In the Quick
By Kate Hope Day
Even in the future only overachievers are going to make it to the stars, and June, the heroine of In the Quick, fits the bill. June’s uncle invents a new type of fuel cell allowing for more efficient space travel, but when June is only 12 years old an exploration vessel powered by these cells mysteriously disappears. This sets the precocious girl on her way, and gives In the Quick most of its plot.
June is henceforth on a mission to discover what happened to the missing spaceship, and perhaps to rescue its crew, who she believes are still alive. She is joined by her uncle’s protégé James, another scientist. Both June and James are similar personalities, making them poor relationship material, but they are thrown together in a way that at least holds the promise of their making new discoveries, if not developing an atypical romance.
June, by design, isn’t a lively, human character, and the part of the novel covering her education and training runs a bit slow, but this is still a novel in the great SF tradition of high-stakes problem-solving through personal grit, intelligence, and technology.