I normally don’t read too much science fiction, but found out about this one from Brad DeLong’s blog and decided to give it a go. A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge is quite a space saga (774 pages paperback), with two competing human cultures encountering an alien race out in the depths of space. There was a lot that I liked about it; many interesting characters, compelling situation and plot, interesting ideas about technology and psychology. The only real drawback was that I found things a little meandering for perhaps the 2nd quarter of the book. But the finish is pretty rip-roaring.
Here’s a page on the publisher’s site discussing more aspects of the book – there are spoilers so don’t read too far if you want surprises.