Over the decade and a half (roughly) Kristine Kathryn Rusch has been building what has come to be known as The Retrieval Artist Universe, a set of novels and shorter works set in a common universe. The Retrieval Artist is the first of these and was originally published in Analog. I know because I remember reading it in the hotel the weekend one of my brothers got married. (Don’t ask me how I remember this; I don’t know. I just do.)
For the past year, Ms. Rusch has been writing a five novel sequence set in the Retrieval Artist Universe called Anniversary Day. The first two are out, and the remaining three will be published in January, February, and March. ARCs for these three arrived in my mail box the Friday before Christmas. I’m going to read through the whole series, alternating reviews between here and Amazing Stories.
But I decided to go back and refresh my memory of the inaugural story in the series and post a review as an entry point for those of you who haven’t read any of the books yet.
Humanity has made contact with a number of different alien races. As you would expect, each one has its own set of beliefs and laws, which sometimes are pretty different from those of humans. By treaty, if you break a law while in alien territory, they can hunt you down and inflict whatever punishment their laws allow, even if the infraction was unintended and no big deal in human terms. Continue reading