Despite very much wanting to really enjoy Singularity Sky, I did come away from it feeling somewhat disappointed. It wasn't bad, just not stellar. It had that first-novel feeling. Iron Sunrise, however, is a marked improvement. Still slightly silly, with obscure internet in-jokes, it's balanced out a little better with the plot, the universe is a little more settled-in, and generally it makes for a better read. If you're being harsh with the Vernor Vinge comparisons, you might compare it to A Deepness... and then notice that there's an evil set of totalitarian baddies with mind-control, but the comparison's somewhat unfair. Even if Vinge does win hands-down. Not the greatest book ever, but an improvement, and something to keep me interested in and hopeful about his later works.