A Fire upon the Deep Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Johanna call her captives?

2. Who keep out of sight?

3. What report does the Arbitration Arts Corporation issue?

4. How is the archive described?

5. When does Ravna tell Jefri they will arrive?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Peregrine Wickwrackrum and Scriber Jaqueramaphan observe and how do they describe the Olsndot's ship?

2. What are a couple things Steel and Jefri learn about the other?

3. What does Scarbutt offer Johanna and what is her response? What does she learn from this experience?

4. What is the technology like that the humans in the lab are developing and what happens?

5. Describe Scriber Jaqueramaphan.

6. Describe Peregrine Wickwrackrum / Wickwrackscar.

7. How do Peregrine and Scriber describe the humans?

8. Explain what the material in OOB's library says about the origins of Riders.

9. What are Blueshell and Greenstalk ordered to do and what do they fear?

10. In what condition is the ship in which the Olsndot family escapes Earth by the time it reaches an unnamed and habitable world?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are a number of interesting questions raised by this book. Questions that most likely Vinge wanted the readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the author's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Vinge's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

Essay Topic 2

Scriber describes the Olnsdot's cargo ship as a "flying house." Humans tend to learn about or relate to new things through an association with something they already know. Discuss the following:

1. Describe and analyze some of the descriptions the pack gives the new things and people, Jefri and Johanna, and show how their descriptions are related to what they already know.

2. While reading A Fire under the Deep, it is likely that you also relate new concepts and objects to what is already familiar to you. Choose 5 new objects or concepts and write about how they are similar to something already in your experience. Does this help or hinder your understanding of the new concept or object?

3. What do you think might be the pitfalls of relating new experiences in terms of previous experiences?

Essay Topic 3

In chapter 15, Steel tours his dungeons, where the "raw material" is driven crazy to serve as the basis "blank packs." The dungeon is described in horrifying detail and contrasted with Woodcarver's processes aimed at the same goal, but bounded by "traditional ethics." Discuss the following:

1. Though Steel's methods are more horrific than Woodcarver's, their end goal is the same. Is this goal ethical? Why or why not?

2. Do you think what Steel and Woodcarver are attempting to do is moving the evolution of the Tines forward? Why or why not?

3. What do you think Steel and Woodcarver want in creating blank packs? Are there other ways of obtaining the same end without dubious means?

(see the answer keys)

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