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Vernor Vinge
Vernor Vinge.jpg
Born Vernor Steffen Vinge
(1944-10-02) October 2, 1944 (age 73)
Waukesha, Wisconsin, US
Occupation Computer scientist
Nationality American
Period 1966–present
Genre Science fiction
Notable works True Names (1981),
A Fire Upon the Deep (1992),
"The Coming Technological Singularity" (1993),
Fast Times at Fairmont High (2002)
Notable awards Hugo Awards,
  Best Novel: 1993, 2000, 2007;
  Best Novella: 2003, 2005
Prometheus Awards:
  1987, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2014 Special Award for Lifetime Achievement
Spouse Joan D. Vinge (1972–1979, divorced)

Vernor Steffen Vinge (/ˈvɜːrnərˈvɪn/ (About this sound listen); born October 2, 1944) is an American science fiction author and retired professor. He taught mathematics and computer science at San Diego State University. He is the originator of the technological singularity concept as the phrase is now used and perhaps the first to present a fictional "cyberspace". He is best known for his Hugo Award-winning novels and novellas A Fire Upon the Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1999), Rainbows End (2006), Fast Times at Fairmont High (2002), and The Cookie Monster (2004), as well as for his 1984 novel The Peace War and his 1993 essay "The Coming Technological Singularity".

Life and work

Vinge published his first short story, "Bookworm, Run!", in the March 1966 issue of Analog Science Fiction, then edited by John W. Campbell. The story explores the theme of artificially augmented intelligence by connecting the brain directly to computerised data sources. He became a moderately prolific contributor to SF magazines in the 1960s and early 1970s. In 1969, he expanded the story "Grimm's Story" (Orbit 4, 1968) into his first novel, Grimm's World. His second novel, The Witling, was published in 1975.[citation needed]

Vinge came to prominence in 1981 with his novella True Names, perhaps the first story to present a fully fleshed-out concept of cyberspace,[1] which would later be central to cyberpunk stories by William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and others. His next two novels, The Peace War (1984) and Marooned in Realtime (1986), explore the spread of a future libertarian society, and deal with the impact of a technology which can create impenetrable force fields called 'bobbles'. These books built Vinge's reputation as an author who would explore ideas to their logical conclusions in particularly inventive ways. Both books were nominated for the Hugo Award, but lost to novels by William Gibson and Orson Scott Card.[2][3]

Vinge won the Hugo Award (tying for Best Novel with Doomsday Book by Connie Willis) with his 1992 novel, A Fire Upon the Deep.[4] A Deepness in the Sky (1999) was a prequel to Fire, following competing groups of humans in The Slow Zone as they struggle over who has the rights to exploit a technologically emerging alien culture. Deepness won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2000.[5]

His novellas Fast Times at Fairmont High and The Cookie Monster also won Hugo Awards in 2002 and 2004, respectively.[6][7]

Vinge's 2006 novel Rainbows End, set in a similar universe to Fast Times at Fairmont High, won the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Novel.[8] In 2011, he released The Children of the Sky, a sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep set approximately 10 years following the end of A Fire Upon the Deep.[9][10]

Vinge retired in 2000 from teaching at San Diego State University, in order to write full-time. Most years, since its inception in 1999, Vinge has been on the Free Software Foundation's selection committee for their Award for the Advancement of Free Software. Vernor Vinge was Writer Guest of Honor at ConJosé, the 60th World Science Fiction Convention in 2002.[11]

Personal life

His former wife, Joan, is an accomplished science fiction author.[12]



Realtime/Bobble series

Zones of Thought series

Standalone novels


  • Across Realtime (1986) ISBN 0-671-72098-8
  • True Names ... and Other Dangers (1987) ISBN 0-671-65363-6
    • "Bookworm, Run!"
    • "True Names" (1981, winner 2007 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award)
    • "The Peddler's Apprentice" (with Joan D. Vinge)
    • "The Ungoverned" (occurs in the same milieu as The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime)
    • "Long Shot"
  • Threats... and Other Promises (1988) ISBN 0-671-69790-0 (These two volumes collect Vinge's short fiction through the early 1990s.)
    • "Apartness"
    • "Conquest by Default" (occurs in the same milieu as "Apartness")
    • "The Whirligig of Time"
    • "Gemstone"
    • "Just Peace" (with William Rupp)
    • "Original Sin"
    • "The Blabber" (occurs in the same milieu as A Fire Upon the Deep)
  • True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier (2001) ISBN 0-312-86207-5 (contains "True Names" plus essays by others)
  • The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge (2001) ISBN 0-312-87373-5 (hardcover) or ISBN 0-312-87584-3 (paperback) (This volume collects Vinge's short fiction through 2001 (except "True Names"), including Vinge's comments from the earlier two volumes.)
    • "Bookworm, Run!"
    • "The Accomplice"
    • "The Peddler's Apprentice" (with Joan D. Vinge)
    • "The Ungoverned"
    • "Long Shot"
    • "Apartness"
    • "Conquest by Default"
    • "The Whirligig of Time"
    • "Bomb Scare"
    • "The Science Fair"
    • "Gemstone"
    • "Just Peace" (with William Rupp)
    • "Original Sin"
    • "The Blabber"
    • "Win a Nobel Prize!" (originally published in Nature, Vol 407 No 6805 "Futures")[15]
    • "The Barbarian Princess" (this is also the first section of "Tatja Grimm's World")
    • "Fast Times at Fairmont High" (occurs in the same milieu as Rainbows End; winner 2002 Hugo Award for Best Novella)


Title Date Originally published in Notes
"The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era" 1993 Whole Earth Review[16]
2020 Computing: The creativity machine 2006 Nature[17]

Uncollected short fiction


  1. ^ Saffo, Paul (1990), "Consensual Realities in Cyberspace", in Denning, Peter J., Computers Under Attack: Intruders, Worms, and Viruses, New York, NY: ACM, pp. 416–20, doi:10.1145/102616.102644, ISBN 0-201-53067-8 . Revised and expansed from "Viewpoint", Communications of the ACM 32 (6): 664–65, 1989,doi:10.1145/63526.315953.
  2. ^ a b "1985 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  3. ^ a b "1987 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  4. ^ a b c "1993 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  5. ^ a b c d "2000 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  6. ^ "2002 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  7. ^ "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  8. ^ a b c "2007 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  9. ^ Interview with Vernor Vinge, Norwescon website, October 12, 2009.
  10. ^ "Vernor Vinge's sequel to A Fire Upon The Deep coming in October!". 
  11. ^ "Guests of Honor". ConJosé (the 2002 Worldcon). 
  12. ^ Vinge, Vernor. Introduction to "The Peddler's Apprentice", a story by Vernor Vinge and Joan D. Vinge, in True Names ... and Other Dangers. Baen books, New York, 1987; ISBN 0-671-65363-6.
  13. ^ "1992 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  14. ^ "1999 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  15. ^ Vinge, Vernor (October 12, 2000). "Win a Nobel Prize!". Nature. 407 (6805): 679. Bibcode:2000Natur.407..679V. doi:10.1038/35037684. (subscription required)
  16. ^ "The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era". Whole Earth Review (Winter 1993). 1993. 
  17. ^ Vinge, Vernor (March 23, 2006). "2020 Computing: The creativity machine". Nature. 440 (411). Bibcode:2006Natur.440..411V. doi:10.1038/440411a. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 16554782. Retrieved February 14, 2017. 
  18. ^ Vernor Vinge reading "A Dry Martini", recorded live at Penguicon 6.0 on April 20th, 2008
  19. ^ Vinge, Vernor (June 30, 2004). "Synthetic Serendipity". IEEE Spectrum. 
  20. ^ Vinge, Vernor (26 February 2015). "BFF's first adventure". Nature. 518 (7540): 568. Bibcode:2015Natur.518..568V. doi:10.1038/518568a. 

External links

About Vinge

Essays and speeches


This page was last edited on 15 April 2018, at 22:11.
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