Quotes from A Deepness in the Sky

Vernor Vinge ·  775 pages

Rating: (24.9K votes)


“Technical people don't make good slaves. Without their wholehearted cooperation, things fall apart.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“On this small world, there will be no more real darkness. But there will always be the Dark. Go out tonight, Lady Pedure. Look up. We are surrounded by the Dark and always will be. And just as our Dark ends with the passage of time in a New Sun, so the greater Dark ends at the shores of a million million stars. Think! If our sun's cycle was once less than a year, then even earlier our sun might have been middling bright all the time. I have students who are sure most of the stars are just like our sun, only much much younger, and many with worlds like ours. You want a deepness that endures, a deepness that Spiderkind can depend on? Pedure, there is a deepness in the sky, and it extends forever.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“So High,
So Low,
So Many Things to Know”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“It is an edged cliché that the world is most pleasant in the years of a Waning Sun. It is true that the weather is not so driven, that everywhere there is a sense of slowing down, and most places experience a few years where the summers do not burn and the winters are not yet overly fierce. It is the classic time of romance. It's a time that seductively beckons higher creatures to relax, postpone. It's the last chance to prepare for the end of the world.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“We’re long on high principles and short on simple human understanding.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky



“Second by second, the Queng Ho counted from the instant that a human had first set foot on Old Earth's moon. But if you looked at it still more closely ... the starting instant was actually about fifteen million seconds later, the 0-second of one of Humankind's first computer operating systems.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“Programming went back to the beginning of time. It was a little like the midden out back of his father's castle.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“You ask me the real point of it all. Each of us must take his own path on that, Fleet Captain. Different paths have their own advantages, their own perils. But for your own, human, sake…you should consider: Each civilization has its time. Each science has its limits. And each of us must die, living less than half a thousand years. If you truly understand those limits…then you are ready to grow up, to know what counts.” He was silent for a while. “Yes…just listen to the peace. It’s a gift to be able to do that. Too much time is spent in frenzied rushing. Listen to the breeze in the lestras. Watch Fred try to figure us out. Listen to the laughter of your children and your grandchildren. Enjoy the time you have, however it is given to you, and for however long.” Larson leaned”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“I’ve studied the humans for almost twenty years, Rachner. They’ve been traveling in space for hundreds of generations. They’ve seen so much, they’ve done so much…. The poor crappers think they know what is impossible. They’re free to fly between the stars, and their imagination is trapped in a cage they can’t even see.” The glowing streaks had passed across the”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“Les enfants sont des créatures extraordinaires, quand ils ne sont pas simplement chiants.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky



“We were looking for starfarers, but we were too small and all we saw were their ankles.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“noble winged pig.’” “Yes, the spirit of programming.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“Nau had been very careful that enough nukes remained. If necessary, he could play the old, old game of total disaster management. So what can be salvaged? He”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“Dreams die in every life. Everyone gets old. There is promise in the beginning when life seems so bright. The promise fades when the years get short. But not Pham’s dream. He had pursued it across five hundred light-years and three thousand years of objective time. It was a dream of a single Humankind, where justice would not be occasional flickering light, but a steady glow across all of Human Space. He dreamed of a civilization where continents never burned, and where two-bit kings didn’t give children away as hostages. When Sammy had dug him out of the cemeterium at Lowcinder, Pham was dying, but not the dream. The dream had been bright as ever in his mind, consuming him.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“From this era on, I think invention will be the parent of necessity – and not the other way around.’ That was easy for Sherkaner Underhill to say. He didn’t have to engineer the science into reality.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky



“welts long enough for them to grow eyes. Nature does indeed prefer that cobblies be created right before the Dark.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“Those Emergent fuckers have taken away all the I/O that works. I can’t use voice, I can’t use head-up displays. All we have are windows and these mother-damned things!” She threw the keyboard at the table. It bounced up, spinning into the ceiling. There was a chorus of agreement, though not quite so manic. “You can’t do everything through a keyboard. We need huds…. We’re crippled even when the underlying systems are okay.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“Funny how Underhill could get along with almost anyone, tuning down his manias to whatever the traffic would bear.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“Underhill had an idea for much safer, faster transport than autos or even aircraft. “Ten minutes from Princeton to Lands Command, twenty minutes across the continent. See, you dig these tunnels along minimum-time arcs, evacuate the air from them, and just let gravity do the work.” By Unnerby’s watch, there was a five-second pause. Then: “Oops, little problem there. The minimum-time solution for Princeton to Lands Command would go down kinda deep…like six hundred miles. I probably couldn’t convince even the General to finance it.” “You are right about that!” And the two were off in an extended argument about less-than-optimal tunnel arcs and trade-offs against air travel. The deep tunnel idea was really dumb, it turned out.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“minds, who can show the rest of us what is important about the aliens’ differences. So Trixia’s”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky



“Spider names look silly. But this ‘‘Accord’’ group is a young culture. Their names are still mostly meaningful in their daily language.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“languages. Notice how they almost make sense, some of them.’ ‘Yes, and that’s”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“Pedure, there is a deepness in the sky, and it extends forever.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“Fong’s obscenity-spattered fit about keyboards. So what to look”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“basically you’re a military man. That’s an honorable profession, and it sets you high, no matter what your origin. You see, there are moral levels to society.” Silipan was clearly lecturing from the received wisdom. “At the top are the Podmasters, statesmen I guess you’d call them. Below that are the military leaders, and underneath the leaders are the staff planners, the technicians, and the armsmen. Underneath that…are vermin of different categories: fallen members of the useful categories, persons with a chance of fitting back in the system. And below them are the factory workers and farmers. And at the very bottom—combining the worst aspects of all the scum—are the peddlers.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky



“many of the oldest programs still ran in the bowels of the Qeng Ho system. Take the Traders’ method of timekeeping. The frame corrections were incredibly complex—and down at the very bottom of it was a little program that ran a counter. Second by second, the Qeng Ho counted from the instant that a human had first set foot on Old Earth’s moon. But if you looked at it still more closely…the starting instant was actually about fifteen million seconds later, the 0-second of one of Humankind’s first computer operating systems.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“So high, so low, so many things to know.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


“there is a deepness in the sky, and it extends forever.”
― Vernor Vinge, quote from A Deepness in the Sky


About the author

Vernor Vinge
Born place: in Waukesha, Wisconsin, The United States
Born date October 2, 1944
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