by Lawrence M. Schoen (Paper Golem LLC)
The book opens with grad student Melody Wilder eating some great pizza – pizza that defies the laws of physics – made by her best friend on the space station, an alien Pelk named Drinder. She’s in shock. Her crushing student loans are suddenly not covered by a scholarship she’d been counting on, and she wonders if she should even bother with her dissertation. When some bear-cub-looking alien physicists, and an alien with preternaturally great luck – a sentient sea slug wearing the body of a human vixen– enter her life, things get exponentially worse. While Schoen’s characters are marvelous, and his science is sound (barring some alien hand-wavium), and his world-building is, as usual, first-rate, it’s the book’s humor that shines through. It’s a madcap adventure.
I’m not surprised that Dr. Schoen, with his background in psychology, used some of that in this book: write what you know applies here, and he does it very well indeed. This was a fun, engaging read. I’m pleased that this is only book one, and hope to see more of these characters.