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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
From visionary science fiction author Vernor Vinge, author of the Hugo Award–winning novels A Fire upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky, comes a glimpse into the not-too-distant future: a technologically advanced, fully networked tomorrow that can offer people a second chance at life -- and more than a few opportunities to destroy it.
The year is 2025 when Robert Gu, suffering from Alzheimer's for years, receives a groundbreaking treatment and is fully cured. Now free of dementia, the internationally renowned 75-year old poet suddenly has a new outlook on life. He's attending a vocational school and trying hard to understand the brave new world around him. But his education leads him to the dark side of technology, into a world of bioterrorism, mind control, super-advanced spyware...and omniscient talking rabbits.
A departure of sorts from far-flung futuristic epics like A Fire upon the Deep, A Deepness in the Sky, and Marooned in Realtime, this is a more contemporary and intimate tale, featuring only a handful of central characters. And although the narrative scope of Rainbows End isn't as grand as the aforementioned titles, the overriding theme -- the pervasiveness (and invasiveness) of technology in everyday society -- packs one helluva disturbing and thought-provoking wallop. An eminent futurist, Vinge has filled this novel with numerous revolutionary technological advances: wearable wireless computers, contact lenses with virtual reality capabilities, and silent instant messaging technology, to name just a few. The very best science fiction authors are like modern-day prophets in that they offer readers a possible preview of the shape of things to come; Rainbows End is Vinge's most penetrating glimpse into the future. Paul Goat Allen