Besides the normal print book editions, the novel was also included on a CD-ROM sold by ClariNet Communications along with the other nominees for the 1993 Hugo awards. The CD-ROM edition included numerous annotations by Vinge on his thoughts and intentions about different parts of the book.
Nebula Award nominee, 1992; Hugo Award winner, 1993; Campbell and Locus SF Awards nominee, 1993.
After nearly twenty years, Vernor Vinge has produced an enthralling sequel to his memorable bestselling novel .
Ten years have passed on Tines World, where Ravna Bergnsdot and a number of human children ended up after a disaster that nearly obliterated humankind throughout the galaxy. Ravna and the pack animals for which the planet is named have survived a war, and Ravna has saved more than one hundred children who were in cold-sleep aboard the vessel that brought them.
While there is peace among the Tines, there are those among them—and among the humans—who seek power…and no matter the cost, these malcontents are determined to overturn the fledgling civilization that has taken root since the humans landed.
On a world of fascinating wonders and terrifying dangers, Vernor Vinge has created a powerful novel of adventure and discovery that will entrance the many readers of . Filled with the inventiveness, excitement, and human drama that have become hallmarks of his work, this new novel is sure to become another great milestone in Vinge’s already stellar career.
By the standards of the planet Giri the travellers from outer space were “witlings”. For a peculiarity of evolution on Giri had given to all its living things a special talent—one which made unnecessary most of the inventions of intelligent beings elsewhere. Roads, aircraft, engines, doors. These were the products of witlings, not of “normal” people.
As a mud-spattered youngster, Tatja quickly realized she was different from the Stone Age primitives with whom she grew up. Her insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge could not be quenched among them; she had to explore and learn more about the strange world on which she lived.
She finds the bastion of all culture, arts, entertainment, and history for the entire planet, the seven-hundred-year-old science fiction magazine which is produced entirely aboard a gargantuan floating vessel the size of a small city. But despite the printing presses, sail-powered vessels, and mind-expanding technology, Tatja is still displeased. Rising through the ranks, she finds that the people on the enormous barge are just as unintelligent as the primitives that raised her. But others have come to the planet who not only challenge her intelligence, but offer her a tantalizing opportunity to uncover answers to mysteries that have long plagued her.
But with opportunity comes risk. And if she acts unwisely, she could bring doom to the only world she knows.
Part I appeared in a slightly different form as copyright © 1986 by Vernor Vinge, in , September 1986.
Part II appeared in a different form as copyright © 1968 by Vernor Vinge, in Damon Knight’s anthology 4, published by Putnam and Berkley, 1968.
Parts II and III appeared in a different form as copyright © 1969 by Vernor Vinge, published by Berkley Books, 1969.