A Fire upon the Deep Setting & Symbolism

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Zones of Thought

Fundamental to the organization of the Galaxy are the Zones of Thought that follow its mass distribution. The map preceding the novel is useful to following the verbal descriptions, but characters frequently mention that it is fairly incomprehensible except by experience. Zones of Thought have always existed and are currently moving slightly inward. Races continually "upwell" from the Great Slowness and move into the Transcend to become the Powers or prey. Civilizations do not last long in the dangerous High Beyond and Transcend. Some theorize that something might exist beyond it.

The "Mindless Depths" extend down to the galactic Core. Farther out is the "Great Slowness," where humankind is born, ultralight transportation cannot exist, and civilizations live and die, "unknowing and unknown." The "Beyond" begins four-fifths out from the center and extends above and below the Galactic plane. The outer spirals of the Galaxy&mdash...

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This section contains 3,154 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Fire upon the Deep Study Guide
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