The Peace War
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The Peace War (Across Realtime #1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  3,380 ratings  ·  103 reviews
The Peace War is quintessential hard-science adventure. The Peace Authority conquered the world with a weapon that never should have been a weapon--the "bobble," a spherical force-field impenetrable by any force known to mankind. Encasing governmental installations and military bases in bobbles, the Authority becomes virtually omnipotent. But they've never caught Paul Hoeh...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Tor Books (first published 1984)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Howard
Solid science fiction novel with both post-apocalyptic and dystopia themes. Vinge crafts a compelling, tyrannical "post-war" society based in California where self-appointed peace keepers use absolute power to repress development and use of weapons technology. Written during the cold war, the novel explores the logical conclusion of US imperial designs - a benign empire that uses power only for the good of humanity (e.g., spread of democracy, development of pre-capitlist economies, etc.). The U....more
Mark Pantoja
Where to begin. I love Vernor Vinge. Fire Upon The Deep, Deepness In The Sky, I'm not going to say they are masterpieces, but they deliver such great ideas that whatever problems the stories had mechanically (2 dimensional characters, wonky plots, horrible dialogue), just got buried under the scope and wonder. Not so much with The Peace War.

First, it's pretty laughable that his set up is that a bunch of administrators from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, what he calls the Lawrence Enclav...more
Andrew
Maybe 2 stars is too harsh for a Hugo Nominated Classic of Science-Fiction! but I'm getting sick of books of good ideas by authors that can't write a character to save their Hugo Nominated lives.

I'm coming off a string of "good books" including 'Ready Player One', Justin Cronin's 'Passage" and Hugh Howley's 'Wool' that each fall into the category of great idea, mediocre execution (in the case of 'Ready Player One' absolutely dreadful execution). None of these authors knows how to make one chara...more
Tudor Ciocarlie
I liked this even better than the Zones of Thought series. Strange, mind blowing post-apocalyptic world, great characters and a fascinating exploration of what it means to control time and technology.
Zach
I recently read the fantastic A Deepness in the Sky and the very good A Fire upon the Deep, both science fiction novels of breathtaking vision and imagination, and maybe that's to blame for The Peace War leaving me so underwhelmed. I was most definitely not sufficiently whelmed.

That isn't to say that The Peace War is a bad story or uninteresting in its ideas. Most people tend to focus on the central "bobble" force-field technology, which a conspiracy of bureaucrats used to usurp all world govern...more
Steven
The Peace War is a near-future science fiction novel that is first carried by ideas, then by the characters.

During the first half of the novel, a reader is initially puzzled by the flash-forwards and other action occurring in somewhat-familiar settings. The mystery is compelling enough to keep you going and find out what calamity has befallen our world to make it into something so unrecognizable. By the time you are a third of the way through, the characters take over. Paul, Wili, Mike, and Del...more
Michael
I used to read a lot of science fiction, then I got tired of reading bad science fiction and it soured me on the genre for a while. About five years ago, I picked up John Scalzi's Old Man's War, and that got me interested in the genre again. A friend recommended Alastair Reynolds' "Revelation Space" books, and I tore through those. That led me to Vernor Vinge's "Zones of Thought" books: A Fire Upon the Deep and its sequel A Deepness in the Sky, and I loved them.

Perhaps because Reynolds' writing...more
Brian
Sort of a parallel version of Joe Haldemen's "Forever Peace," "The Peace War" is another example of what happens when academics go to war. In this case, a rogue outfit of scientists discover a way to make war impossible, and arise like Praetorians and assume world control. This understandably angers a lot of people, and while most don't care, it's a lot of the former scientists who are out of a job, advanced energy and pharmacological research is banned, and they become tough enemies to keep. It...more
Laura Haferkamp
In The Peace War, Vinge paints a picture of a somewhat backwards future. Years before the story takes place, nuclear war nearly destroyed the planet. A breaking new invention, the "bobble," encased numerous nuclear weapons before they could explode, sealing them off from our reality with no evidence except the perfect metal sphere of the bobble itself. Now, a few centuries(?) later, the Peace Authority has effectively banned commoners from having technology even as commonplace as motor vehicles...more
Michelle
After rereading A Fire Upon the Deep and loving it, I decided to check out the rest of Vernor Vinge's catalog. Of course the DC library has only a small number of his novels, and this is the first I picked up.

I quite liked it. The idea of "bobblers," devices that put a field around a mass of space, which stops time inside them, is pretty cool. In the novel, the bobblers were used to stop a major war 50 years in the past, by "embobbling" all the nukes. Even though this book is now more than 20 ye...more
Althea Ann
While not Vinge's most impressive novel (I'll give ‘A Fire Upon the Deep' that designation), The Peace War is a very competent, effective post-apocalyptic/science fiction novel.
Some years ago, at the outbreak of international war, someone invented the ‘bobble' – spherical containment fields which could eliminate threats by creating an unbreakable barrier around a weapon, or battalion...
The war was terribly destructive anyway, and now a level of reduced technology is enforced by mob-style governm...more
Hugh Mannfield
A new technology allows a small group to take over the world by bottling up adversaries in spherical “bobbles.” Fifty years latter, the world is struggling to recover from the apocalypse under the rule of the “Peace Authority”. A young genius and an old mathematician strive to expose the “Peace Authority” for the tyrants they are and bring them down with their own tools.

For the most part, the characters in this book are realistic and believable, Willi is a bit of an anomaly and you just have to...more
Drew
I find reading books written during the cold war written about the future so interesting. I find how these authors perceive what war would be like in the future and what peace might be like. Sometimes, in the case of this book - Peace is a concept of War.

I must give credit back to Chronos from www.ultimatetimetravel.com for his review of this book from 2009... Read it here and then get the book - http://bit.ly/orbMaK
Alan Zendell
On the positive side, this slightly dated dystopian novel of the near future is suspenseful and for the most part, easy to read and compelling, once the reader accepts the hypothetical world in which it takes place. Of the two principal chartacters, the young prodigy, Wili is the more captivating. The older Paul is the old-style romantic genius scientist on a one-man quest to save the world from evil, and not incidentally, get even with someone he's hated for fifty years. As such, he's not as be...more
Andreas
An earlier book by Vernor Vinge. The characters are not very convincing, but I liked the idea of the so called "bobbles". Nice exploration of the social impact of such an invention.
Paul
It's been a while since I've read any fiction books, but this one sucked me right back into my love for hard sci-fi. The ideas and themes in the book are innovative and the story is very compelling. I usually only read books at the gym and this book alone has caused me to burn probably an extra 2000 calories by extending my workouts so that I could keep reading it!

Frankly, I'm amazed that I can find no buzz on the internet about this being made into a movie. It's paced like a movie, it's got act...more
Denis
This is the first Vinge book I've read. I have read that he is a talented writer and am looking forward to getting through some great stories by this author. I first heard of him when I saw this novel in the hands of a co-worker. I had just gotten bitten by the SF book bug and though I had immersed myself deeply in the Astounding Golden Age greats such as Heinlein, van Vogt, Asimov and such, I had never heard of Vinge. All I remember of the co-worker saying about this book was "Bobble". Now, ten...more
Angie
OUR SF book group book for this month.I THOUGHT I had read this but did not remember it at all. Good solid SF. In a serendipitous juxtaposition, I read this just after Naam's Nexus and noticed they both have the common SF theme of a future in which the authorities are dedicated to stopping scientific progress. As expected, our protagonists are dedicated to the free flow of knowledge, while recognizing that knowledge can be used for bad ends as well as good ones. Both books are worth reading!
Jonathan Palfrey
I've read almost everything by Vernor Vinge, but this book and its sequel remain my favourites. It's both an exciting story and a fascinating vision of the not-too-distant future; the characters aren't the main attraction, but they're varied and quite well drawn.

Science fiction usually dates quite fast, especially when written about the not-too-distant future. What impresses about this 1984 publication is that I don't notice it dating at all. The future technology still seems exciting, futuristi...more
Isk
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard
Apr 03, 2010 Richard rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: HardSF Group
The eighties was a great time for apocalyptic fiction. Reagan came to office in 1981 and was definitely a sabre-rattler. Scifi writers looked at his tough guy act and gazed into their crystal balls at the possible outcomes. Peace breaks out? Meh, not too interesting. But WW3 certainly had possibilities for drama, didn't it?

In The Peace War, Vinge looks at a variation on WW3. Instead of nuclear Armageddon, he has a defense contract discover a miracle technology that effectively gives them ultimat...more
Joe Martin

In 1997, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory developed a device that could generate a persistent, spherical force field of arbitrary size and project it almost anywhere. The resulting “bobble” will completely cut off whatever is inside the field from the rest of the world. These scientists quickly act to use the bobble to encase nuclear weapons, military bases, cities, and governments. They declare themselves the Peace Authority and enforce peace by threatening to bobble anyone

...more
Kristin
I had to check the publishing date on this book and saw it was 1984, which would explain the feeling of chronic fear from Authorities, the aftermath of another world wide war, and the fall of civilization. All speculative fiction surrounding the Cold War. However, I thought it read like a blend of the scifi from the 1950's and the early 1980's.

I also noted this was a Hugo Nominee in 1985, pitted against the likes of:

Neuromancer by William Gibson [Ace, 1984]
Emergence by David R. Palmer [Bantam,...more
Kip
I grabbed this off a quick Kindle search while traveling. I remember reading recently that Vinge's stuff is similar to Asimov's. I haven't read much Vinge, but that's high praise. And anything that goes up for a Hugo is probably gonna be worthwhile.

After seeing the publication date of 1984 I expected the book to be dated, the technology to be out of place, etc. But it was not. Vinge didn't go into specifics and his concepts traveled quite well to today's reader.

The story itself was compelling. A...more
Andreas
This novel is published both as a singleton and in the omnibus edition Across Realtime together with the sequel Marooned in Realtime.

The “Peace Authority” has stopped war by encasing warring factions in impenetrable force fields known as “bobbles” created by the “Bobbler”. Then all high technology was banned. Fifty years later, the inventor of the Bobbler leads a revolution.

Vinge skillfully describes the human condition in this very odd future world. While most humans are poor, the Peace Authori...more
Lawrence
I would have put this in my "dystopia" bookshelf, but the future tyranny of the Peace Authority is so upbeat. You know from the beginning (or from reading the jacket) that somehow the underdog will win in the end. The novel has an interesting juxtaposition of future tech and horse drawn wagons (seriously!), but somehow I don't believe civilization would have worked this way in semi-stasis for 50 years with such a huge gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Regardless, I'm torn in my review of t...more
Roger
Although I am a fan of Vernor Vinge, I did not expect to like this book. I loved his A Deepness in the Sky and A Fire Upon the Deep, but I did not like Rainbows End, and The Peace War, set on the earth in the not-too-distant future, appeared much closer to Rainbows End. I read it because I heard that the sequel, Marooned in Realtime, was excellent, but that it was recommended to read the Peace War first. I am glad I did.

The plot has been well summarized elsewhere. The things I liked about this...more
Neil
A friend loaned this to me to read back when it first came out; he thought I might like it. So on a whim I picked it up to reread it and see how it has fared over time. I can't say I really liked it but a 2-star is much to low, so my original rating stays the same.

The basic gist is that a group of government scientists discover a means to project a forcfield of sorts they call a 'bobble' around objects. Seen as a great defensive weapon at first [bobble an incoming nuke for protection], they soon...more
Bill Denney
The premise of "The Peace War" seemed to have a lot of potential -- the Peace Authority government entity, the bobble weapon, the Tinkers -- but Venor Vinge's delivery failed to live up to that potential.

Vinge effectively bobbled any character development. Paul should have been the most interesting, rounded, studied character in the story (considering he was integral to the bobble technology), but the reader is left with scant few details of his life, which surely must have been pretty amazing.

W...more
tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
I liked this but I realize more & more that I expect more from a novel than for it to have an interesting plot premise & an engaging & quick-moving narration, etc. Supposedly this bk got the 1st of 4 Hugo Awards for the author. Is the selection out there THAT weak?!

A plot outline of this is that a device called a Bobbler is invented wch encloses threats to peace - at wch point the people inside are hypothesized to die from suffocation. A "Peace Authority" becomes the new world gover...more
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Vernor Steffen Vinge is a retired San Diego State University Professor of Mathematics, computer scientist, and science fiction author. He is best known for his Hugo Award-winning novels A Fire Upon The Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1999) and Rainbows End (2006), his Hugo Award-winning novellas Fast Times at Fairmont High (2002) and The Cookie Monster (2004), as well as for his 1993 essay...more
More about Vernor Vinge...
A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought, #1) A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2) Rainbows End Marooned in Realtime (Across Realtime, #2) The Children of the Sky  (Zones of Thought #3)

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“Though his invention worked superbly [...] his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end.” 1 likes
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