It’s going to be strange not teaching today. As I mentioned a couple of blogs ago, I spent the past two weeks teaching an intensive summer residency as part of Western Colorado University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing’s Publishing Program. It was exhausting and exhilarating. And I’m sad that I won’t be seeing those amazing students on Zoom today.

But I will still be overseeing someone’s education today, at least. My daughter, Nola, will be participating in a special Zoom-based summer camp called Operation: Forensic Science from The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas. She has already participated in their other virtual summer camp called Operation: Investigation. It was awesome! Seeing what the museum has done with summer camp learning makes me hopeful for what can be done with distance learning this fall (because there’s definitely going to be distance learning this fall…).

Nola loves forensic investigation. And I love her inquisitiveness. This week, they’ll be studying death investigation, DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis, and ballistics.

Although this pandemic has made a lot of things harder, it has also opened new doors, like the ability to attend a virtual summer camp from a museum 1,000 miles away. It’s amazing the technology we have today. Science fiction becomes science fact with a fascinating level of regularity.

Those sf writers sure know their stuff.

All this talk about virtual crime scene investigation and sf novels and technology reminds me of Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Hugo Award-winning Retrieval Artist series.

Miles Flint’s first appearance was in The Retrieval Artist: A Retrieval Artist Short Novel. It’s a great place to start. It’s also a great standalone story. Here’s the synopsis:

The short novel that started the entire Retrieval Artist series, The Retrieval Artist introduced Miles Flint to the world.

Hugo-nominated, chosen as one of the best stories of the year, The Retrieval Artist created an entire universe, and Flint himself became what io9 calls “one of the top ten science fiction detectives ever.”

“Part CSI, part Blade Runner, and part hard-boiled gumshoe, the retrieval artist of the series title, one Miles Flint, would be as at home on a foggy San Francisco street in the 1940s as he is in the domed lunar colony of Armstrong City.” —The Edge

The ebook is available for $2.99 here.

And if you’ve read the series, but not this award-winning short novel, now’s a great time to pick it up. The story takes place later in the timeline than all of the novels in the series.

Science, technology, hope for the future…we could all use more of those right now.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

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