Vernor Vinge

Image of Vernor Vinge
Vernor Vinge

See first quotes from Vernor Vinge

42 Quotations from Vernor Vinge

alien n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. iv. 19 The troopers dashed forward, spaced in identity-preserving formations; perhaps they meant to take the alien alive.
ansible n. 1988 V. Vinge Threats & Other Promises 254 Ham’s eyes were drawn to the stone carving (now bluish green) that sat on Larry’s desk. The old man nodded. ‘It’s an ansible.’ ‘Surely they don’t call it that!’ ‘No. But that’s what it is.’
auton n. 1986 V. Vinge Marooned in Realtime 28 ‘We can’t reproduce the most advanced of our own devices. When those finally break, we'll be as helpless as you.’ ‘I thought your autons were good for hundreds of years.’ Ibid. 29 If we can’t, if we fall to a premachine age when our autons fail…we'll be just too primitive and too few to survive.
cold sleep n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep (1993) 68 At three-tenths lightspeed, Pham spent decades in coldsleep getting from star to star, then a year or two at each port trying to make a profit with products and information that might be lethally out-of-date.
cold sleep n. 1999 V. Vinge Deepness in Sky xv. 151 Thirty or forty years. They could make it. There should be enough coldsleep coffins to serve the survivors.
flash crowd n. 2006 V. Vinge Rainbow's End xx. 221 And network stats showed that a flash crowd situation was possible on top of that.
floater n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep (1993) 74 The blue sky just above the white-tops shaded quickly to indigo and black. Specks of silver moved up there, agrav floaters bringing starships into the Docks.
free fall n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. i. 9 Dad cut the jet, and they were in free fall again.
gee n. 2 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. vii. 42 At the Docks' altitude, gravity was still about three-quarters of a gee.
gengineering n. 1999 V. Vinge Deepness in Sky lxiv. 573 Despite ancient drugs and millennia of gengineering, the full pull of planetary gravity was a constant, debilitating distraction.
graser n. 2006 V. Vinge Rainbow’s End xv. 168 NIR lasers are not for them. They want xlaser and graser gear, trillions of colors per path, and trillions of paths.
grav n. 2 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep iii. xxxviii. 337 Pham sank into his restraints under a grav load that wobbled between a tenth gee and an intolerable crush.
in-system adj. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. viii. 58 The in-system factories must be off-line or hidden behind Groundside.
jump n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep (1993) 242 In this part of The Beyond they could go a thousandth of a light-year on each jump—farther, but then the recompute time would be substantially worse.
jump v. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep (1993) 242 The ship was doing about ten ultrajumps per second: jump, recompute and jump again.
kiloyear n. 1986 V. Vinge Marooned in Realtime 40 You may not know this, but we have lots of equipment at the Lagrange zones. Some of it is in kiloyear stasis. Some is flickering with a period of decades.
launching laser n. 1981 V. Vinge True Names in Binary Star No. 5 179 As they fell deeper into the humid air of the lowlands, Mr. Slippery dipped into the news channels: word was already coming over the LA Times of the fluke accident in which the Hokkaido aerospace launching laser had somehow shone on MT3’s optics.
light n. 2 1992 V. Vigne Fire Upon Deep (1993) 297 Sjandra Kei is thirty-nine hundred lights spinward from here.
light-second n. 1999 V. Vinge Deepness in Sky xxii. 258 We have hundreds of millions of people living within a few light-seconds of each other.
light-speed n. 2 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. vii. 44 At three-tenths lightspeed, Pham spent decades in coldsleep getting from star to star.
megayear n. 1986 V. Vinge Marooned in Realtime 19 I was born about ten megayears after the Singularity—the Extinction, Juan calls it.
motherworld n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. vi. 36 Straum welcomed folk from the mother world; their enterprise was less than one hundred years old.
non-human adj. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep ii. xxviii. 208 In all his life in the Slow Zone, he had known three nonhuman races.
pressure-suit n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep ii. xxv. 189 The pressure suits he built had power packs and weapons stores.
ramscoop n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. vi. 40 The view closed on a decrepit vessel, perhaps two hundred meters long, wasp-waisted to support a ramscoop drive.
sentience n. 1 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep xxv. 187 Four or five billion years ago, someone built the first skrodes and raised the first Riders to sentience.
sentience n. 2 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep xxxii. 254 Imagine: a stable necrosis, where the only sentience in the High Beyond is the Blight.
sentient n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep xviii. 142 The answer should be clear to any idiot: the Helper does not have the power to teleoperate large numbers of sentients.
sentient adj. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep xviii. 144 However, the vast majority of naturally evolved, sentient beings would be revolted by the notion.
Singularity n. 1983 V. Vinge in Omni Jan. 10/2 We will soon create intelligences greater than our own. When this happens, human history will have reached a kind of singularity, an intellectual transition as impenetrable as the knotted space-time at the center of a black hole, and the world will pass far beyond our understanding. This singularity, I believe, already haunts a number of science-fiction writers. It makes realistic extrapolation to an interstellar future impossible. To write a story set more than a century hence, one needs a nuclear war in between—and progress enough so that the world remains intelligible.
Singularity n. 2001 V. Vinge in Locus Jan. 69/1 In 1982, on a scientific panel, it occurred to me that with all these ideas I had been talking about and others had been talking about earlier, basically if we ever did get a human-equivalent intelligence, very soon things would be very different. Since the creative impetus would not be from us, it would be in some sense unknowable… This panel was the first time I used the term ‘technological singularity’. I did a 900-word piece about that in ’83 in Omni, and almost all my science fiction has been dealing with it. In ’92 or ’93, NASA asked me to come and give a talk on it, and I did an essay where I also tried to look at precursors. In John von Neumann’s obituary written by Stan Ulam, he relates a conversation he had with von Neumann in which he even uses the term ‘essential singularity’. To me, von Neumann’s notion was not quite the same thing. He was saying that technological progress would become so advanced that the situation would be unknowable—that much is like what I was saying. But to me, the fundamental reason for the technological singularity is, technology creates something that is smarter than human.
sophont n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. vii. 46 She’d already told Grondr her misgivings about this ‘selling’ of a sophont.
space v. 2 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. vii. 44, I was lucky they didn’t space me.
spacecraft n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep iii. xxxviii. 337 He had managed spacecraft and weapons that could have reduced the feudal empire below to slag.
space flight n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. vii. 45 I'll bet it’s an idea older than spaceflight: the ‘elder races’ must be toward the galactic core.
space sick adj. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. i. 9 Ordinarily she never got space sick, but this was different.
sublight n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. viii. 50 Nuwen had spent his life crawling at sublight between human-colonized star systems.
transhuman n. 1988 V. Vinge The Blabber in Threats…and Other Promises 253 I suppose she could be an ego frag. But most of those are brain-damaged transhumans, or obvious constructs.
transhuman adj. 1988 V. Vinge The Blabber in Threats…and Other Promises 243 These guys are freaks, Professor! You could rain transhuman treasure on them and they’d call it spit!
ultradrive n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep 62 The wreck had no ultradrive capability; it was truly a Slow Zone design.
ultrawave n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. xiv. 93 Jefri thinks it may be possible to use the ship’s ultrawave to call for help from others like his parents.
uplifting n. 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep ii. xxix. 221 I know there have been other upliftings.