The Observers gives us a chance to look at these questions and possible consequences of dealing with them. As the years pass (barring physical disaster that trashes technology) such stories should stay at the leading edge of insight.
Beyond even the questions of identity and self-awareness, The Observers also takes on questions about the universe as a whole. In the last chapter, The Observers brings up an interesting possibility: We, and creatures like the Observers, and all their successors, may not be (or should not be) passive players. In this view, we may be building heaven. Success in that endeavor is not a sure thing and it may forever be a work in progress (thus explaining the Problem of Evil), even involving the creation of successor universes in which higher goals are accessible."--(Vernor Vinge, Author)