RogerBW's Blog

Searching For the Fleet, Kristine Kathryn Rusch 20 January 2023

2018 science fiction, seventh in the Diving Universe series. Cooper the captain and Vash the engineer deal with isolation from their original time in a variety of ways.

And in a variety of time periods; some of the material here was first published as stand-alone fiction in Asimov's, so there are places where everything comes to a halt for a side story… but it does, at least, come to a halt in order that we can delve into characters' backgrounds, not just what they did back in the day but why they did it, who they were then, how they changed, and how that's led to the traits we see in the main story's present day.

The events of The Falls and The Runabout are very significant here, and some questions are answered – and, rare thing, with some thought as to what it implies to have time travel happening, and just how a particular "now" might become linked to a particular "then". It makes a pleasant change from the usual implicit metatime in which thing B happens causally after thing A simply because it's later in the book.

There's also some consideration of the psychology of obsession, and of how one notices, indeed how one should notice, when one's falling into it – and that it's not entirely a bad thing.

Action happens here too, with a new and enigmatic faction, but honestly that's not what I'm here for. I came to this series for the wreck diving, but there's never been as much of that as I'd like since the first book; rather, what keeps me engaged is the research into a complicated multi-millennial puzzle, all surrounding the mysterious anacapa drive which only seems to become harder to understand as one learns more about it. (Even if, given our biased sample of drive-related accidents and incidents, my enduring reaction to the thing is that it's really not at all suitable for deployment to production ships, or indeed for testing on planets one cares about.)

It's a strange series and a twisty one, but I continue to enjoy it.

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See also:
The Falls, Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The Runabout, Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Previous in series: The Runabout | Series: Diving Universe | Next in series: The Renegat

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