Another epic far-future adventure from Mr. Vinge. I’m teetering on the brink of strongly recommending this book, but A Fire Upon the Deep, Vinge’s previous novel, was such a fine piece of work that I can’t help but feel like this one is a step backward in quality. It’s great as far as sci-fi goes, with compelling speculation about humanity spread across the galaxy, alien species evolving in isolation and an informed perspective on information technology’s part in all of it (Vinge is a computer science professor). He even does a fine job in weaving his ideas into a plot that grips tightly enough to prevent you from putting the book down for the last hundred pages. However, his previous novel had even more interesting ideas, an even more gripping plot and even keener perspective. While A Fire Upon the Deep was not to be passed up, A Deepness in the Sky doesn’t quite merit being pushed to the top of the reading list.