The Smoke Ring Author:Larry Niven Del Rey Books (c) 1987 — Publication date April 1988 — In the free-fall environment of the Smoke ring, the descendants of the crew of the DISCIPLINE no longer remembered their Earth roots - or the existence of Sharls Davis Kendy, the computer-program despot of the ship. Until Kendy initiated contact once more. — Fourteen years later, only Jeffer, t... more »he Citizens Tree Scientist, knew that Kendy was still watching - and waiting. Then the Citizens Tree people rescued a family of loggers and learned for the first time of the Admiralty, a large society living in free fall amid the floating debris called the clump. And it was likely that the Admiralty had maintained, intact, DISCIPLINE?S original computer library.
Exploration was a temptation neither Jeffer nor Kendy could resist, and neither Citizens Tree nor Sharls Davis Kendy would ever be the same again?« less
This is the 2nd of two books (the 1st being "The Integral Trees") written by Larry Niven on life in near-zero gravity. His postulations on how life and social structures would develop are very interesting. This is more hard sci-fi than space opera. While I enjoyed "The Integral Trees" more, this was a good companion piece and got into more detail on interactions between inhabitants of different trees.