Vernor Vinge – A Deepness in the Sky (1999) [book review]

the Qeng Ho trading expedition to the OnOff star becomes terribly complicated when they encounter the Emergents, humans new to space travel but with a horrific secret weapon. the prize: first contact with the inhabitants of the system and tantalising hints of new physics leftover from an ancient civilization.
an epic tale of interstellar conflict, espionage, treachery and loyalty, this is an exquisitely detailed portrayal of starfaring humanity perfectly integrated with their technology and their environment. if you only read one book in the next 30 Msec, make it this one!