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. Who particularly wants to be friends with Johanna?

2. What happens to Pham after the Old One's death?

3. What does one post say about Homo sapiens and being controlled?

4. About what does Woodcarver worry?

5. Over what do three of Johanna's captors quarrel?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How are Peregrine and Scriber received in the Woodcarver's Domain and what happens to Johanna when she arrives with them?

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

6. How is Johanna faring in the Woodcarver's domain?

7. Describe Pham.

8. What causes a rift between Pham and Ravna?

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

10. How do Peregrine and Scriber describe the humans?

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

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?

Essay Topic 3

Oftentimes, a book is more of a character-driven plot rather than action-driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character-driven or action-driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character-driven versus action-driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not?

5. What type of plot do you think A Fire Upon the Deep is? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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