Thursday, November 29, 2018

A hootin' tootin' space adventure

Instead of finishing my fifty thousand words in NanoWriMo, I've been doing a bit of reading. Don't get me wrong. Nano was useful as a kick in the arse, so to speak, but writing a set number of words in a given time period was never the real target. Finishing a book is. And no, I haven't. Not yet. But we're getting there. Yes we are.

One of the books I read was most definitely an SFR - the type I like, where the romance is just a part of a larger story. The book was Space Deputy by Jenny Schwartz.

Newly-graduated Galactic Justice officer Thelma Bach might have graduated top of the class but that didn't mean she'd get a plum job. She's sent off to the Saloon Sector to serve time as a deputy sherrif reporting to Sheriff Max Smith. While Thelma's not happy about being posted to what she sees as a dead-end job for the seven years it will take to fulfill her obligation to the Galactic Justice Department, she resolves to give it her best - and create a career for herself as a purveyor of information.

There's a lot about this book which is just plain fun. The blurb describes the environment as "the Wild West meets the 1950s" and that's about right. We meet prospectors looking for El Dorado, a crooked religious zealot, a vindictive politician, several sentient alien species - and Sheriff Max Smith, an enigmatic ex-space marine who happens to have known Thelma's brother, Joe. Oh - and a couple of fascinating Artificial Intelligences. Did I mention an intergalactic diner in a mining area?

Thelma gets to know her new boss and his two AI sidekicks through a series of incidents that require the sheriff's intervention. Thelma is a mix of tough operator, proud of her mining sector background, a smart woman trying to make a career for herself, and someone with insecurities and problems - especially with her inscrutable boss. Max is a tough ex-marine hiding secrets.

It's lots of high-action fun, with each incident being a little story in its own right. With each new situation the odds ratchet up until Thelma and those she holds dear are in desperate danger. Yes, there's a love story. There's sexual tension but the act itself is behind closed doors.

I loved it and I'll be looking for the next instalment.

Here's the blurb:

A millennium into the future, the Saloon Sector is where the Wild West meets the 1950s, in space, with robots. It’s where careers go to die. Thelma Bach graduated top of her class after four years at the Galactic Justice academy. But she’s a Rock Sector citizen. The core worlders were never going to let her transcend her background. So she’s been assigned to serve her seven years as a deputy in the Saloon Sector.

The message for the Federation’s out-world citizens is clear: you’ll never be our equal, so don’t even try. The stuffy bureaucrats of the Galactic Justice service chose the wrong person to push around. Thelma will subvert her interstellar sheriff, charm artificial intelligences, fight bandits and hunt the legendary Eldorado Cache. But with the frontier region holding secrets of its own, she needs to choose her new allies wisely because a scary, business-suited enemy is hunting her. “Space Deputy” is a fast-paced, offbeat space adventure.

Find the book at Amazon


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