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A Fire Upon the Deep

A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) is a novel written by Vernor Vinge. It combines superhuman intelligences, really alien aliens, spine-tingling space battles, love, loss, Usenet, and more into a galloping space opera.

Vinge has been deeply concerned about the technological Singularity which makes writing comprehensible and realistic high-tech SF novels nearly impossible. To sidestep the issue, he postulates that the galaxy is divided up into "zones of thought", where near the center of the galaxy, only simple machines and animal-like intelligences are possible; ranging out to the outer edges of the galaxy, where superhuman intelligences, nanotechnology, and FTL travel are possible.

A prequel to this book was subsequently written, A Deepness in the Sky, set twenty thousand years earlier in the "slow zone" near Earth.