by Laura Reeve.
In a way, Laura Reeve is the reason I got involved with Pikes Peak Writers just over a year ago. I was talking to a friend of mine, and she said a friend of hers was always trying to get her husband to go to this writing group and a conference that came up every April. I ended up going to a meeting (in a complete panic), then to an all-day workshop, then to the conference...
I finally met Laura Reeve last year at the Pikes Peak Writer's conference, where she gave a dry and informative yet funny talk about subgenres in science fiction and fantasy. She struck me as the kind of person who knows the answer to the question "Why" really is "Because" sometimes.* She looked a lot more competent and confident than she should have for a not-yet-published novelist with no experience babbling literary theory to newbies. In retrospect, my impression probably came from her years coping with the military, which is definitely stranger than a writers' convention.
And that's how her first published book goes - dry, informative, often funny military sci-fi, about a character who's a lot more competent and confident than she should be. The characters are interesting but don't rest on their "interestingness." (The main character is no Miles Vorkosigan, but she has enough flaws to outlast a dental convention.**) The plot is solid, until you realize she's been spinning more plates than you realized, and they might go amuck at any time...but don't. The writing is direct and doesn't screw around with vagueness or purple prose but is never dull.
Totally the kind of thing I never read. Totally going to read the next book.
Minor spoilers in comments.
*Or, "What is slipstream?" "Honestly? I don't think anybody knows."