Sci-Fi Group Book Club discussion

A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2)
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Archived Group Reads > A Deepness in the Sky

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message 1: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new)

Greg | 812 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread for the first book of the month, or group read, for February. Please remember to use the spoiler tags where necessary. The other group read topic for this month (A Fire Upon the Deep) can be found here.

PSXtreme I'll be starting this up next week...probably on Wed. I should have my current read done by then. Should have it finished by next Sun.

PSXtreme Well, I'm about 59% done with the book and I'm not having a very good time with it.

(view spoiler)

message 4: by Damon, ZARDOZ (new)

Damon (drasmodeus) | 171 comments Mod
Just started

PSXtreme Personally, I think this book should have been broken down into two separate volumes: The Spider People and the Human viewpoints. I think it would have helped to keep the momentum moving forward without all the constant starting and stopping, along with editorially streamlining it to quit jumping into massive story in their own right flashbacks. Really, Vinge is all over the place. First he's in the current timespan, then he jumps back 1000 years, then we're 12 years in the future to the previous present, then we're being introduced to a new character who brings along his own flashback baggage and now we're 500 years in the past getting backstory to explain who this person is...then we're changing to the Spider aspect....AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

message 6: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new)

Greg | 812 comments Mod
Hmm. Sounds like Vinge needed a better editor!

message 7: by Dan (last edited Feb 17, 2017 08:06PM) (new)

Dan A Deepness in the Sky is a 1999 Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel and the winner of the 2000 Hugo Award for Best Novel. It has a 4.31 rating among over 20,000 readers in contrast to say Dune by Frank Herbert, which has a 4.18 rating.

I don't have a copy of A Deepness in the Sky at present and so can't read it right now, but I have read other works by Vinge and been very much impressed. Are you guys sure there is something wrong with the work and just not something you are missing?

message 8: by PSXtreme (last edited Feb 18, 2017 04:30AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

PSXtreme This was my introduction to Vinge. I'm the one who nominated it for a read-of-the-month. I wanted to like the book and went in with a positive hopefulness that it would be up there with the Dune and Foundation series. I enjoyed the story, just didn't like the presentation and feel that it detracted heavily from the overall presentation.

The Best way I can think of giving it a hard example would be to re-write Asimov's Foundation (#3 Chrono) and then interweave Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation as flashbacks to give you the the background of the empire. It's distracting from the work and gives one too much to digest at the same time.

Let me also add in this. I didn't enjoy Stephen King's It nearly as much as I did The Stand mostly because of the back and forth style of the presentation between the past and the present, even though it really was the best way to tell that particular story. The overall difference between their ratings was only 1 star and it was specifically because of the presentation. I'm not saying that I loved one and abhorred the other...just that one didn't trip my trigger as well as the other.

But this is just my's not yet the time when disagreeing with me will get you thrown in prison or your head chopped off...

But that day is coming soon so ya'll might want to start practicing now... ;)

message 9: by Dan (new)

Dan Thanks for the fuller explanation of your reasons for not much caring for the book. I'm not a big fan of long flashbacks either.

message 10: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new)

Greg | 812 comments Mod
Nice to see a little bit of debate going on here. :)

message 11: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel | 83 comments Late to the party, I know, but I just started reading this. About 16% in and, predictably, loving it. I don't mind back and forth presentations. Depends on the book.
I didn't enjoy IT. as much as the Stand either but that's mainly because of the ending. I have issues with the Stand as well which is 75% great writing and 25%... that does not make sense.

message 12: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new)

Greg | 812 comments Mod
Mel wrote: "Late to the party, I know, but I just started reading this. About 16% in and, predictably, loving it. I don't mind back and forth presentations. Depends on the book.
I didn't enjoy IT. as much as ..."

Nothing wrong with being late, Mel, as these group read topics remain open after the month has passed. :)

message 13: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel | 83 comments Finally finished! Loved it. The ending is a bit schmaltzy but I enjoyed getting there.

message 14: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new)

Greg | 812 comments Mod
Mel wrote: "Finally finished! Loved it. The ending is a bit schmaltzy but I enjoyed getting there."

Glad you enjoyed it, Mel!

message 15: by Ryan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ryan Dash (ryandash) | 17 comments I really enjoyed this book - one of the best I've read this year. I finished some time ago, but it took me some time to collect my thoughts. Here are some questions I had.

I remember almost none of the first book in the series. As a result, the prologue, with "the Man" i.e. Ducanh i.e. Pham Nuwen doesn't make sense to me. How did he end up there, what was he doing there? Did Sammy's visit suddenly rekindle his ambition? Can anyone provide the context from the first book necessary to appreciate this?

The first few mentions of Brisgo Gap don't seem to make sense. They reference "ejets": why?

In Chapter 42, Pham thinks to himself about Ezr: "You're part of the reason I have to kill Anne Reynolt, you little jerk." Why?

In Chapter 43, why did Pham blow the localizers when he and Ezr were talking about Focus? I realize he was angry and emotional, but this act seemed impetuous and pointless, which is not in character.

In Chapter 55, why did Victory and co. show up to the command center and take control? Was it just to ensure they stayed online so Trixia and co. could control it? If so, what were Trixia and co. hoping to do with that command center?

Chapter 66 (the last one): When Trixia and Victory were talking, Victory said: "But it got harder and harder to disguise the counterlurk. Videomancy was a great cover, it let us have independent hardware and a covert data stream right under the humans' snouts." What was the purpose of this counterlurk, and was Trixia involved with it?

Epilogue: Pham plans to go to the galactic core, seemingly on the off-chance that he may find a "supercivilization". Does this strike anyone else as implausible, too much of a shot in the dark?

The characters speculate that Sherkaner went underground or something, "he intends to outlast all the mysteries"..."beginning on the greatest Lurk of all." What's all this about?

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