A Galactic Holiday, an anthology of science fiction novellas with a winter holiday theme, most definitely leans towards the romantic side of science fiction. Three feel-good stories of future worlds and the people who inhabit them make for a warm and hopeful read this holiday season.
Recommended for fans of science fiction romance, romance readers in general, and science fiction readers looking for something a little warm and fuzzy this holiday season *grin*
This is an e-book anthology published by Carina Press. The novellas can also be purchased separately. Edited by Angela James.
Full disclosure: I am published by Carina Press. I requested and received a free copy of the anthology from one of the authors in return for an honest review.
* * * * *
How The Glitch Saved Christmas by Stacy Gail
Reina Vedette is a detective in futuristic Chicago. When the department requires her to accept body modification, she refuses and is demoted to a level 1. That’s a tough break for one of the best detectives in Chicago. Then she’s assigned to investigate a bizarre crime; someone has been breaking into houses and leaving Christmas gifts. Problem is, she’s also expected to work with Edison Wicke, a bodily-modified detective who had previously let her know he was after the top spot in the department – the spot that used to be Reina’s.
This was a fun novella, which employs the ‘enemies to lovers’ trope quite effectively. They have to learn to work together, discovering that their skills compliment each other very well. They also have to deal with a growing physical attraction, which results in some very steamy love scenes. Chicago in winter has never been hotter *grin*
The novella is well-written with likable characters, zingy dialogue, a cyberpunk feel, and a touching ending.
* * * * *
Galileo’s Holiday by Sasha Summers
Riley is an ice miner, a job she inherited, along with her ship, from her mother and her grandmother before her. It’s a solitary job and she has spent most of her life alone. When an accident leaves her helpless and shipless on an ice moon, she is saved from certain death by a space trader, Leo. He takes her back to the moon’s station, where Riley is introduced to the pleasures and difficulties of close living quarters, home-cooked food and a mish-mash of holiday traditions that the station dwellers are celebrating. Riley receives a warm welcome, but none is warmer than Leo’s.
This novella had a couple of themes that have long fascinated me: the human body’s evolutionary adaptations to living in a space environment, and the ongoing changes in rituals and traditions as humans travel from their home planet out into the stars. Yes, I’m a bit of a geek, and I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s take on these themes.
The novella is told entirely from Riley’s point of view, and the reader gets to fully experience the story of a loner coming in from the cold. Being wrapped in the warmth and camaraderie of a community is a brand new experience for Riley. So is falling in love. In short, an interesting character and a charming story.
* * * * *
Brinn Fjord is a tough trade negotiator on behalf of her planet, the snow and ice world of Perma. The infamous negotiator, Savan Bardan, of the environmentally-degraded planet Rendar, arrives during Perma’s winter festival to negotiate access to an energy source his planet most desperately needs. If only he hadn’t blocked Perma’s entry to the Trade Guild years before, because Brinn remembers only too well the suffering that rejection caused.
This novella also employs the ‘enemies to lovers’ trope. Soon the erstwhile enemies are on the run from mysterious people who want them dead. With Brinn’s knowledge of the planet and Savan’s military background, they work together to survive and solve the mystery of who wants them dead and why.
I very much enjoyed the environmental theme of this novella. The people of Perma wish to gain access to certain technologies, but do so very carefully, always mindful of ensuring a clean and safe environment. This is in contrast to Rendar, whose people have devastated their planet’s environment in a headlong rush for convenience and consumerism.