Genre: science fiction: space opera, novella
Queer Representation: lesbian
Space stations. They’re all fun and adventure in concept, but the reality is that someone has to work customs. Intergalactic flora and fauna aren’t going to police themselves, after all.
But like, what if you just wanted to really make an impression on the cute quarantine officer? Maybe give her a little something for solstice? You could bend the import rules just one, right? Especially for something as cute and clearly harmless as ussi that is definitely not going to grow a hundred times its size and try to eat the station.
Nope. Definitely not.
Shandi Leavenworth is the chief engineer for Onwa Station and definitely has a thing for the ladies. Well, one lady in particular. Major Sur has seen a bit too much battle and just wants a quiet secondary career as an inspection agent for station imports of the living variety. They keep meeting up and having broken conversation in the mess, with all the awkward lesbian flirting one would expect. In an effort to get things moving, Shandi wants to give Tyra a gift, but not just any gift. A cute pet would be great. A cute exotic pet, even better. And Shandi knows just the (probably not super legal) person to ask.
This book is the third in Martinez’s f/f holiday shorts, and delivers as much sweet romance and fun spec fiction action as her previous two installments SAFETY PROTOCOLS FOR HUMAN HOLIDAYS and YULE PLANET. As always, Martinez provides solid worldbuilding in a tight package, and manages to build a solid, relatable courtship without sacrificing pacing or plot. The holiday theme is, as always, a delightful addition.
Alas, there weren’t any dinosaurs in this one, but there was a giant, trainable poot (see: MY TEACHER FRIED MY BRAINS– a favorite book of mine in grade school). Another +5 for mention of a lathe (“No, it’s okay. Accident when I was little. The whole don’t go near the auto-lathe while it’s running translating into three-year-old me definitely needing to see it up close.”). +10 for the station having pronoun confirmation protocols.