cover image Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc

Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc

Ash Bishop. CamCat, $26.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7443-0561-6

Bishop’s feel-good sci-fi debut kicks off when drifter Russ Wesley discovers a mysterious stone among his recently deceased grandfather’s collection of oddities. Russ recruits Nina Hosseinzadeh, aspiring electrical engineer and “the smartest woman in all Evanstown [Wyo.],” to help him identify the stone, hoping to sell it for quick cash to save his family’s crumbling bookstore. Nina, meanwhile, needs money to help out her terminally ill father. Instead, the stone attracts hostile extraterrestrials, plunging the pair into interstellar drama. The eponymous organization arrives to dispatch the hostiles—and, upon witnessing Russ’s superior marksmanship, forcibly conscript him into intergalactic pest control. But Nina also wants a lucrative (if potentially lethal) job with the company, putting the pair in fierce competition—until looming danger threatens to destroy their careers as exterminators before they can begin. After a slow start, Bishop ramps things up, imbuing this romp with solid worldbuilding, a broad sense of adventure, and a sensitive emotional core. With gruesome alien battles, layered conflict, and a sprinkling of humor, this is sure to find an audience. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Lisa Dawson Assoc. (Sept.)