Fortunes of the Imperium
Jody Lynn Nye
Baen, Sep 2 2014, $15.00
In Taino, after losing his driver’s license due to accepting a foolish dare from his cousin, Core Worlds Lieutenant Lord Thomas Innes Loche Kinago learns from his aide-de-camp Commander Parsons that his irate mother has a special punishment for his shaming the dignity of the fleet. Thus Thomas prepares for a diplomatic mission into the Autocracy of the Uctu sector where he is to learn why shippers are being held and delayed in that region. However, his hidden agenda is to end the smuggling of contraband including weapons into Uctu space; as nine vessels recently were caught with illegal shipments.
To Thomas’ dismay, his cousin Jil joins him due to personal reasons involving a need to leave Taino for a while. When Thomas and Visoltia the Autocrat meet, she likes the Core World officer for his upbeat energy and kindness, and amused by his ego greater than Uctu space; he is not the usual simpering diplomat she typically encounters. Still as is his personality, Thomas distracts easily; leaving it to Parsons to keep him as usual focused on the mission; especially since most likely someone high up in the Autocracy runs the smuggling gamut.
The latest amusing Imperium science fiction (see The View From The Imperium) is a lighthearted outer space adventure due to the Jeeves-Wooster hyperbolic characterizations of the lead pair as they struggle with understanding an alien sentient lizard populace. Although the storyline remains a one act joke with too much sidebar focus on Thomas’ latest distraction, this jocular novel is fun due to the antics of this aristocratic superego playing the roles of diplomat and undercover agent.