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Download Rainbows End Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Rainbows End Audiobook, by Vernor Vinge
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,643 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Vernor Vinge Narrator: Eric Conger Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2007 ISBN: 9781427204882
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Four time Hugo Award winner Vernor Vinge has taken readers to the depths of space and into the far future in his bestselling novels A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. Now with Rainbows End, he has written a science-fiction thriller set in a place and time as exciting and strange as any far-future world: San Diego, California, 2025.

Robert Gu is a recovering Alzheimer's patient. The world that he remembers was much as we know it today. Now, as he regains his faculties through a cure developed during the years of his near-fatal decline, he discovers that the world has changed and so has his place in it. He was a world-renowned poet. Now he is seventy-five years old, though by a medical miracle he looks much younger, and he's starting over, for the first time unsure of his poetic gifts . Living with his son's family, he has no choice but to learn how to cope with a new information age in which the virtual and the real are a seamless continuum, layers of reality built on digital views seen by a single person or millions, depending on your choice. But the consensus reality of the digital world is available only if, like his thirteen-year-old granddaughter Miri, you know how to wear your wireless access—through nodes designed into smart clothes—and to see the digital context—through smart contact lenses.

With knowledge comes risk. When Robert begins to re-train at Fairmont High, learning with other older people what is second nature to Miri and other teens at school, he unwittingly becomes part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to use technology as a tool for world domination.

In a world where every computer chip has Homeland Security built-in, this conspiracy is something that baffles even the most sophisticated security analysts, including Robert's son and daughter-in law, two top people in the U.S. military. And even Miri, in her attempts to protect her grandfather, may be entangled in the plot.

As Robert becomes more deeply involved in conspiracy, he is shocked to learn of a radical change planned for the UCSD Geisel Library; all the books there, and worldwide, would cease to physically exist. He and his fellow re-trainees feel compelled to join protests against the change. With forces around the world converging on San Diego, both the conspiracy and the protest climax in a spectacular moment as unique and satisfying as it is unexpected. This is science fiction at its very best, by a master storyteller at his peak.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A Deepness in the Sky more than justifies the old tag 'eagerly anticipated.' It's a space opera dealing with the age-old themes of exploration, first contact, different cultures, exploitation and, inevitably, conflict. An intriguing and mind-stretching epic. Highly recommended. SFX

  • When I was young and had to write my address in a school notebook, I would begin with my street and apartment number and then go on through city, county, state, country and continent in a litany of ever more grandiose place names that did not end until I reached ‘Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, The Universe.' In those days, it thrilled me that my small corner of the Bronx was just a one part of the vastness I could see in the sky at night. This is the feeling I got from reading A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge. Gerald Jonas, New York Times Book Review
  • Marooned in Realtime is a cracking good story that leaves the reader with plenty to think about. Vernor Vinge draws fine characters and writes a compelling plot. In the end, almost all the mysteries are solved—the only loose ends are those which will leave you pondering the future of Mankind and of the earth for weeks after you finish the book The Baltimore Sun

  • Nominated for Hugo Award - Nominee, 2007
  • Nominated for Prometheus Award Nominee, 2007
  • Winner of Locus Awards - Winner, 2007
  • Winner of Hugo Award - Winner, 2007
  • Winner of Bram Stoker Awards - Winner, 2007

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher | 2/16/2014

    " I had previously read two short pieces that were incorporated into this: "Fast Times at Fairmont High" and "Synthetic Serendipity." Because so much of the novel's intrigue and surprise rests on its intense vision of near future technology, I had to rate it somewhat based on how impressed I was by those stories years ago--and I liked them a whole lot. And the novel added in plenty more ideas of interest, so it's well worth reading. That said, there are a few problems. There are too many characters, too weakly characterized, and too unimportant to the plot considering the screen-time they're given. And for a long while, the reader has to care about this future Earth's 'famous' fictitious characters, without any good introduction to them (there's a real missed opportunity to tell little side stories within the story such that we might actually care about the 'Librarians Militant' or the 'Scoochis' in the same way that some characters of the novel care about them). And the heavy-handedness of the novel's points/morals was grating. Yes, I might agree that people need to adapt to new technologies, that kids pick new media up and make new worlds of them faster than adults can figure out, that search/analysis skills and crowdsourcing and things like that are going to be more and more important, that we need to recognize when others have changed and accept them anew, and so on, and so on. But illustrations of these points were often so blunt as to verge on telling rather than showing. Still, it would have been a decent book with even half as many ideas in it, so Vinge deserves his accolades for it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 2/8/2014

    " I was deeply disappointed in this book. Vinge is one of my favourite writers, but this completely failed to grip me. One of the main problems was the lead character - at times unpleasant and deeply manipulative, at others being presented more sympatehtically, but without really seeming to gel. His switches towards a more sympathetic attitude seemed more like authorial fiat than character development, and his obsessions and goals never seemed to right true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Owen | 2/2/2014

    " Vinge's view of the future comes through some VERY interesting contact lenses! His approach to introducing readers to the alien future is novel. The plot meanders and drags at times, and the main character is singularly difficult to related to, but the presentation of Augmented Reality and high technology was enjoyable throughout. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tynan Szvetecz | 1/30/2014

    " Vernor Vinge has written two of the most brilliant books ever - this is really cool for it's look into the near future and the power of the internet - but it's not up to par with his previous work. Definitely worth it just to see the role Google could play in our lives in the next 14 years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 1/29/2014

    " fiction,science fiction,audiobook,augmented reality "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fuzzy | 1/28/2014

    " The best sf book I've read in a long time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 The3rdwall | 1/19/2014

    " great cyperpunky book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ken | 1/16/2014

    " Vinge's vision of the future may be more realistic than most, but his characters and plot drag. The first chapter is a bait-and-switch, introducing us to fascinating heroes, villains, and schemes, before focusing the rest of the book on less likable and interesting settings. Even one particular scene, which is identified as a diversion for the real action, is described in far greater detail across many more chapters than the situation warrants. And that's the overall problem I had with Rainbows End: too much attention in all the wrong places. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jared Housh | 1/15/2014

    " Cute little story. I particularly enjoyed the characterization. I guess cyberpunk isn't totally dead, it's just relegated to a tastefully decorated corner. This book had a very 30 minutes in to the future feel that I really enjoyed. I read this in one sitting so I suppose that says something. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andi | 12/24/2013

    " This book is better in concept than execution, but I still enjoyed it. Anyone interested in the issues of augmented reality should take a look. If you're not a serious geek though, you might want to skip it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 11/23/2013

    " I liked this more than A Fire Upon the Deep, at least in the beginning when it was very idea-centric. I still don't actually find Vinge's adventure-storytelling mode super compelling, and basically once they started the Librareome expedition I got monotonically less and less interested in reading. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Vivienne | 6/2/2013

    " I got to page 99 and decided to abandon. I felt it started off well but I just couldn't get into Robert as a main character. I couldn't face another 260+ pages of the man. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 4/23/2013

    " Amazing ideas, kind of clockwork characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David Benson | 12/26/2012

    " Excellent premise, but I couldn't get more than half way through. The writing style and the characters did nothing for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pixelmonkee | 7/24/2012

    " compelling and original view of the near future. hint: it's all the same, just heavily augmented. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rowena | 8/18/2011

    " There's a rabbit in here! Someone obviously knows some Lewis Carroll, but this one's gray. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Devyn | 8/14/2011

    " Didn't finish it...won't finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Harvey | 5/28/2011

    " I found this a bit hard to get into but I'm glad I persevered. Interesting ideas about near-future technological developments, although I'm not entirely convinced by some of them. The protagonist, Robert Gu, was not a terribly sympathetic character and the story didn't particularly grab me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jon | 5/23/2011

    " Good, but i bit to much action in "silent messaging". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gsmalz | 4/2/2011

    " Brilliant hard SF in the vein of Neuromancer and Snow Crash. This a visionary book and posits a not-to-distant future that seems entirely plausible on many levels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leon | 4/2/2011

    " Quite interesting basic idea, but I found the smaller ideas quite repetitive as I had already read some of the other Vinge novels out there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pixelmonkee | 3/3/2011

    " compelling and original view of the near future. hint: it's all the same, just heavily augmented. "

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About the Author
Author Vernor Vinge

Vernor Vinge has won five Hugo Awards, including three for Best Novel, for A Fire Upon the Deep, A Deepness in the Sky, and Rainbows End. For many years a professor of computer science, he is a highly regarded, visionary authority on the subject of the technological Singularity. He lives in San Diego, California.

About the Narrator

Eric Conger is a stage actor, voice artist, and award-winning audiobook narrator. He has narrated more than 125 fiction and nonfiction audiobooks and was a four-time finalist for the Audie Award, both as a sole narrator in 2007 and 2008 and as part of a multicast reading in 2001 and 2012. He has earned six AudioFile Earphones Awards. His extensive voice-over work includes more than 5,000 narrations for commercial ventures. A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Paris, he also works as a writer and playwright. He has appeared in over fifty plays and has also translated plays of Molière and Feydeau for regional theaters.