cover image Searching for the Fleet

Searching for the Fleet

Kristine Kathryn Rusch. WMG, $17.99 trade paper (428p) ISBN 978-1-56146-035-9

Rusch’s nontraditional seventh Diving SF novel (after The Runabout) feels more like a collection of vignettes that reveal the decision paths of engineer Yash Zarlengo and captain Jonathan “Coop” Cooper. The Lost Souls Corporation space station hosts Coop, Yash, and the rest of the crew of the spaceship Ivoire, who have arrived from 5,000 years in the past after being trapped in foldspace. The challenge before them is to find where in their new time the Fleet may be, as well as to investigate the suicide of first officer Dix Pompiono and his possible sabotage of the Ivoire’s drive. There is a fair amount of research that references action in the previous book, but Rusch’s use of new viewpoint characters, solid worldbuilding, and inclusion of extensive backstory means that readers can start here without knowledge of the other works. The investigation is capped by an exciting episode involving a supposedly long-abandoned Fleet base. By mixing cerebral and investigative elements, emotional character segments, and the adrenaline of action, Rusch tells a complete yet varied tale that will please science fiction readers looking for something different from the usual fare. (Sept.)