In this series of short stories, Recovering Apollo 8: And Other Stories, Kristine Kathryn Rusch begins with her forte: deep space hard science fiction. I am usually not a huge fan of hardcore space science fiction. But Ms. Rusch always catches me with her great character sketches and her human sized futures. In the title story, we meet a man obsesses with space, and a boyhood dream to rescue the astronauts from Apollo 8. The whole story is about the climax of the anti-climax. I somehow feel like I am following Geraldo into Al Capone’s Vaults. Yet unlike the vaults, I am not disappointed. She manages to find the meaning in a dream slightly skewed.
There is a strangely heartwarming story about death personified. Again, she creates characters, uniquely human in bizarre circumstances. In spite of the gruesomeness of the situation she creates, the characters read true and as a reader you can’t help but enjoy them.
Another story deals with one of her favorite topics: xenocide with aliens. However, this xenocide occurs on earth instead of in space. It is told alternately between the past and the present between a cop who finds a huge amount of bones, and the last alien survivor. Again the perspectives are great, full of truth and yet not preachy.
Recovering Apollo 8: And Other Stories by Kristine Kathryn Rusch