Singular Vernor Vinge Page
Created 9 March 1995. Last modified:
26 November 2005
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I consider Vernor Vinge to be one of the most visionary SF authors
living today (it could be claimed this directly makes him one of the
most visionary living authors, period, but I won't get into that.) His
vision of technology is quite different from most SF, and on the surface
seems quite fantastic, yet in fact feels the most realistic to me. His
books have placed him in the extropian literary pantheon.
Technology in much of SF is simply an effector of the vision of the
work. FTL, anti-gravity, artificial gravity, all working to build
interstellar empires regardless of the physical obstacles. Social
changes are often minimal. Vernor Vinge is at the other extreme; in looking at
the potential of realistic technology, particularly computers/AI or
cognitive science, he has come to the conclusion that we must run into a
Singularity beyond which meaningful
prediction (and fiction) is impossible. Idealized nanotechnology also
has potential for creating a singularity, although not as drastic as the
one causable by control over the nature of intelligence. Much of his
fiction is based on skirting around the Singularity and is quite
interesting thereby. It is also well written.
Vernor Vinge has an e-mail address, but I understand it is work-related and
thus naturally not meant for fan mail. He was indeed married to Joan D.
Vinge between 1972 and 1979. And in my experience he is extremely hard
to find in used bookstores -- marginally better than
-- and distressedly out of print. I'm trying to hoard him, myself.
address by Vinge at Accelerating Change 2005.
- The Witling
- Tatja Grimm's World: S
- Across Realtime (contains the next two, plus "The Ungoverned")
- The Peace War Bobbles, bobbles, more bobbles. :s
- Marooned in Realtime: SA
- A Fire Upon the Deep -- his attempt to
combine the Singularity with space opera. SA
- A Deepness in the Sky -- prequel to
Fire. Considered by many to be even better written. L
- Rainbow's End (forthcoming) -- same universe as "Fast Times at
Fairmont High" and "Synthetic Serendipity". Probably :s
- True Names... and Other Dangers
(short stories) -- now with link to online text.
- Threats... and Other Promises
- The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge
-- short story collection including the stories from the first two
collections, except for "True Names", plus a few others.
- True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier -- contains
his novella "True Names", and some essays; I haven't actually read it.
- The Cookie
Monster (just a first part)
- "A Dry Martini", in the ConJose restaurant guide, page 60.
- Rainbow's End, expected next may, in the world of "Fast Times at
Fairmont High" and "Synthetic Serendipity".
s: promise of the Singularity. S: Existence of the
Singularity fairly prominent in some way. A: anarchist. L: libertarian
(coined for Deepness; it's politicaly, but anarchist didn't seem to
His essay on
An argument by me against the incomprehensibility of the Singularity.
Anders Sandberg Singularity page
entry on the Singularity; fairly good.
Vernor Vinge is in the Internet
Top 100 SF books -- more than once!
Interview at sysopmind.
Mail me ideas!