcend,'' where intelligence and power are so great as to seem godlike. Instead they release the Blight, an evil power, from a billion-year captivity. As the Blight begins to spread, a few humans flee with a secret that might destroy it, but they are stranded in a primitive low-tech world barely in the Beyond. While the Blight destroys whole races and star systems, a team of two humans and two aliens races to rescue the others, pursued by the Blight's agents and other enemies. With uninterrupted pacing, suspense without contrivance, and deftly drawn aliens who can be pleasantly comical without becoming cute, Vinge offers heart-pounding, mind-expanding science fiction at its best. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1992 Release date: 04/01/1992 Genre: Fiction
Prebound-Other - 613 pages - 978-0-613-27825-6
Ebook - 624 pages - 978-1-4299-8198-9
Prebound-Other - 624 pages - 978-0-606-15981-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 624 pages - 978-0-8125-1528-2
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