I happen to have more books by weight than any other single item among all my worldly possessions. This kind of makes the nomadic life that I am living right now a little difficult, because... well... have you ever packed up and picked up a box of books? Yah. Exactly.
By the way, I'm at the university library right now, and right across the computer table from me is a couple who can't seem to stop kissing and cuddling and giggling. It's kind of gross. I recognize that grossness is essential to the ecosystem, and also that these two are probably completely infatuated and therefore have lost their minds, but still. There are better places to be gross than - good grief, she's giving him a thigh rub right now. GET YOUR OWN LIBRARY, PEOPLE.
Anyway, so I get to unpack my boxes of books and put them up on the bookshelves. It's wonderful. I'm seeing books that I haven't seen in months. It's like meeting with a bunch of old friends. Like this guy.
This is my favorite science fiction book of all time. Unfortunately, I only say that about my personal copy, because I have the CleanFlix version of A Fire Upon The Deep. Basically, I went through it with a white-out brush and took out all the parts that I wouldn't want my mom or my future 10 year old kid to read. Then I wrote in stuff like 'Heck!' and 'Darn!' and chuckled quietly to myself. I didn't have to take out much, and it didn't affect the overall integrity of the story. I'll let you borrow it if you like your books squeaky clean and you want to read this one.
What's it about?
Holy cow. I don't even know how to tell you. It's the best hard SF space opera you've ever feasted your brain upon. It's got the scope and grandeur of a Star Wars sized galaxy, only better and bigger, with science to back it all up. It's got the best, most believable, most original alien races I've ever seen. It's got realistic space travel. It's got mind-boggling speculations about technology. And it's got a Hugo. What more could any nerd ask? Vernor Vinge is a genius worldbuilder and storybuilder. My hat's off to the man.