Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tatja Grimm's World” as Want to Read:
Tatja Grimm's World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tatja Grimm's World

(Tatja Grimm #1,2,3)

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  808 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Multiple Hugo Award winner Vernor Vinge's first full-length novel

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 she lived on.

She finds the bastion of all cu
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 24th 2006 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 1969)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tatja Grimm's World, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tatja Grimm's World

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  808 ratings  ·  43 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Tatja Grimm's World
Althea Ann
An interesting idea, unfortunately its potential is not fully realized by this book.
A young woman comes out of the barbarian wastes. At first she is assumed to be mentally deficient - but it soon becomes clear that she is several orders of magnitude more intelligent than anyone around her - and ruthless enough to use that intelligence to her own ends.
The material here was originally published as several separate stories featuring the character of Tatja Grimm. Unfortunately, they don't really com
Jared Millet
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
If nothing else, this book should serve as a primer in world-building for up-and-coming SF writers. Aside from that, it fits nicely into the post-New Wave, pre-Star Wars era of science fiction, which might be what takes some readers aback if they come here looking for another Fire Upon the Deep. It lacks the epic scope of the books that made Vinge famous, but it makes up for it in sheer pulpy goodness.

"Pulpy" is doubly apt, since the planet Tu on which the book takes place is a metal-poor world
Leif Anderson
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
After reading Deepness in the Sky and Fire Upon the Deep, I had some very high expectations for this book. It was good, but it would take an incredible book to live up to the standard set by Deepness in the Sky. This was a small, well though out story, that was very nicely contained and had just the right blend of characters and ideas. By "characters and ideas" I mean the literary part of the story - the character development and the actual story itself, the prose, and all that hifalutin kind of ...more
Aug 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Even on a bad day, Vinge's writing and worldbuilding and creativity is far and away superior to other sci-fi authors, including two recent books I've read (*cough* Ben Bova and Kevin Anderson *cough*). So I don't want to pick on this book too much because I think that even a bad story by Vinge is worth reading, and this is not a bad story by any means. My first criticism was going to be that the storytelling feels choppy, then I find out it was written as three separate novellas, only recently p ...more
R. Andrew Lamonica
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've had a copy of this for years. But, was always scared-off by the reviews. However, it is actually better than you would think. There are just a couple things I would change.

First, the plot summary gives away important information from the first "book" (first third of the novel). That third is the best of the three parts, in my opinion, and shouldn't have been spoiled.

Second, so much of the filler-text mentions a cosmological feature of the setting that that feature should play a part in th
Apr 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
An interesting book that explores the nature versus nurture issue. A pubescent girl appears at a publishers barge and is 'trained' to play a part in what could be described as a marketing ploy. She is a quick learner and soon has control of the barge to further her own purposes while enriching the company.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good story.

This book has a very well developed world. Seems like a shame that it's a one shot. The story is a sort of who dunnit. My favorite bit is a scene where the girl takes off fake boobs and the guy immediately is able to think clearly and falls out of love with her.
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
A cool story about a Nietzschean ubermensch (uberdame?). It didn't fully deliver on everything, but I enjoyed reading it.
Dev Null
Oct 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Vinge has yet to disappoint. Somewhere between the "really good" of his time-travel stuff, and the "mind-blowingly fantastic" of Fire Upon the Deep and Deepness in the Sky.
Rob Markley
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
It feels like Vinge learning to write. This is a good early book with the Vinge mark evident but certainly not up the the fantastic later novels
Frederick Gault
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Excellent world building. Quick and fun.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
This is a very different style of novel compared to Vernor Vinge's more well-known books (A Fire Upon the Deep, Rainbow's End, or Across Realtime). Rather than a near-future or far-future technopia, this is almost a low fantasy novel. The ideas are interesting and the world is inventive,
but it only gets two stars due to its failings as a story.

The "protagonist," Svir, doesn't show up until 20% of the way into the book, and is only a minor character for much of the story. The plot is driven by t
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: scribd, 2018
I didn't really enjoy this book. The world-building was kinda interesting, but the whole this-is-an- alien-from-another-world-who-is-much-more-intelligent thing kinda fell flat for me.

There are several stories that are tied together by the characters and the setting, but otherwise they don't really have much to do with each other.

I normally like Vernon Vinge. This one just didn't work for me.
I love Vinge's work in A Deepness upon the Sky and A Fire upon the Deep. Tata Grimm, however, lacks the adventure and endearing characters. No one lives up to Pham Nuwen or the Skrode Riders here. All the same, Vinge's technique in Tatja of withholding key information does make this a real page turner!
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Slightly all over the place. Can't decide if it is space opera or pulp SF. Some of the ideas are good, but not expressed too clearly, and the characterisation is inconsistent, perhaps because it seems it may have been originally written as several linked short stories.
Feb 24, 2017 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Vinge often plays with the theme of an intelligence that transcends the human, and this book is no exception. Tatja Grimm is born into a primitive culture in the interior and leaves it as a little girl to find someone worth talking to. This isn't so much a novel as three closely connected stories about her that were written and published independently collected together: "The Barbarian Princess," "The Imposter Queen" (first published as "Grimm's Story") and "The Feral Child" (originally "Grimm's ...more
Feb 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I enjoyed this book quite a lot! It was great to read of a pretty fully realized fantasy-type world in a sci-fi setting. The author did an excellent job of creating his own cultural specifics and of relating the somewhat unique geographical world to both the local culture and the book's events. All packed into less than 200 pages too! The main characters at times appeared to have a lot of depth and complex motivations, but then at other times (often enough in the gaps between chapters) sudden de ...more
Mark R.
Jun 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book caught my interest at the beginning, with its talk of a world travelled largely by boat, in which a magazine publisher sails to various islands and countries, dropping off issues of magazines--the only way magazines are distributed in this land. A regular-type of guy gets ropedby a beautiful woman into a scheme that will supposedly save the imminent destruction of the last remaining complete collection of the world's longest-run literature magazine. Intriguing enough.

But it all goes te
May 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
Does not stand up to Vinge's later works. This is a globbing together of 3 novellas published in the 80s. It never really develops into anything interesting, the titular character, in fact all of the characters really, are two-dimensional and bland. The science is minimal, and while some of the concepts are interesting (floating publishing barge as primary means of cultural communication, limited metal massively slowing scientific development), nothing really goes anywhere or is delved into at m ...more
stephan wintner
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Not many people
I did not really enjoy this one. I really liked A deepness in the Sky, and a Fire Upon the Deep was also very good I thought.

But this one was not on the same level. I mean, I did not hate it - but it lacks the interesting, engaging characters, and also lacks the fantastically interesting aliens and world-building of those two novels.

It did however maintain the pre-occupation with the superman, which Vinge seems to share with Heinlein - Vinge´s being super-smart, and Heinlein´s being super-comp
Jan 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: readers of sci-fi
I had this book on the shelf for a year or two, always meaning to get to it. The name and cover art were intriguing, and I've very much enjoyed other books by Vernor Vinge. This is not his best work, but it is his first full length novel, so I was interested to see how I liked it. The characters and world/culture he created were pretty interesting. It reads more like 3 separate but linked novellas rather than one novel. Tatja is certainly an interesting character, but I rather liked the story li ...more
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Don't be confused by some publication dates: This trio of novellas has its roots back in 1968. Let that also be a warning to readers expecting something as polished as his later works.

In these stories we can see Vinge's fascination with devolved societies, the power of communication, and scientific advancements. The meta-joke of this collection is that while pulp publications are a conduit for scientific studies as well as fiction in the stories, the stories themselves are also in the style of p
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A somewhat disappointing and quick and short novel, written – I believe – earlier than Vinge's other books. This story explored ET living on earth and envisioned some fantastic "worlds" on the planet.

What I disliked was the book seemed like an exploratory exercise, with Vinge playing with ideas that would continue to develop for future books. On the one hand, it can be interesting to be able to see an author's though process as it develops, but I've enjoyed Vinge's books for completed ideas that
Tam G
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was okay. Obviously a group of short stories created separately around a central character. I don't think they were designed together, so you never get a sense of wholeness.

Vinge was fascinated with how civilization is lost, and how it's gained (something he repeats again in a later series). Creative world-building. I enjoyed his chuckle at the Conan the Barbarian trope, but as the stories went on I found the political machinations and the emotional disconnect of the main character less fun.
Sep 20, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Transhumanists in general
Shelves: sci-fi
Read part of this in a "Years Best..." anthology so I thought the whole book would be worth reading. It was.

I thought the story resolved nicely and moved at a good pace.

On the over all I thought it was a good story for the author to demonstrate singularity concepts from multiple angles within a single context.
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
Vernor Vinge is great! But don't bother with this book, which is actually a collection of three stories in which a major character is a super-genius girl named Tatja Grimm, stuck on a backward-ass, low-metal planet on the verge of a renaissance (or maybe just a naissance). Mostly boring. Read _A Deepness in the Sky_ instead.
Jul 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: sci-fi lovers
A fairly good science fiction book, better in its beginning than its end. A straight adventure story with a few ethical twists. It is nowhere near as good as some of Vinge's earlier books.

It would make a good beach read.
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is more a collection of a few short stories, without much of a thread to connect them, then a proper novel. Largely forgettable, especially for Vinge, who generally creates much more memorable worlds than in this early effort.
Booth Babcock
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Vinge is best known for his great Zones of Thought space opera books, this is an oddball early novel. Set on a low tech alternate earth, predates the whole steampunk sci fi genra of the 90s and 00s. Breezes along but nothing much to it.
« previous 1 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Seeker (Alex Benedict #3)
  • 2312
  • Nightwings
  • Peace Talks (The Dresden Files, #16)
  • The Uplift War (The Uplift Saga, #3)
  • Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, #2)
  • Heaven's Reach (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #3)
  • Infinity's Shore (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #2)
  • Moving Mars (Queen of Angels, #3)
  • The Robots of Dawn (Robot, #3)
  • The Currents of Space (Galactic Empire #2)
  • Pebble in the Sky (Galactic Empire #3)
  • The Stars, Like Dust (Galactic Empire, #1)
  • The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir
  • The Naked Sun (Robot, #2)
  • Randomize
  • Prelude to Foundation
  • The Anubis Gates
See similar books…
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 hi ...more

Other books in the series

Tatja Grimm (2 books)
  • Grimm's World

Related Articles

From independent presses, to tales in translation, to critical darlings and new debut novels, these books (all published in the U.S. this year)...
31 likes · 3 comments