This is quite easily the worst book I've read by Vinge. I'm sorry to say I enjoyed it, but... it's not got much going for it. It appears to be glued together bits of late 60s sci-fi. Not really Vinge at his peak. Why's this edition published now? Probably to get some boost from Rainbow's End, which I have yet to read. The plot is quite simple, and middling fun, if not particularly sensible: random genius girl grows up on a backward world, using wits to move from barbarian to someone with real power, manipulating everyone with her superior wits, and eventually meets her challenge when dealing with aliens, and discovers The Shocking Truth about her home world. This isn't A Fire Upon The Deep.