An Earth ship finds an artifact in Saturn's rings and it turns out to be Gaea, a God who runs her own large space world. The ship team is affected in different ways by their transit into Gaea but the captain, Cirocco, and her faithful companion, Gabi, climb the 600km spoke to the hub where they meet a puppet of Gaea. There's lots of new critters, new ideas, and so forth, but they don't seem so new now. I've started on the sequel, _Wizard_ and so far, it's mostly weird sex.
I dunno, this is a classic, but it's hard to recommend now.