Boss is our protagonist, a loner with an affinity for diving old wrecks, derelict spaceships long-forgotten but potential sources of treasure, tech, and – most important of all so far as Boss is concerned – rich historical significance. And when Boss discovers a thousand year old ship in a remote region of space, she believes she may have hit the jackpot. She assembles a team of trusted veterans to help her in exploring the incredible find but quickly discovers there is far more to the ancient Dignity Vessel than she could have imagined. It holds a dangerous but incalculably valuable secret that will fray nerves, seal betrayals, take lives, and quite possibly hold the key to not only galactic conquest but an answers to the mysterious “Room of Lost Souls” incident that has haunted our heroine since childhood.
I’m pleased to say that Diving into the Wreck is a novel that more than lives up to its intriguing premise, offering up a thrilling SF take on deep-sea diving by transposing the perilous pursuit for sunken treasure to the outer reaches of space. Rusch’s sparse prose style is in marked contrast to the complex dilemmas and interrelationships that run throughout the book, and yet this economy of language – a voice perfectly suited to Boss’s no-nonsense disposition – is one of the many things that makes Diving into the Wreck such a compelling read. The story moves along at a brisk pace, introducing some fascinating hard SF elements, yet never bogging the reader down in the details. In many ways, it reminded me of the works of some of the grandmasters of science fiction in its ability to deliver ideas that are intellectually challenging, theoretically plausible and, above all else, accessible to those who may not possess a degree in quantum mechanics. Like, you’ll no doubt be surprised to learn, me.
The book is divided into three sections: Diving into the Wreck (which deals with the initial salvage operation and discovery aboard the Dignity Vessel), The Room of Lost Souls (that examines the bizarre, seemingly otherworldly anomaly aboard an abandoned space station), and The Heart of the Machine (that sees Boss lead a new team on a return dive to the Dignity Vessel for a final reckoning). I breezed through the first part but will admit to being thrown by the time cut and seemingly divergent developments that kick off the second part of the book. I feared that the engaging mystery introduced early on would merely serve as an introduction to Boss and her world, something to hook the reader and set down the ground rules that would never be fully explored to my satisfaction. Well, how wrong I was. Rusch throws a feint, then proceeds to expertly weave together the seemingly disparate pieces of what turns out to be a most satisfying narrative tapestry.
My first Kristine Kathryn Rusch book, but certainly not my last. Loved it. Your thoughts? And, along with those thoughts, throw in some questions as well for the author who has kindly agreed to swing by and visit with us.
Well, back in the office today for most of the writers (with the exception of Robert Cooper who, at last report, was still partying at Cowboys Stadium) as we kick off pre-production on SGU’s second season. We settled in and immediately got down to business – discussing the NFL playoffs, our respective Christmas holidays, and, of course, what I ate in Tokyo. This was followed by Paul, Carl, and I commiserating over our respective scripts – which took us to lunch…
The rest of the afternoon was devoted to more chitchat and trying to figure out why the Bridge Studios decided to upgrade the perfectly-fine network so that, now, no one can either print or stay online for any significant amount of time. Brad couldn’t open his script and when he tried to print it, had the page count balloon to about 117 pages. Paul, now wearing his Exec Producer’s hat for the show’s second season, made the executive call and informed him: “Yeah, that’s too long.” I, on the other hand, smell a two-parter.
Off to work-out! I’m doing two-a-days for as long as I last…