Up to now, I thought Vinge was god. Everything he has written has been nothing short of wonderful. This book starts out great, then goes nowhere for the loooongest time. I am a third of the way through it and I can't stand it much longer.
I have bad news for you, Twiddler. It doesn't get any better. The first fifty pages were just outstanding---pure Vinge---but then it just lapses into 21st century travelogue. (But by the time that you discover the main protagonists are 13-yr-olds, it's already a pretty bad sign.)