Wow. The first three chapters alone blew me away with all the cool ideas. I was so fired up to talk about this with my friends, but when I did I had a difficult time trying not to sound like a raving lunatic. No wonder [a:Jo Walton|107170|Jo Walton|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1353809579p2/107170.jpg] wrote:
"Any one of the ideas in A Fire Upon the Deep would have kept an ordinary writer going for years."
Highly recommended for anyone who is looking for space-faring scifi that is actually challenging.