Those of you reading this group have read a lot of talk about Vernor

Vinge’s novel “A Fire Upon the Deep” which is nominated for the Hugo and

the Nebula Award.

This novel advances much of it’s super-plot via a Galactic USENET which is

a parody of our own. It also centers around AI, as many of Vinge’s

ground-breaking stories have.

We’re pleased to publish this novel in electronic form, along with all

the other Hugo nominees in one anthology. (See my other posting or

ftp.clarinet.com:sf/info for more details.)

However, when Vernor Vinge wrote this book, he (like a true programmer)

filled the manuscript with comments, doing his author’s notes right in

the text of the manuscript.

We’ve converted that manuscript to a hypertext form. There are 70,000

words of notes that annotate the book’s development at every step. On

most of the paragraphs, there are links which take you to the author’s

and proofer’s notes on the book. Some of it is quite mundane, but there’s

also tons of interesting material for those interesting in this book or

the development of books in general.

Right now the hypertext version is available in two forms. Under MS windows,

you can run it from our CD-ROM, using MS multimedia viewer. In this case,

symbols appear in the margins which you can click on. They open a notes

window (or move in it) to show you the notes for the paragraphs. Special

symbols indicate the type of note.

Another version exists as an RTF file with footnotes. In MS-Word and some

other word processors that can use footnotes, you can open the footnotes

window, and as you scroll through the book, the footnotes scroll through

the footnotes window.

I also plan, in a few weeks, to make an HTML version, for use with WWW

browsers such as XMosaic. Unfortunately, XMosaic does not support popups

or dual windows yet, so if you jump to the notes, you lose the text while

looking at the notes. I’m working on some designs to help with this.

We can also offer the novel in an ASCII format with embedded notes, but

this is not really suitable for first-time readers of the novel, as they

are too distracting.

Those of you fascinated with this book will definitely enjoy this. Please

read the other posting or get our info file for details on how to buy and

FTP it or get the CD-ROM.



Brad Templeton, ClariNet Communications Corp. — Sunnyvale, CA 408/296-0366

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5 تعليقات

  1. I had bought the hardcover when it first came out, but always wanted the CDROM version when I had heard of it. It is a shame it hasn't made it online somewhere convenient.

    I believe it remains one of the seminal works in SF, and holds up pretty well today.

    At the time of publishing, Vinge was one of the very few people who had a good grasp of the limits of computation and molecular nanotechnology were. Up until that point in mainstream SF writing, highly advanced technology was more akin to magic, even in "hard" SF. Aside from FTL tech (necessary for a novel with galactic scope), and the Zones of Thought (an artifice to help tell stories centering on people), Vinge sticks close to what is physically possible.

    The prologue alone is packed with realistic details that was exceptional for its time.

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