Technology in much of SF is simply an effector of the vision of the work. FTL, anti-gravity, artificial gravity, all working to build interstellar empires regardless of the physical obstacles. Social changes are often minimal. Vernor Vinge is at the other extreme; in looking at the potential of realistic technology, particularly computers/AI or cognitive science, he has come to the conclusion that we must run into a Singularity beyond which meaningful prediction (and fiction) is impossible. Idealized nanotechnology also has potential for creating a singularity, although not as drastic as the one causable by control over the nature of intelligence. Much of his fiction is based on skirting around the Singularity and is quite interesting thereby. It is also well written.
Vernor Vinge is working on a sequel to Fire, actually a prequel about the Qeng Ho, and has plans for a true sequel. I know no dates.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, editor at Tor:
He's writing a new book set in that universe. His editor (Jim Frenkel) tells me we'll probably have it by mid-1998, so expect it out in mid-1999.
"Vinge's new book: Zones of Thought II, TOR, March, 1998 (hc)
Editor: Prometheus, Journal of the Libertarian Futurist Society 602 Purple Sage Dr, Round Rock TX 78681 http://www.libertarian.com/LFS/"
s: promise of the Singularity. S: Existence of the Singularity fairly prominent in some way. A: anarchist
Net essay on the Singularity.
Vernor Vinge is in the Internet Top 100 SF books -- more than once!
An argument by me against the incomprehensibility of the Singularity.
A review of Across Realtime. I suspect the Aussies like Vernor Vinge for what he did to their continent in Threats. (Or didn't do, rather.)