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 is the plan for the alien ship?

2. Who is Arne Olsndot?

3. What masks the alien ship?

4. What is newly-born and only three days old in the archive?

5. What does Scriber wonder about Johanna?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Steel do in the dungeons?

3. Why does Pham distrust Steel?

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

5. How does narration describe Earth and its surroundings?

6. What is the aftermath of the fight at Saint Rihndell's Repair Harbor?

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

8. Describe Lord Steel.

9. Describe the beings that attack the Olsndots.

10. Who does Pham contact and what happens?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A Fire upon the Deep is written in the genre of science fiction. Discuss the following:

1. What sets science fiction apart from other genres? What are the characteristics of the genre of science fiction?

2. Based upon the characteristics you list in 1 above, discuss why A Fire upon the Deep falls under the genre of science fiction.

3. Some people might say that science fiction is merely for entertainment? Do you agree or not? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Often titles reveal much about one or more aspects of a novel. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think is the purpose of a title? How closely related to a major theme(s) of a book do you think a title should be? Or should it be?

2. How is the phrase "A Fire upon the Deep" relevant to the action of the novel? What sort of emotional and psychological response does the title evoke? Why do you think Vinge chose this title? If you were perusing the library for a book to read and saw this title, would it pique your interest? Why or why not. Does it seem to be the best title for the book?

3. If you were the writer of A Fire upon the Deep and your editor says the title must be changed, what would you choose? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of manipulation and power in A Fire Upon the Deep. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with manipulation and power? Why? What are some symbols of manipulation and power? Symbols of powerlessness? What characters seem powerless?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of genocide in A Fire Upon the Deep. Which characters seem to accept that genocide is sometimes necessary? Why? Which characters seem opposed to genocide no matter what? Why? Which ones seem not to care one way or the other?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death. Death happens on a scale that is almost incomprehensible with billions of sentient beings being wiped out of existence. Does this inure a reader to the impact of death? When death is brought to a more individual level, such as in the world where the Olnsdots land, does it have a greater impact? How do the Tines' civilization seem to view death? What is different about the death of some of the Tine's packs? Do you think the way the Tines live in packs makes death easier or more difficult to bear?

(see the answer keys)

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