This book comes highly recommended by Redditors and several "best of sf" lists. However, seeing that Vinge is a scientist I did not expect much from this book, some cool, believable sf concepts at the most. The book did not start well for me with silly names like "Wickwrackrum" popping up and a confusing first chapter. However, once I begin to follow the book (about 30 pages in) Vinge really surprised me with his talented authorship. He has the ability to create characters worth caring about and rooting for, some of them are not even human (love those Skroderiders). Then there is his wonderful world creation and general sf skills, he is so great at this I wonder if the author has transcended
. The Tines are some of the most imaginative aliens I have ever read about, the details of their biology and culture are beautifully worked out; yet Vinge has managed to imbue these creatures with personalities. I haven't even gone into the cosmic plot involving singularity and the god-like Powers yet and I'm not going to because I could spend all day extolling the virtues of this book and never get anything else done.
TL;DR: This is a definite must-read for any connoisseur of quality sf!