Adrian Tchaikovsky. Feast and Famine. (Solaris Rising 2)

solarisrising2Tchaikovsy is an author not previously known to me. From the author bio he appears to have a fantasy bent rather than an sf bent, but this story is pretty much hard SF out of somewhere like Analog. A spaceship crew is on a mission to solve a mystery.

Except it’s written quite well, and has some clever tweaks. There is a mystery to be solved, and a ship crew/AI combo has a role to play. The slight drawback is the kind of ‘would they really do that?’ that ruined Prometheus (spoiler : they find the missing spaceship, dead, including its crew, overwhelmed by a lichen on an asteroid. So what do they do? Land right next to the missing spaceship and send someone out to look at it…)

But the POV character is nicely drawn, isn’t a square-jawed hero, or a Clever Scientist who works out what is happening. So Tchaikovsky shows that whilst his name isn’t there, he can stand shouldersquare with those names that are on the cover.

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