"A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window." – Stewart Brand

Jan 28, 2011

Read Something! _Rainbows End_ (Vernor Vinge)

Rainbows End
381 pp.
Science Fiction


In the not-too-distant future, wearable computers enable people to be constantly hooked in to the Internet, even to overlay different "realities" upon the world around them. Alzheimer's, and many other maladies of old age, have been cured. And mass terrorism is a threat to civilization on a scale never before imagined.

When hints surface suggesting that someone in the United States may be on the verge of discovering a feasible method of mind control, the other world powers know that they must investigate - but covertly. With the help of a juvenile hacker of uncertain identity, they assemble a ring of unwitting accomplices to breach one of the most heavily secured biolabs in the United States.

But they cannot predict the chaotic effect of their independent-minded hired hacker on their operation. Nor do they know that one of their own is trying to sabotage the investigation...

Appeal characteristics

  • Frame: Extensive worldbuilding
  • Frame: Near-future setting that seems a plausible outgrowth of today's trends and technologies
  • ??: World/plot focused (vs. character-focused)
  • Plot: Elements of intrigue/spy thrillers
  • Plot: Many loose ends are not tied up at the end; the book just sort of stops
  • Pacing: Longish chapters
  • Pacing: Slow through the first couple hundred pages, picks up when the major plot event occurs, then slows down again
  • Characterization: Major character is (deliberately) distinctly unlikeable for the opening part of the story but undergoes a change
  • Characterization: A variety of characters of different ages, races, stations in life, etc.

Other notes

  • My Noting: Books entry for this book is here.


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