cover image Finder


Suzanne Palmer. DAW, $26 (400p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1510-5

Fergus Ferguson, a professional repo man in a spacefaring future, chases a stolen spaceship to a backwater colony, incidentally becomes the catalyst for a civil war, and draws the attention of dangerous alien neighbors in Palmer’s riotous sci-fi debut. A chance meeting with an old woman in a cable car puts Fergus at odds with Gilger, the man whose ship he’s pursuing, but also allows him the opportunity to make helpful contacts in a family of lichen farmers and the arms dealer they share a habitat with. Humor deployed in the service of the plot, good dialogue, and evocative descriptions make up for a slight lack of depth in the characters as Fergus’s newfound allies evolve into friends and he gets an unexpected opportunity to save the colony and complete his mission. Palmer makes short-distance space travel feel as comfortable as riding a bicycle, and concludes this entertaining caper with a clever resolution and a hint of intrigue. Fans of space adventure will find this a fine example of the form. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary. (Apr.)