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 notice about her captors?

2. What happens when the Old One enjoys full bandwidth?

3. When does the OOB slow?

4. Who particularly wants to be friends with Johanna?

5. Who emerges from the cargo shell?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why is Scriber depressed?

3. Describe the High Council meeting Johanna attends and what happens to Woodcarver during the meeting.

4. How does Pham stop the Blight and what happens to him?

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

6. What does Pham learn while the OOB is headed for repairs and how does Ravna react?

7. Why does Pham distrust Steel?

8. What does Steel plan to use the alien ship for and what does Tyrathect hope to do about this?

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

10. How do Peregrine and Scriber describe the humans?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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 A Fire upon the Deep, it is hard to know who is the "good" guy versus the "bad" guy. Discuss one of the following:

1. Name two groups, factions, or individuals who are untrustworthy and analyze their actions and impact upon the plot throughout A Fire Upon the Deep. How far into the book does it take to separate the untrustworthy from those who can be trusted?

2. Name two groups/factions/individuals who are trustworthy and analyze their actions and impact upon the plot throughout A Fire Upon the Deep.

3. Are there some characters who can be trustworthy at times and not trustworthy at other times? Who? Why do they vacillate?

4. Ravna seems to be much more trusting than Pham. Do you think Ravna is too trusting? Is Pham too suspicious? Who does Pham mistrust and why? Give specific examples.

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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