The Zones of Thought series is a trio of science fiction novels written by Vernor Vinge. In chronological order the books are A Deepness in the Sky, A Fire Upon the Deep, and The Children of the Sky.
Standing in the Battledome:
This series is very powerful overall, easily rivaling the likes of Star Wars and Warhammer 40,000, but the technology level of its civilizations varies tremendously due to the titular Zones of Thought. The Zones are regions of the galaxy where the laws of physics have been changed to limit intelligence and technology.
The Unthinking Depths encompasses the entire galactic core. No intelligence is possible in this Zone and even simple machines stop working.
The Slow Zone is where humanity originated and has technology limitations similar to real life. FTL travel and communications are impossible in this Zone, as is true artificial intelligence. Ships travel between solar systems at relativistic speeds while their crews hibernate in cryogenic storage. Weapons used in this Zone include lasers and nuclear missiles.
The Beyond is where most of the galaxy's interstellar civilizations exist. Faster than light travel and communications are possible in this Zone, but travel speed varies depending on how close to the Slow Zone one is. Weapons of mass destruction like antimatter bombs and relativistic projectiles are common in this Zone, allowing a single ship to destroy planets with the proper equipment. Fleets of ships are powerful enough to obliterate entire solar systems, even at the bottom of the Beyond where most of their advanced technology starts to fail. Advanced nanotechnology and true artificial intelligence can also be achieved in this Zone.
The very edge of the galaxy and all the space beyond exists in the Transcend, where no intelligence or technology limitations exist. Civilizations in this Zone quickly evolve into incomprehensibly advanced superintelligences known as Powers, which are treated as gods by the civilizations of the Beyond.
The Zones are heavily implied to have been created by a Transcendent machine known as the Countermeasure.
- The Blight
- Seeker Bomb
- The Countermeasure
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