What is on my nightstand: A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
After how much I enjoyed the Expanse series I was looking for something else that did space opera well, and after a few recommendations of Fire Upon the Deep from various sources, I decided to give it a read. Rather than pulling space opera down to the narrow scope of read travel and takes place in just the solar system like the Expanse, Fire Upon the Deep goes the opposite direction and allows great distances to be traveled by explaining there are different “Zones of Thought” where some allow faster than light travel is possible. Earth exists in a zone where all ships must move slower than the speed of light, where as most of Fire Upon the Deep takes place in the Beyond, where things are a bit different. And there is another zone, where the inscrutable Powers live, called the Transcend.
Focusing mostly on what happens after a human colony doing research into the nature of the Transcend have unleashed a malevolent Power upon their region of the galaxy. Switching between some children of the colony who have escaped to a world inhabited by intelligent pack dog-like creatures, to humans working for an information relay company, information is literally one of the most important things, and supplying access to information is big business, investigating the accident.
There are enough ideas done well in this book to supply a bucketful of books, and, surprisingly, the characters don’t get lost in the shuffle. Even if those characters are a dog creature that is a single collective made of up multiple entities or a sentient potted plant, you understand where, and for some how, they are trying to go and what they are trying to do.
TL;DR review: Recommended.