If your answer to the above two questions is “Yes”, then there is a book you need to read. It is call Blindsight and the author is Peter Watts.
Blindsight is a first-contact novel set in the year 2082. I don’t really want to give any details, other than the fact that the ship is captained by a vampire, which Watts makes plausible by demonstrating that, in fact, it is not entirely out of the question that vampires could have existed once upon a time. He even throws in the hard science explaining how it could be possible, which is – in my experience – absolutely unprecedented in vampire novels. But don’t just take my word for it: You can read Watts’ research notes here (PDF), or watch a powerpoint-ish presentation (Flash – highly recommended) from a the Big Pharma company which successfully brought vampires out of extinction. And if that isn’t enough, you can read Blindsight online, for free.
Aaaaannnndddd, if Blindsight makes you hungry for more Peter Watts, you can read his other books – Starfish, Maelstrom, and Βehemoth for free as well.
One warning, though: The other novels are much darker than Blindsight.
But wait: There’s more! Watts is working on another novel, which takes place on Earth at the same time as Blindsight is happening in space. The title is State of Grace, and an excerpt can be read here.