Vernor Vinge

Vernor Steffen Vinge is a retired San Diego State University Professor of Mathematics, computer scientist, and science fiction author. He is best known for his Hugo Award-winning novels and novellas A Fire Upon the Deep, A Deepness in the Sky, Rainbows End, Fast Times at Fairmont High, and The Cookie Monster, as well as for his 1984 novel The Peace War and his 1993 essay "The Coming Technological Singularity", in which he argues that the creation of superhuman artificial intelligence will mark the point at which "the human era will be ended", such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it.
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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.


At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Since its first publication in 1981, the short novel True Names by Vernor Vinge has been considered one of the most seminal science fiction works to present a fully fleshed-out concept of cyberspace. A finalist for the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novella and winner of the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, True Names was an inspiration to many innovators who have helped shape the world wide web as we know it today.
The paperback edition of True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier, published in 2001, also contained a feast of articles by computer scientists on the cutting edge of digital science, including Danny Hillis, the founder of Thinking Machines and the first Disney Fellow; Timothy C. May, former chief scientist at Intel; Marvin Minsky, co-founder of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, considered by many to be the "father" of AI; Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer, co-developers of habitat, the first real computer interactive environment; Mark Pesce, co-creator of VRML and the author of the Playful World: How Technology Transforms Our Imagination; and others.
This first e-book edition includes all this, plus:

a preface written especially for this edition by editor James Frenkel.
an article on the difficulty of keeping information secure by Internet security expert Bruce Schneier.
a passionate plea regarding the right to privacy by Richard Stallman, founder of the project to develop the free/libre GNU operating system and one of the most important advocates of free/libre software.

True Names itself is the heart of this important book: an exciting, suspenseful science fiction tale still as fresh and intriguing as when it was first published nearly thirty-five years ago.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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