Spoiler? … In A Fire Upon The Deep Vernor Vinge has created a race of aliens unlike any others I can remember. The individuals are small packs of dogs or wolves with shared minds. Without going into many of the other interesting aspects of this creation, I found one that, if not exactly mathematics in sci-fi, is a unique application of computer science theory. Vinge has an antagonist experimenting with the network architectures of these packs/individuals in a very mad-scientist kind of way. With certain techniques of biological and behavioral manipulation he constructs ring and star network topologies out of the alien minds. This is definitely not the Borg, or even the Buggers of Ender’s Game. I can’t wait to read what he does with this concept.