A Deepness in the Sky

Vernor Vinge
A Deepness in the Sky Cover

A Deepness in the Sky


This book has many layers and many sides to it. It is a tale of two different human cultures fighting each other (one based on free trade as a means to create a vast trading "empire", the other based on authoritarism and a terrible form of slavery). Since in fighting each other they almost anihilate each other, they are forced to coexist for a very long time in a desolate asteroid, waiting for the right time to make First Contact with the aliens on the planet below. There are many twists and turns to this part of the story, which span a very long time (so much so that I grew a bit impatient with the patience with which they plotted against each other and waited for years before making the next move).

A completely different side of the story (which I enjoyed much better) is the evolution of the alien culture (the "spiders") during the same time. This is the portion of the book which really captivated me. The "spider" world and culture were very compelling and the characters had a lot of depth.

It is difficult to comment more of it without spoilers, but I will just say that the twist in the end caught me by surprised and left me grinning and thinking: "of course!"

I certainly recommend this book, although it may be a bit slow at times.