The Peace War
The Peace War is quintessential hard-science adventure. The Peace Authority conquered the world with a weapon that never should have been a weapon—the “bobble,” a spherical force-field impenetrable by any force known to mankind. Encasing governmental installations and military bases in bobbles, the Authority becomes virtually omnipotent. But they’ve never caught Paul Hoehler, the maverick who invented the technology, and who has been working quietly for decades to develop a way to defeat the Authority. With the help of an underground network of determined, independent scientists and a teenager who may be the apprentice genius he’s needed for so long, he will shake the world, in the fast-paced hard-science thriller that garnered Vinge the first of his four Hugo nominations for best novel.
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After being out of print for more than a decade, one of Vernor Vinge’s earliest novels is available once again. Welcome back to The Peace War, the Hugo Award–nominated 1984 classic about how scientific breakthroughs can be turned into civilization-altering weapons by unscrupulous political organizations.
When a group of researchers, led by genius mathematician Paul Hoehler, discover a way to generate “bobbles—impenetrable, spherical force fields that can separate small areas of space from the normal universe—a cadre of radicals at the lab site uses the technology to encapsulate important government and military installations all over the world in the name of peace. Fifty years later, the dictatorial group (known as the Peace Authority) has stopped war and mass killings; but in doing so, it has thrown civilization back centuries and has virtually wiped out scientific innovation, most of which is considered illegal. There is, however, an underground network of freethinkers and scientists known as Tinkers, who are plotting to overthrow the Peace Authority and free the millions of innocents being oppressed by the fanatical tyrants. Leading the cause is no other than Paul Hoehler, the man who discovered the bobble technology half a century earlier!
Fans of Vinge’s later works—like the shelf-bending Hugo Award–winning novels A Fire upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky—will delight in this visionary work, a quintessential hard science fiction tale that is just as powerful today as it was in 1984. It’s a classic, pure and simple! —Paul Goat Allen