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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

A Fire upon the Deep

Categories: [ Books ]

ISBN: 9780812515282

© Amazon.fr

The area far above the galactic plane is called the Beyond, and the farther the distance from the plane, the smarter the computers can be, allowing much-faster-than-light travel and the existance of a galactic communication network called the Net, where users exchange e-mails and newsgroup messages. Sentient artificial intelligences, called Powers, also exist throug the Net. From time to time, users find recipes on the Net that allow to create new AIs, sometime creating a monster that disrupt the Net and cause the disappearance of thousand of civilizations that were relying on the Net for every aspect of their lives. Such a Power, named the Blight, has been created, and its antidode is in a small ship, crashed in the Slow Zonw, on a world so near the galactic plane that advanced software does not work. Only two children survived the crash, a boy Jefri and his sister Johanna, who have been separately abducted by two ennemy factions of a people called the Tines. The Tines are creatures living in packs of four to six doggish-looking individuals, being intelligent only when gathered in such packs. Johanna, taken by Woodcarver's faction, travels North, while Jefri stays near the ship with the Flenserists. The boy manages to send a help message over the Net, which is received by Ravna, a human working at Relay, one of the cores of the Net. With the help of another human, Pham, artificially put together by Old One, a Power, she understand that the antidote to the Blight is on the Tines' planet and together they hire a freighter's crew (two Skroderiders, plant-like beings who have been placed on mechanized chariots by an unknown Power billions of years ago, allowing them to spred through the galaxy) to go and rescue Jefri. After discovering that Skroderiders have been made by the first instance of the Blight, billions of years ago, and can be instantly turned into ennemies, the two humans, wary of their travel companions but still needing them to continue their journey, are chased by three fleets: one controlled by the Blight, one by creatures who claim and the Blight is the making of the Humans and take the opportunity to wipe out most Human worlds in the Galaxy and one of what is left of the Humans. Meanwhile on the Tine's world, both factions build cannons, Woodcarver's with the help of Johanna's Dataset, and the Flenserists with Ravna's help over the Net. Ravna and her companions land in the middle of a battle, not knowing which side to take. They eventually take side with Woodcarver and end the war. Pham, guided by what's left in him of the Old One, uses the mould-looking antidote. This causes the Slow Zone the expand well to the top of the Beyond, Slowing the Blight's fleet so much it will not reach the planet before thousand of years.

[ Posted on February 12th, 2013 at 23:45 | no comment | ]