Rainbows End

Front Cover
Macmillan, Apr 3, 2007 - Fiction - 381 pages
29 Reviews
Four time Hugo Award winner Vernor Vinge has taken readers to the depths of space and into the far future in his bestselling novels A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. Now, he has written a science-fiction thriller set in a place and time as exciting and strange as any far-future world: San Diego, California, 2025.

Robert Gu is a recovering Alzheimer's patient. The world that he remembers was much as we know it today. Now, as he regains his faculties through a cure developed during the years of his near-fatal decline, he discovers that the world has changed and so has his place in it. He was a world-renowned poet. Now he is seventy-five years old, though by a medical miracle he looks much younger, and he's starting over, for the first time unsure of his poetic gifts. Living with his son's family, he has no choice but to learn how to cope with a new information age in which the virtual and the real are a seamless continuum, layers of reality built on digital views seen by a single person or millions, depending on your choice. But the consensus reality of the digital world is available only if, like his thirteen-year-old granddaughter Miri, you know how to wear your wireless access--through nodes designed into smart clothes--and to see the digital context--through smart contact lenses.

With knowledge comes risk. When Robert begins to re-train at Fairmont High, learning with other older people what is second nature to Miri and other teens at school, he unwittingly becomes part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to use technology as a tool for world domination.

In a world where every computer chip has Homeland Security built-in, this conspiracy is something that baffles even the most sophisticated security analysts, including Robert's son and daughter-in law, two top people in the U.S. military. And even Miri, in her attempts to protect her grandfather, may be entangled in the plot.

As Robert becomes more deeply involved in conspiracy, he is shocked to learn of a radical change planned for the UCSD Geisel Library; all the books there, and worldwide, would cease to physically exist. He and his fellow re-trainees feel compelled to join protests against the change. With forces around the world converging on San Diego, both the conspiracy and the protest climax in a spectacular moment as unique and satisfying as it is unexpected. This is science fiction at its very best, by a master storyteller at his peak.
  

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While the writing in this book is perfectly fine. - Goodreads
The plot is incredibly domestic. - Goodreads
And it has a page-turning plot. - Goodreads

Review: Rainbows End

User Review  - Erik - Goodreads

Essentially every review for this book says the same thing, so I'll state it plainly and simply: This is an "ideas" sci-fi book. The ideas are fascinating. The writing, dialogue, characterization, and ... Read full review

Review: Rainbows End

User Review  - Melody Hiatt - Goodreads

I was originally drawn to this novel because I am fascinated by the ideas that surround the relationship between humans and technology, and I was told that this novel is saturated with these ideas ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Dumb Luck And Smart Thinking
1
Mr Rabbit Visits Barcelona
7
The Return
19
A Minefield Made in Heaven
26
An Excellent Affiliance
40
Dr Xiangs SHE
55
So Much Technology So Little Talent
60
The Ezra Pound Incident
68
Failure Is an Option
215
The Officer of the Watch
220
When Belief Circles Collide
234
The Bicycle Attack
243
In the Cathedral
250
The Library Chooses
257
You Cant Ask Alice Anymore
272
HowtoSurviveTheNextThirtyMinutespdf
279

No UserServiceable Parts Within
75
Carrot Greens
89
An Excellent Thesis Topic
97
Introduction to the Librareome Project
105
Guardians of the Past Handmaidens of the Future
112
The Miri Gang is Born
130
The Mysterious Stranger
143
When Metaphors Are Real
161
The Front Bathroom Incident
185
Alfred Volunteers
201
The Myasthenic Spelunker Society
208
The Revocation Attack
290
The Animal Model?
302
Dr Xiang Takes Charge
308
When the Network Stops
319
Bob Contemplates Nuclear CarpetBombing
323
The Minimum Sufficient Response
327
Freedom on a Very Long Leash
339
The British Museum and the British Library
351
The Missing Apostrophe
361
EPILOGUE
373
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Vernor Vinge has won five Hugo Awards, including one for each of his last three novels, A Fire Upon the Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1999), and Rainbowís End (2006). Known for his rigorous hard-science approach to his science fiction, he became an iconic figure among cybernetic scientists with the publication in 1981 of his novella "True Names," which is considered a seminal, visionary work of Internet fiction. His many books also include Marooned in Realtime and The Peace War. † Born in Waukesha, Wisconsin and raised in Central Michigan, Vinge is the son of geographers. Fascinated by science and particularly computers from an early age, he has a Ph.D. in computer science, and taught mathematics and computer science at San Diego State University for thirty years. He has gained a great deal of attention both here and abroad for his theory of the coming machine intelligence Singularity. Sought widely as a speaker to both business and scientific groups, he lives in San Diego, California.

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