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

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What could steal the secrets the Straumli archeologists uncover?

2. Who does Steel enter the ship?

3. Who is badly wounded in the fighting?

4. What do the Olsndots set up?

5. What melts the coldsleep boxes?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Pham and Ravna think is behind the ambush by the Riders at Saint Rihndell's Repair Harbor?

2. Where are the scientists from and what are they doing?

3. About what does Twirlip of the Mists wonder and what is the Alliance for the Defense's response?

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

5. What is happening on the OOB as it enters the Middle of the Beyond?

6. Describe Lord Steel.

7. Why is the trip to rescue Jefri going to take longer and what does Ravna do to help Jefri because of the longer time?

8. How is the curse of the Pharoah's tomb related to what the humans from the Straumli Realm are doing on Earth?

9. What does Ravna do to keep Pham from slipping back into godshatter and what is Pham's response?

10. What is happening in the Hidden Island Kingdom as OOB is making its way to rescue Jefri? What does Pham suspect about the radio request from Jefri?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of A Fire upon the Deep, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur such as exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement. Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements. Subplots may not contain every element of a major plot. Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not? Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not.

Essay Topic 2

In the Prologue, narration writes that the scientists know some intelligence is watching their work and waiting to pounce. They know that, like earlier humans, they are playing with fire, but the potential reward is tremendous. Discuss the following:

1. Considering the billions of sentient creatures that are wiped out of existence by this intelligence, could any potential reward be worth the possibility of unleashing an evil intelligence?

2. In the early part of the 21st century, Artificial Intelligence is just now being looked at as something that is possible, though many have fantasized about the idea for decades. Do you think the rewards of developing a machine with artificial intelligence is worth the risks? Or are there risks? Compare/contrast the possible rewards with the possible risks of developing artificial intelligence.

3. Do you think artificial intelligence could actually develop into an evil egomaniac? What is the artificial intelligence's main concern when the humans are working with it in the prologue?

4. Much of what is developed in labs in the "real" world has both a positive side and negative side. Consider the side effects of some medicines that can alleviate or cure disease. How does one determine when the balance of good swings too far towards the negative aspects?

Essay Topic 3

Vernor Vinge is a not only a novelist, but a professor of mathematics. The book A Fire upon the Deep won the Hugo award for Science Fiction. It is useful to know about him not just because he authored A Fire upon the Deep, but also because his ideas of the future might need to be considered.

1. Research Vinge and write a brief biography of him.

2. What do you find to be most impressive about the man?

3. What do you think is Vinge's greatest accomplishment?

4. Vinge writes and essay titled, "The Coming Technological Singularity." Much of those ideas can be found in A Fire upon the Deep. Research and relate his essay to his book.

(see the answer keys)

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