Today I had the fortune to chat with another living legend – Vernor Vinge (pronounced “vin-jee” as in, he explained off air, “stingy”). While VV may not have the public profile of a William Gibson or Neal Stephenson, in geek circles no SF author carries more respect. Why is it so?
In 1981 Vernor wrote a novella called TRUE NAMES which was the one of the earliest stories to present a fully realized concept of cyberspace which he called the “Other Plane” and which people accessed by attaching electrodes to their scalp. Inside the Other Plane, people hid their “true names” from the Government by creating avatars with pseudonyms – sound familiar? This was several years before NEUROMANCER (William Gibson, 1984) or SNOW CRASH (Neal Stephenson, 1992) and is therefore a seminal work in cyberpunk fiction.
Vinge’s novels A FIRE UPON THE DEEP (1992) and A DEEPNESS IN THE SKY (1999) both won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. In 1993 he wrote an essay called “The Coming Technological Singularity” which popularized that term.
His latest novel, RAINBOWS END, is a masterpiece of near-future Sci-Fi which explores the world circa 2025. Marc Andreessen called it “the clearest and most plausible extrapolation of modern technology trends forward to the year 2025 that you can imagine.” It has been nominated for the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
You can learn more about the huge potential ramifications of the Singularity by attending the Singularity Summit 2007.
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