To pay off her law school debts, Kerrie works in the public defender's office at the Interspecies Court. She has more clients than she can defend, most of them from cultures she does not understand. The public defender's office loses almost all of its cases, but sometimes it gets a win. Kerrie thinks she has a winner. But does she? Or will winning the case mean she loses at everything else?
International best-selling writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch has won or been nominated for every major award in the science fiction field. She has won Hugos for editing The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and for her short fiction. She has also won the Asimov's SF Magazine Readers Choice Award six times as well as the Anlab Award from Analog Magazine, the Science Fiction Age Readers Choice Award, the Locus Award, and the John W. Campbell Award. Her standalone SF novel, Alien Influences, was a finalist for the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award. IO9 said her Retrieval Artist series featured one of the top 10 science fiction detectives ever written. She writes a second SF series, the Diving Universe series, and a fantasy series called The Fey. She also writes mystery, romance, and fantasy novels, occasionally using the pen names Kris DeLake, Kristine Grayson, and Kris Nelscott.
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Brilliant Intersection of Law and the RA Universe
I love this story. It's an amplified examination of what is broken in any legal system, particularly Western (US, UK, AU, CA, etc) law. There's nothing in this story that addresses the types of crime we're all too familiar with: domestic violence; rape; embezzlement; and yet the "crimes" that bring defendants to 'court' are just as frustratingly mismanaged by Rusch's Inter-species Court.
Rusch is able to imagine an entire legal system based on the Earth Alliance treaties with other species in the universe. For anyone who has experienced the nonsensical bureaucracy of traffic court, it is easy to identify with the frustrations Kerrie experiences with her workplace.
I am a big fan of how Rusch has inter-connected series with the Retrieval Artist and the Anniversary Day Saga. I believe the Impossibles could be the start of another branch of stories from the Retrieval Artist universe.
The diction, fluidity and clarity of narration were fine. There were times, though, when the narration felt unnecessarily emphatic and excited, when all that was really happening in the story at that moment was prose.
When Kerrie ponders what it was that might have caused her to graduate 25th in her class, she transforms from a harried, overworked attorney to someone the reader can identify with.
Thank you Analog: Science Fact and Fiction Magazine for introducing me to this author.