May 24, 2020

Review: Skirmishes by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Available for pre-order now!

Boss is back!

We have to admit; when this week’s review copy arrived last week, we HAD to bump it to the very top of our “must read” list!

The Diving Universe, conceived buy Hugo-Award winning author Kristine Catherine Rusch is a refreshingly new and fleshed out realm of sci-fi action and adventure. And the latest offering from the Diving Universe, titled Skirmishes out next month from WMG Publishing, doesn’t disappoint.

Fans of this space will recall our adventures reviewing Diving into the Wreck, City of Ruins, and Boneyards. Heck, we even tracked down the novella Becalmed on Amazon, also a great read. The Diving Universe got its start in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, and has grown on fans over the years.

Boss is a veteran space diver who can take care of herself. Think of space diving as wreck salvaging at sea, only in zero-g and many times more dangerous. Over the years, the complexity and missions that Boss and her team have undertaken have become more intricate and laced with political intrigue. A loner, Boss hates intergalactic politics and is most at home diving old historical space wrecks.

The adventures of Boss and her crew have led them to uncover ancient Dignity Vessels, equipped with mysterious and temperamental anacapa drives.

The adventures in Skirmishes span space and time, as Boss and her crew scour the Boneyards for answers with grave implications. We just love the idea that a future space-faring civilization has lost much of the technical knowhow of an earlier and more advanced one.

We also see the return of Captain Jonathan “Coop” Cooper into the fray with the crew of the Ivoire as they seek to understand what became of the ships consigned to the Boneyard. He may have the military might, but Boss has the salvaging and diving expertise and the ability to get her crew out alive.

In the balance: the Nine Planets Alliance and the Enterran Empire, who are at odds with each other over an ancient alien technology that could tip the balance of power in the galaxy.

Expect surprises, plot twists, and space wreck diving danger as Boss, Coop and their respective crews must confront the past in a bid to control the future. They may be out-gunned, but Boss’s knowledge when it comes to diving ancient Dignity Vessels is unmatched.

I always admire Boss’s leadership style too… she’s the reluctant leader, one who prefers to lead from the front and get down to business by setting an example for her crew. She wouldn’t send them into a dive that she herself wouldn’t do. But at the same time, she’s a great judge of capability and a shrewd judge of character, a rare trait in a self-professed loner.

What’s next for Boss and crew? Lots of plot threads were left open at the end of Skirmishes; there are lots yet to explore back in the ancient and unknown history of the Dignity Vessels. Space wreck diving is a tough and dangerous business, but it does make for great science fiction action and adventure!


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