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. How many children do Olsndot and his wife have to raise?

2. What should automation not need?

3. What does Peregrine offer Johanna?

4. What does Amdi perhaps consider Jefri?

5. Who is Olsndot's wife?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Jefri doing during Woodcarver's army's attack?

2. Describe Arne and Sjane Olsndot and what happens to them.

3. What do the two "sides" (the new Power and the humans) do to try to neutralize the other?

4. Describe Pham.

5. Describe Pham and Bluestalk's descent to the planet surface and their attack and why they suddenly stop attacking with their beam?

6. How do Peregrine and Scriber describe the humans?

7. How does Pham occupy his time while the OOB draws closer to the planet where Jefri awaits?

8. What is Lord Steel dealing with as Woodcarver's forces advance?

9. What are the thoughts of the Power after it is left alone on Earth?

10. Describe Johanna's deepening connection to and understanding of the people in the Woodcarver domain.

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

Whenever reading a science fiction or fantasy novel, one must become familiar with new terminology that explains concepts or technology that is not a part of the "real" world. In the case of A Fire upon the Deep, there is a great deal of new terminology and familiar words with new meanings. Discuss the following:

1. Find five terms that are a part of the world of A Fire upon the Deep that are a part of the language of 2010 but mean something different. Define the words as used in A Fire upon the Deep and compare those five words as to how they are currently used in the American English language.

2. How does the language of A Fire upon the Deep from that of 2010? Are there words you did not know from that time? What? How do you learn their meanings? What does it mean to grasp a the meaning of a word through its context? Can you do that in A Fire upon the Deep? Give an example of several words whose definition are made clear through the context of how the word is used.

3. There are ways of learning about a new world or time when reading a science fiction or fantasy novel. Discuss the ways you were able to understand the world of A Fire upon the Deep through its vocabulary. Did you have to look up any words?

4. Were there any words you never really understood from A Fire upon the Deep? Which ones?

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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