The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge

By Vernor Vinge

Rating: 4 stars

Vernor Vinge is probably best known for his theory of the Technological Singularity, which is a point at which Human evolution and development hits exponential change, e.g. due to the development of hard AI or machine/Human integration, and we can’t predict anything beyond it. This collection of Vinge’s stories runs right from his early work in the ’60s right up to the turn of the century and this theme of technological advancement up to Singularity is explored right the way through it. Another recurring theme was how social and economic structures could develop, with several stories using an ‘anarcho-capitalist’ framework which I found interesting, albeit somewhat alien (which was the point, I guess).

Being familiar with some of Vinge’s other work, it was interesting to see how some of the stories were later developed, e.g. The Blabber being set in the A Fire Upon the Deep universe and The Ungoverned threw some tantalising glimpses into the world of Across Realtime, although each of these is also perfectly standalone, without having to be familiar with Vinge’s novels. This is a good jumping off point into his work though, and if you went from here to the novels, there are several good links to choose.

Book details

ISBN: 9780285638211
Publisher: Souvenir Press
Year of publication: 2001

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