RogerBW's Blog

Welcome Home / Go Away, Mike Shepherd 19 May 2023

2012 military SF, novella in the Kris Longknife series. As the news of Kris's return from a scouting trip leaks into civilised space, various factions react to it.

This feels like a fixfic of the author's own work: an introductory paragraph starts "Some readers of Kris Longknife: Daring wondered how Kris could get the welcome back that she got at the end of the book." And this story explains how the pieces moved around so that she could end up getting dumped, at the end of that book, from a heroic return with news of aliens directly into being packed off to a backwater posting.

But mostly it's "military people good, retired military people who still call themselves 'General' also good, retired military people who have talked too much with politicians and spies bad". Which I know is kind of Shepherd's thing, and at least he's admitting that a Good Military Person might make a bad ruler – even if only because they're listening to those dratted politicians…

This is a short novella, and while it had a chapbook publication for collectors it's only available now in electronic form – and probably not worth £2 or $3 for a mere 22,000 words. (I'd expect it to appear in a "collected short fiction from this setting" book; there's surely enough of this side material to fill one by now.) If you are utterly enthused by the universe, and in particular if you want some more of "Trouble" Tordon whom we haven't seen much since the very early novels in this setting, it might be worth it, but for the most part it lays out plot developments that the astute reader will already have intuited from the novels.

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Previous in series: Daring | Series: Kris Longknife | Next in series: Furious

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