I read Dragonsdawn about 20 years ago, the story that recounts how the whole Pern universe became what it is. I was not particularly hooked then,Meh.
I read Dragonsdawn about 20 years ago, the story that recounts how the whole Pern universe became what it is. I was not particularly hooked then, and after reading Dragonsdawn I'm still not.
I know this is a sacred cow to some, but I found the storyline and the characters in these books just too bland. Which is too bad---this is a series of books that I genuinely wanted to like. The basic premise is very unusual and the society that's being described is very rich and complex, but I still think that what was described in this book should have been the subject of a chapter, not a complete (albeit short) book....more
You wanna write an epic, you got to do some homework.
I enjoyed this book, but by the end of it I had the feeling that it could have become a Lord of tYou wanna write an epic, you got to do some homework.
I enjoyed this book, but by the end of it I had the feeling that it could have become a Lord of the Rings for SF, but failed. There's obviously an enormous potential, the universe it describes is amazingly rich, but I really felt like the most basic elements of character development and background setting were missing.
This is a story presumably set in the very, very distant future, and this is always a risky proposition. Any story set that far into the future runs the risk of having devices, behaviors or ideologies that are resolutely contemporary. Basically, any such story that doesn't sound totally alien (think Dune) will run into problems of believability.
I mean, alien races using Usenet? Really?
The idea of segregating the galaxy into "Zones of Thought" was brilliant, though I still feel like so much more could have been made out of that idea. The so-called Blight, mainly because of the tremendous power it is shown to wield, is insufficiently dealt with to be really frightening. I mean, Sauron in LotR, who shares many characteristics with the Blight, is a far more effective character although never seen.
Full of interesting ideas, tremendous potential, but... meh....more
Far better than Fire Upon the Deep, but I still feel that something is missing from Vinge's books that would propel them to legendary status. And I thFar better than Fire Upon the Deep, but I still feel that something is missing from Vinge's books that would propel them to legendary status. And I think it might have to do with the off-handed, almost light, way that he deals with the fact that entire civilizations are born, evolve and die in his books, sometimes in the same sentence. But his characters seems to deal with this fact as one would deal with bad weather.
Awe, I think, is the missing ingredient in Vinge's books. Awe at spacefaring traders that are willing to abandon everything they know to travel at relativistic speeds. Awe at how easily entire cultures can forget their spacefaring origins and fall back to barbarism. And above all, awe at alien species whose modes of thought are supposed to be entirely different and unintelligible to us, but which are regularly depicted in unbearably anthropomorphic, not to say cute, terms....more