I know that in the past, I’ve read the first few books of the EarthCent Ambassador Series by E.M. Foner, but that was so long ago now I’d forgotten virtually everything about them, apart from some minor bits and pieces, and the fact that I enjoyed the ones I had actually read. So when Audible chucked me a free $10 coupon to spend on anything I liked, I figured it was high time I revisited the universe and see what it was all about again.
And yes, it was just as fun as I remembered it. This is easy-going science fiction, so there is nothing technical to try to wrap your mind around, just an absurd situation onboard a far-flung space station where humans are the charity case of a far-superior species called the Stryx. A race of artificially intelligent systems that run the base and keep everything honest… well, as honest as they can.
While you might think the universe’s foremost AI would be good at matchmaking, when Kelly (Earth’s ambassador onboard Union Station) gets set up awful date after awful date, you might think otherwise. From being abducted to be sold off as a bride to getting offers to have a baby or donate eggs, things don’t look good. For the most part, the plot mostly revolves around these awful dates (so it would be hard-pressed to pass the Bechdel test), but other things are afoot as well.
Counterfeit earth products have found their way onto the station that needs looking into and hosting a computer game competition where some species are taking the whole thing a little too seriously.
Ultimately, this is a fun short story set on some distance space station. Nothing super futuristic, not dystopian or anything like that. A character-driven tale centred around interactions with the other species and each other; a slice of life on a space station.
Narrated by Hollie Jackson and produced by Tantor Audio, the whole thing was nicely polished and delivered. Hollie’s was easy to listen to, with a broad range of character voices to keep everything straight.
There are another 14 audiobooks in the series (and 20 or so total in the series), with the last audiobook being produced some years ago, so that’s kind of annoying that not all books in the series will be available. But if memory serves, each book was stand-alone, so if that trend continues, then hopefully, it doesn’t leave me hanging. I’ll definitely be picking up more of this series.