The Peace War (1984) by Vernor Vinge


If you look into the bobble, you can see a reflection of yourself shrugging with mildly entertained indifference. Also, you have spinach in your teeth.

I have two notes and twenty odd highlights (an unusually low number for me) for this 1984 Hugo-nominated novel, none of which form a cohesive lens with which to write this post. So… on with the synopsis…

In 1997, the ultimate weapon is conceived: The Bobbler. A vague business bureaucracy that calls itself the Peace Authority uses the Bobbler to end warfare by—don’t laugh— forming giant, impenetrable, reflective bubbles (bobbles) to trap enemies inside. These bobbles—seriously, stop laughing, it wasn’t that bad—can be as large as buildings and mountains, and become permanent geographical features on the landscape. We encounter our main characters in year 2048, fifty years after this event, when a decayed, rundown society is controlled by the Peace Authority and/or feudalistic lords, and medicine is prohibited and basic daily supplies are limited. But a bobble explodes, and a small boy with super intelligence may be the key to aid the rebellious Tinkers in confronting the evil Peace Authority.

Not quite the big government paranoia alert you might be expecting, Continue reading