Threats and Other Promises

by Vernor Vinge
Release date: 1988
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, short stories

A collection of stories.


  • Apartness
  • Conquest by Default
  • The Whirligig of Time
  • Gemstone
  • Just Peace (with William Rupp)
  • Original Sin
  • The Blabber


Take for example the "promises" inherent in computers: super-human intelligences to do our every bidding and make our every wish come true; mind links with those mechanical intelligences to give us the gift of instant knowledge-on-demand of anything that has ever been recorded or can be calculated. Computer realities that aren't just as good as everyday life - but much, much better.

But once we have such servants civilization will no longer be recognizable, or even comprehensible to such as us. Once you mind link with that super-intelligence you will no longer be human - you might not even be you. And the world that "you" inhabit may be nothing more than a dream in the mind of a computer.

What was once a threat will have become a promise, and what was once a promise will be some kind of... joke.

updated 2012-08-09

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