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Book in categories:
science fiction
space opera

A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought, #1)

Comments and mentions from HN threads:

Ask HN: Which books have made you introspect?

kaycebasques: Just an amazing work of sci-fi exploring the internal logic of radically different forms of intelligence.

Ask HN: Favorite fiction books of 2018?

_emacsomancer_: Certainly not published in 2018, but I read and really enjoyed Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought series

Ask HN: Recommend one book I need to read this summer?

djaychela: Really good science fiction books where your initial perception is slowly shown to be incorrect as more details appear about the characters, and with great storylines. Despite being thick tomes with small print, I got through both reasonably quickly as they were so addictive to read