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Dear Vernor Vinge (A Fire Upon the Deep)

Dear Vernor,

This year I’m reading several Hugo and Nebula winners, among others, as I build a baseline of the trajectory of science fiction and fantasy through the 1900s and early 2000s.

I highly enjoyed the trip through the the Beyond, the Slow Zone, and the Unthinking Depths as time ticked down to the blight’s arrival.

To my eyes, and in the system of Shawn Coyne’s The Story Grid’, you’ve written a science fiction action/western in a dramatic style. With varying characters/factions with external objects of desire ranging from uncovering mystery to survival, and internal objects of desire ranging from belonging to political redemption, this novel offers up and delivers on many promises across its multiple-POV approach.

I was particularly intrigued by the the multiple consciousnesses (or part-based consciousness) of the lupine alien race. I liked the approach to constituting (or reconstituting) their packs or groups of 2 or more. Their sound-based thinking was pretty cool, too.

You managed to give epic scale through the lens of intimate characters with wants and needs. The epistolary net-based communication pings provided useful worldbuilding and were kept from being tedious through the subtle humor embedded (“This communication is quite expensive” and similar).

The larger idea of races rising from humble beginnings to prominence and transcendance was also handled well and well imagined.

All in all, I’m excited to read more of your work.

Best -Erik

Posted on 9/1/2017

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