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Authors: Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Search & Recovery: A Retrieval Artist Universe Novel

BOOK: Search & Recovery: A Retrieval Artist Universe Novel
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Table of Contents

About the Author

Other Titles from Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Copyright Information





To Colleen Kuehne,

For everything








This project is so massive that there is no way I could have done it without the assistance of Annie Reed, Colleen Kuehne, Judy Cashner, Jerimy Colbert, and Allyson Longueira.

Special thanks to my husband, Dean, for keeping me sane as the books morphed and changed and grew.

But…I reserve my deepest gratitude for all you readers. Thank you for coming with me on this journey—and for waiting while I completed the books. Your support has sustained me while I wrote. Thank you.








Dear Readers,

This book is the reason that I had to write all of the books in the Anniversary Day Saga before I released any more of them. This book and the next four. Before I explain that cryptic bit of information, let me address all of you in general.

If you are new to the Anniversary Day Saga, back up and start with the book titled
Anniversary Day
. If you’re new to the Retrieval Artist series,
start with any book up to (and including)
Anniversary Day
. The first book in the entire series,
The Disappeared
, is probably best for you to start with, but all of those previous novels stand alone as, I hope, the novels
this saga will as well.

For those of you who have been with me all along and picked up this book without reading the rest of the saga, here’s what’s going on: WMG Publishing reissued
Anniversary Day
in the fall of 2014, with new covers and new author’s notes inside (no new material, though, so if you’ve read them, you don’t need to scan through the reissues).

In January of 2015, WMG released
A Murder of Clones
, the third book in the saga. This novel,
Search & Recovery,
is the fourth book in the saga, and it appeared in February of 2015. The rest of the books in the saga will be released one per month in 2015 through June, when the last book in the saga will appear. For more information about the saga and the series, go to

Here’s why you’re getting six books in six months:

I write stories out of order. I have always done so, for reasons I don’t entirely understand. Usually, though, my stories are contained in one novel that wraps up at the end, so before I release the novel into the world, I can put it in order. But when I write an entire saga, the
is the story, not the novels that create the saga.

And in the past, traditional publishing schedules only allowed for one series book per year, so writing something like the Anniversary Day saga was almost impossible to do well.

When I started
Anniversary Day
, I had no idea that it would take so many books to finish the long arc. As I look at the story I was trying to tell, though, it makes sense. You can’t—well,
can’t—write about a vast epic in one or two novels and feel satisfied. I know some writers can, but honestly, I don’t much care for those books.

So, following the rule that all writers should follow, I’m writing a story I would like to read. It’s long, it’s involved, but it does follow a plan and an arc. I just had to write around various parts of the puzzle until I figured out exactly what the entire saga needed.

And I’m glad I waited to publish until I finished the rest of the saga. Because this is the book that reminded me why I chose to publish
I finished.

Search & Recovery
didn’t exist until I had nearly finished the book I initially thought of as the third book in the Anniversary Day saga—
The Peyti Crisis
The Peyti Crisis
(which is the March book) will feature Miles Flint. I thought I had finished
The Peyti Crisis
in January of 2014, but something bothered me about it, something that I couldn’t put my finger on.

Then I started the next book in the saga,
and characters kept showing up, telling me what they had done on the way to the Moon. I figured I could write really boring “and this happened and this happened” dialogue, or I could write the actual stories.

Besides, at that moment,
of the villains revealed themselves, with some surprises, and I realized that I needed to understand why they did what they had done. I had a vague idea, but when you’re writing a long story arc, a vague idea wouldn’t be very satisfying.

I know I write out of order, and I knew the end of this saga was being written out of order. If I were still working in traditional publishing, out of New York, I would have written one or two books a year on this series for the next few years, and felt very frustrated when I realized I had told the middle section wrong.

I would have figured out how to make it work, but it would have felt like walking backwards in a windstorm. WMG Publishing has given me the freedom to write the story arc I want to write (which is essentially one giant book split into novel-sized chunks) and to publish the novels quickly so you folks don’t have to remember year to year what’s going on. That freedom makes all the difference in the world.

What this publishing schedule does for the saga is keep it unstuck in time, which is how it should be. Flint and his team were surprised by what happened on
Day. I had to preserve that surprise, while showing how the crisis unfolded and why. That’s why
A Murder of Clones
(January), this book, and the upcoming
Starbase Human
(May) are set in the saga’s recent past.

Search & Recovery
is set shortly after
Anniversary Day
. The next book,
The Peyti Crisis
, returns to the days just after
, when all the residents of the Moon must deal with the second attack that hit so soon after the first.

I am conscious that each book needs a beginning, middle, and an end. So even though the saga threads remain unresolved in these middle books of the saga, I’m trying to tell smaller stories within the larger one.

This is one of those smaller tales. I hope you enjoy it.

—Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Lincoln City, Oregon

May 31, 2014













BERHANE MAGALHÃES’S MOTHER put her arm around Berhane’s shoulder, pulled her close, and kissed the top of her head. Berhane flushed, but refrained from looking around the
Armstrong Express
car at the other passengers to see if they noticed her mother’s inappropriate display of affection. Berhane used to glance at others guiltily when she was younger, and all it would do was make her mother’s trilling laugh echo through whatever compartment they were in.

This compartment was large and wide, with silver built-in seats that accommodated most two-legged species, and some sideways booths for wider aliens. There was even a flat tabletop area for the Disty. A Disty sat cross-legged on it now, its tiny childlike shape belying its ferocity.

Berhane had grown up fearing the Disty. Apparently, her father had lost business associates to them, and he loved to talk about how awful the Disty were and how they murdered indiscriminately.
Earth Alliance law allowed for it
, he would say, and then he would add,
That’s such a travesty

She tried not to look at the Disty—and found herself looking at a wide variety of humans instead. They were standing, sitting, watching vids on their links, swaying to the train’s movement. Scattered among them, a few Peyti—gray aliens so thin that they looked like they would shatter with a tap to their twig-like arms. They wore masks over much of their faces, which she had grown used to in her time at the university.

Berhane hadn’t had a lot of contact with aliens before she graduated from the Armstrong Wing of the Aristotle Academy two years ago. Now, aliens filled her classes, and the hallway, and the public transportation she took daily to get to Dome University’s Armstrong campus.

Apparently, Berhane’s mother noted her discomfort with the aliens and pulled Berhane even closer. Berhane didn’t move away, although she wanted to. Her mother—and probably most of the humans in the car—would have found the movement rude.

And whatever she thought of her mother, Berhane didn’t want to be rude to her. She knew they just misunderstood each other most of the time.

Madeline Magalhães believed in laughter and affection and warmth; for some reason, she had married a man who believed in none of those things, leaving her children confused about the very nature of love and proper behavior.

None more than Berhane, who adored her father. He seemed to approve of her, although he rarely said so. But of all the family members, the only one he talked to about business and the future was Berhane.

Her mother grinned at everyone else in the compartment. Most of them looked away. Her mother rarely rode public transportation, but this morning, she was accommodating Berhane—sort of.

Berhane had mentioned that they’d be taking the five a.m. inner dome train in an effort to dissuade her mother from accompanying her. Predictably, her mother had mentioned bringing their own car, but Berhane had vetoed that.

She hated parking in the university lots. Not only was it difficult to find a space, but she found that having a car—particularly one of the most expensive models on the Moon—made her feel less like a student and more like a wealthy dilettante.

“You really need to listen to me,” her mother said softly, after she had kissed Berhane’s head.

“I do listen,” Berhane said a little too loudly. The big man near her looked over. She glared at him, wondering if his size was a conscious choice. He looked wealthy enough to afford thinness enhancements.

“My darling,” her mother said, laughter in her voice, “you have never listened to me. But you need to, now.”

“Mom,” Berhane said. “I have finals this week. I don’t have time to think about any big life changes.”

Whenever her mother got this tone, she wanted Berhane to do something. Change her major, be nicer to her father, talk to her brother about something he was doing wrong.

Given the timing, her mother probably wanted her to break up with her boyfriend. Her mother had never liked Torkild Zhu, believing him to be a cold-hearted bastard like her father. At least, those were her mother’s words.

And maybe her mother was right on some level. Torkild wanted to be a lawyer, not because he cared about people, per se, but because he found the law intellectually challenging—and because he thought being a lawyer would be a great way to make money. Not Bernard Magalhães kind of money (one of the richest men on the Moon money), but out-earning your own parents kind of money.

Torkild had said that if he were a lawyer, he would have to answer to himself, the courts, and no one else.

He seemed to think that a good idea. Berhane had not found a way to argue with him.

And she hadn’t felt like it. He had his passions; she wished she had hers. She was still looking for her place in the universe. Right now, she was that Magalhães girl, or Torkild’s girlfriend, or a Dome University student.

No one knew who Berhane was because Berhane didn’t know who Berhane was either.

BOOK: Search & Recovery: A Retrieval Artist Universe Novel
6.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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