2013’s Earthrise is the first novel in the Her Instruments series, by the prolific M.C.A. Hogarth. It’s also the first Hogarth novel I have ever read. I picked it up for two reasons: it was free and I had heard others talk about it in a way that made me think the book might scratch my Traveller itch. Traveller, the old-time Dumarest meets the Solar Queen rpg that featured rag-tag crews making a slender living moving goods from system to system in beat-up starships.
As it turned out, there are indeed some Traveller-like elements in the book, but I was even more strongly reminded of an entirely different, considerably less well-known rpg. More on that later.
Reese Edding and the rest of her rag-tag crew — twins Sasha and Irvine, Bryer, Kis’eh’t, and Allacazam— do make a slender living moving good from system to system in the beat-up starship TMS Earthrise. The ship had a brush with insolvency before but was saved by a large gift from a mysterious benefactor. Well, not to much gift as a payment for a service to be named later.
Now that marker has come due.