The Peace War by Vernor Vinge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I almost pushed this one down to a three star rating on my reread, but by the end I got over the mildly racist overtones against hispanics and blacks and got into the actual war effort.
Honestly, even though this is definitely SF with all its discussion of high-tech versus slightly lower-tech population, it actually reads like an OLD STYLE fantasy, complete with old wizard and an underprivileged apprentice siding with the underdog portion of society, the "Tinkers", against the Peace Authority, who holds the high tech "bobbles". I didn't like that so much. It was old had, but this did get released back in 1984, so it might be just dated in my own head.
I liked the idea behind the "bobbles". Stasis bubbles, impenetrable force fields that can capture nuclear blasts as they happen and protect the populace. This is what brings our civilization to its knees, oddly enough. Unfortunately, I felt like I had to slog through half the novel before we got to the revolution overthrowing the Peace Authority. That was just fine. Lots of action and battles, heroic deeds and whatnot.
If it hadn't been for the slower pace of the beginning, I would have thought this would have been pretty rip-roaring fun.
It is, unfortunately, my least favorite of Mr. Vinge's works, and because of such high expectations, I wanted to judge this novel on his subsequent delights.
That would be very unfortunate, though, and I will therefore back-off and let this novel stand on its own.
It isn't fantastic, but it is worth reading for the ideas, if not for the somewhat mediocre story.
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