Rainbows End

Rainbows End

Vinge, Vernor

Language: English

Publisher: Tor Science Fiction

Published: Jun 12, 2010

Words: 133637
Pages: 536

Description:

EDITORIAL REVIEW: 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. **Vernor Vinge**, author of such acclaimed novels as *True Names*, *The Peace War*, *Marooned in Realtime*, *A Fire Upon the Deep*, and *A Deepness in the Sky*, has won four Hugo Awards. A mathematician and computer scientist, he lives in San Diego, California. **Winner of the Hugo Award** 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, cured by modern medicine after years of a near-fatal decline. As he struggles to make his was in a much-changed world, where a new information age in which the virtual and the real are a seamless continuum has taken over the world, he unwittingly becomes part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to use technology as a tool for world domination. With one foot in the present, and the other one sliding into an uncertain future, Vinge offers a story of the potential joys and hazzards that accompany our rapidly changing relationship to technology and the world. This is science fiction at its very best, by a master storyteller at his peak. "In the near future, the European Center for Defense against Disease discovers a diabolical pseudomimivirus. Rather than set off a panic, secret agents of the EU, Japan, and India work clandestinely to uncover a conspiracy seemingly based in a San Diego lab. Former poet Robert Gu, a recovering Alzheimer's patient (one of the lucky few who took to all the treatments), returns to school just as agents Braun, Vaz, and Mitsuri put their wheels in motion. Immensely frustrated by simultaneously living with his son's family and completely reeducating himself, Gu becomes a perfect dupe for the hacker hired by the gang of spooks. Under cover of a library protest, Gu and some old friends get into the lab, trailed by one of Gu's adolescent classmates and his granddaughter. The conspiracy runs deep and has some terrifying implications on account of YGBM (you gotta believe me) technology, regardless of the conspirators' intentions. The near future is less alien here than in some of Vinge's other work, but no less fascinating and well constructed."—**Regina Schroeder, *Booklist*** "Set in San Diego, Calif., this hard SF novel from Hugo-winner Vinge offers dazzling computer technology . . . Circa 2025, people use high-tech contact lenses to interface with computers in their clothes. "Silent messaging" is so automatic that it feels like telepathy. Robert Gu, a talented Chinese-American poet, has missed much of this revolution due to Alzheimer's, but now the wonders of modern medicine have rehabilitated his mind. Installed in remedial classes at the local high school, he tries to adjust to this brave new world, but soon finds himself enmeshed in a somewhat quixotic plot by elderly former University of California-San Diego faculty members to protest the destruction of the university library, now rendered superfluous by the ubiquitous online databanks. Unbeknownst to Robert, he's also a pawn in a dark international conspiracy to perfect a deadly biological weapon."—***Publishers Weekly***