A Fire upon the Deep Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What must OOB do at the opening of chapter 25?

2. What is slowing OOB's progress?

3. Why does Pham order a landing?

4. What does Pham order for the Riders?

5. What does Pham want to be able to describe?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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