This collection is a bonanza for hard SF fans, particularly those who prize challenging extrapolation.
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View Full Version of PW. More By and About This Author. Buy this book. Zeebra Books. Show other formats. Discover what to read next. Norman is able to access all data known to the USG, including fictional stories.
The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge
Believing he will be severely punished if caught, he uses his information access advantageously to evade government forces and escape from the lab in which he was held. Norman remains remotely connected to the government computers, and due to their own security systems, he cannot be disconnected.
With the aid of stories that are linked to his mind, he formulates a plot to flee to Canada with the assistance of nearby Soviet agents. The Soviets are captured, however; Norman runs away, but strays too far for the data link with the computer to be maintained and reverts to an ordinary animal. The Americans resolve not to try this experiment on a human, fearing that a human being augmented like Norman could conquer the world.
The captured Russians have their memories read and erased, however, revealing that the USSR already enhanced a dog with similar results and is planning to next enhance one of its leaders. The American officials fear that they must now do so to keep up with the Soviets. Originally published in Worlds of If Science Fiction , The evidence points to Howard Prentice, a something renaissance man doing computer science research for the company. Prentice reveals that he has used the computers to create a 4-hour computer-generated film adaptation of J.
Tolkien 's The Lord of the Rings. This file is the culmination of a year project by Prentice and his wife Moira to turn film into an art form which can be produced by individual artists.
- The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge.
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Written in collaboration with Joan D. Describes the arrival of a peddler, Jagit Katchetooriantz, who travels into the future to sell his wares. The peddler travels into the future by placing himself in a stasis field and emerging from time to time. The peddler sells items from the previous civilization to the current civilization, hence he is dependent upon a changing civilization to create demand for his goods.
During this visit the peddler encounters a planetary government which is dedicated to preventing any changing in civilization by maintaining the majority of humanity at subsistence level. This government captures Jagit and attempts to interrogate him using their global computer network. However, the people who run this government and the computer network have survived from Jagit's last visit and he knows the passwords and codes to control it.
Jagit uses this power to destroy the network and the government freeing humanity from its authority.
He returns to his stasis field at the end of the story to continue his travel into the future. Originally published in Far Frontiers , Baen Books , Set in a future market anarchist American society, composed solely of independent individuals and private organizations. There is at least one remaining nation-state, the Republic of New Mexico, which has territorial ambitions on Kansas. This invasion is repelled by the cooperation of the MSP and other private individuals defending their personal interests. The ship is launched as a "long shot" to preserve the human race because the Earth is going to be destroyed by a rapidly expanding sun.
Ilse, the AI, carries human zygotes on a ten thousand year trip to search for a suitable planet around Alpha Centauri.
Despite deteriorating hardware which causes her to "forget" the entire purpose of the mission, she is able to make inferences and use her remaining functional components to complete the mission. Vinge states his interest in writing a sequel depicting the lives of the humans born on this world.
Originally published in New Worlds SF , Set in a world where the Northern Hemisphere has been devastated by nuclear war, and nations in the Southern Hemisphere are now dominant. A scientific fleet from the Southern American Empire is investigating Antarctica and discovers an isolated tribe of humans.
The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge
It is eventually determined that the tribe is descended from the only group of Afrikaners to escape from South Africa after a genocide of all white Africans after the northern hemisphere's nuclear war. This was Vinge's first story accepted for publication.
Set in the same world as "Apartness" but farther in the future where an alien civilization, the Mikin, have made contact with Earth. The Mikin culture is a newly star-faring, profit driven, anarchy. The Mikin's technology is significantly advanced beyond humanity's and their culture is unbelievably diverse due to an ingrained acceptance of differences.
Originally published in Stellar One , Ballantine Books , The story opens with a description of an attack on the unidentified losing side of a nuclear exchange. Ballistic missiles rain down on military installations, while smuggled bombs destroy cities. Over the next centuries the winning side of this conflict forms an oppressive solar system wide empire. The rest of the story is set in space on the occasion of the imperial heir's 18th birthday celebration, at which the emperor and most of the aristocracy is present. The captain is instructed to divert towards the object, and soon realizes that the object is a nuclear weapon from the original war.
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He decides not to change his course or inform others of this, believing that his death in the collision will be worth the elimination of the empire's elite to free the solar system from its tyranny. During a battle in which one colonizing species is about to use a mass-energy converter to destroy the main planet of a solar system they wish to conquer, an unknown craft appears intent upon doing the same to the system's star.
This unknown craft belongs to a species which has "supervised its own evolution for more than , years" and the conversion of the star would destroy the entire galaxy. The unknown craft is crewed by only two beings, and before they can destroy the star their mother appears behind them demanding to know what they are doing. At the mother's appearance it revealed that this species are the far-future descendants of humanity.
Originally published in Orbit 9 , G. Putnam's Sons , In a feudal society, scientific research is guarded at all times by the House which funded it, except during the "Science Fair". The Fair is an event held once a generation where scientific research is made public. One of the scientists reveals that he has discovered a star which is coming nearer to their world. He advocates that all scientific research must be made public and non-proprietary if the planet is to be able to cope with the nearest approach of this star.
This story follows the agent who is hired to keep the scientist from being assassinated before he makes his presentation of his findings. Sandra goes to stay with her grandmother and discovers that she possesses an artifact, the Gemstone, that was found by her grandfather in Antarctica. The object is a skull-sized rock, that emits feelings of cold and desolation, which are assumed to be memories of Antarctica, and can convert plastic into diamonds.
These diamonds have supported Sandra's grandmother since her grandfather's death, but they also prompt some young men to break into her house and attempt to extort the cache of rough diamonds they assume she must have.
The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge by Vernor Vinge
During the break-in the house catches fire and the Gemstone is exposed to the fire. The heat causes the Gemstone, which turns out to be a creature, to become mobile, active, and happy while it is in the fire. As the fire burns out it returns to its dormant cold state. Written with William Rupp. Chente is an agent of the Canadian Hegemony, a society which has advanced far beyond current understanding passing what Vinge refers to as the technological singularity.
He is duplicated 19 light-years from Earth on the colony New Canada which is at current levels of technology.
The planet is about to undergo a core collapse which will likely destroy the entire colony. The first time, he fails to report back and is assumed to have been killed. The story begins with his second duplication.
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