Killgrace is an alien. And that is not his name, but one he assumed for human consumption. He exists on radiation. He is extremely grumpy, and intensely intelligent.
His partner, Susan, is also not what she claims. She is an astrophysicist, claiming to be an anthropologist.
Here’s the deal: These two are scientists unexpectedly stranded in a technological backwater who find, to their dismay, that conservation of energy and E=mc2 are in effect. Most of their technology is useless. They have two ways to get home: try and merge the reality they are in with the main causality, or rebuild a navigational database from readings taken across space and take a shortcut. Co-operation is a problem: the world they came from was at war, and they aren’t on the same side — or are even the same species.
In this episode, they come to a US starship trying to rescue two ‘creatures’ the size of a small planet from a black hole. It is an interesting exploration of the physics, mechanics and creativity of folks faced with this problem. Lots of physics in this, but my favorite lines is when one of the characters says, “There’s no gravity in space, right?”
Well, gravity sucks. Good thing, or we would all fall off the planet.
There are nine novellas in this series, and I am definitely going to get some more of them, because I am a sucker (see what I did there?) for hard science sci fi.