The Ship Who Searched
Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey
Baen, Jan 1 2013, $14.00
Archaeologists Doctors Pota Andropolous-Cade and Braddon Maartens-Cade conduct an evaluation at a Salomon-Kildare site with no one else on the planet except their school aged daughter Hypatia “Tia” Cade. For the most part Tia is by herself at camp while her parents work though she has her own excavation site in the nearby trenches. Just after Tia’s seventh birthday, Moira and Brawn Tomas arrive with supplies and a blue teddy bear gift for the child who calls her present Theodore Edward Bear.
Tia finds a real artifact that she seals inside a container before showing it to her parents. However, the container leaks dust into the child’s face. While her excited parents look for more artifacts in the locale Tia found her relic, the child becomes paralyzed. The Institute accepts Tia as a shellperson installed in a brainship delivering supplies to excavations with her Brawn being Alexander Joli-Chanteu. Accompanied by Theodore Edward Bear, they specialize as first responders on controlling diseases until the medics can arrive. MedCen assigns them to search for smugglers importing diseases into the Central Worlds even as Tia seeks the source of her paralyzing ailment.
The reprint of the entertaining third Brainships entry (see The Ship Who Sang and Partnership) is an engaging science fiction. Tia is a super protagonist who keeps the storyline steady and on course with help from her Brawn and her teddy bear. Filled with compassion, courage and chutzpah, The Ship Who Searched remains a fabulous outer space thriller.