Interviews With The Fantastic
InterGalactic Interview With Vernor Vinge
by Darrell Schweitzer
The starting point for this interview is an article called "The Coming Technological Singularity"
which you may quickly find by doing an internet search on Vernor Vinge's name. It was
presented at the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the
Ohio Aerospace Institute, March 30-31, 1993. A slightly changed version appeared in the Winter
1993 issue of Whole Earth Review. Otherwise, what you need to know by way of an introduction
is that Vernor Vinge has been publishing science fiction since 1965. One early story of his, "The
Accomplice" (1967) is remarkably prophetic. Not only does it describe desktop computers and
CGI animation, but suggests that this could be used to make a movie out of The Lord of the
Rings. His "True Names" (1981) is one of the first stories about cyberspace, hackers, and virtual
reality. He has won Hugo Awards for A Fire Upon the Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky
(1999), "Fast Times at Fairmont High" (2002), "The Cookie Monster" (2004) and Rainbows End
(2006). Marooned in Realtime (1996) won the Prometheus Award.
He is a retired professor of mathematics from San Diego State University. At the beginning of
the Wikipedia entry about him, he is quoted from the Singularity article as saying, "Within thirty
years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the
human era will be ended."