Author August: Vernor Vinge (and Joan Vinge)

Here’s an embarrassing start for me on the science fiction Author August challenge: Today’s author is Vernor Vinge and I’ve never read anything by him.


I’ve looked at several of his books, but nothing ever really called out to me. So somebody needs to make me a recommendation. What Vernor Vinge book do I need to read?

I’ll say this about him: He was once married to Joan D. Vinge, who wrote one of my all-time favorite science fiction novels, “The Snow Queen.” I first read that book years ago, back when I was a member of the SF/F Book Club and got it in one of those cheap hardcover editions, and fell in love. For some reason, the character who resonated with me deeper than any other was Herne, the Starbuck, a furious crippled man who’d had everything and lost it. But all the rest is fabulous as well, from the star-crossed main characters to the mysterious mask maker to the Snow Queen herself. As much as the people, the world and the greater universe is also wonderfully drawn and become almost characters on their own.

I’ve probably reread “The Snow Queen” at least three times through the years. I’ve read the follow-ups as well, “World’s End,” “The Summer Queen,” “Tangled Up In Blue,” but while they’re all good, none holds the magic of “The Snow Queen.”

So thanks, Vernor Vinge, for once upon a time having an awesome wife.


Filed under media consumption, personal

3 responses to “Author August: Vernor Vinge (and Joan Vinge)

  1. Well I remember greatly enjoying ‘Tatja Grimm’s World’, but perhaps ‘The Peace War’ would be a good start, or a collection of short stories such as ‘True Names… And Other Dangers’.

    Are you intending to read a book for every “Author August” nomination? That would take most of us well into August 2012, I think…

  2. Rain

    Thanks for the suggestions! I hadn’t thought about trying to read a book for every author, although that might be fun. I’m actually more interesting in adding to my pile of books I really want to read before I die, y’know?
    From what I’ve read about it, I think “The Peace War” is going on my list. Nice to have you drop by!

  3. pecooper

    You might also consider one of his short story collections, which would give you some idea of his breadth. The collection “True Names … and Other Dangers” contains the story “The Peddler’s Apprentice” which was the only collaboration he did with Joan D. Vinge, whom you say you have read. Just a suggestion.

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