McDonald, Sandra -- The Outback Stars

The classic genre of "young, slightly naive military officer is assigned to an old, slightly corrupt vessel". For a pleasant change, it's not a warship and there is no alien invasion. It's more like a mobile town, operated by the military but with a mix of military, merchant-marine, and civilian inhabitants. Not to mention street gangs and petty graft. Which rings a lot truer than the usual spit-shine milSF job. Anyhow, the story thunks along with some terrorism and some mysterious alien artifacts and a lot of trying to survive between thugs and old lovers and recalcitrant commanders and PTSD from, hm, did we mention the terrorism? The romance plot thread was labored, though, and overall I'm not going for the sequel.

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