Across Realtime by Vernor Vinge

Across Realtime encompasses two stories: The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime. As you might guess from the titles, the latter is much cooler than the former. Having read Marooned in Realtime first as a separate paperback, I already knew most of the big technological reveals in The Peace War. In fact, after about 200 pages I just couldn’t finish the The Peace War; I didn’t care about the characters or the plot enough to make it through the climax and denouement.

However, Marooned in Realtime is certainly worth a read – both for the overview of the “bobble” technology, as well for an engaging story. Throw in a murder mystery and some allusions to big scifi ideas, and you’ve got a great novel. Still, I think Vinge shines brightest when he puts us in the Qeng Ho universe. Starting with the best, I’d sort his novels (the ones I’ve read, anyway) as follows:

  1. A Fire Upon the Deep
  2. A Deepness in the Sky
  3. Marooned in Realtime
  4. Rainbow’s End
  5. Tatja Grimm’s World
  6. The Peace War
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