We are so excited that You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo is going to be hitting shelves in just one week and even MORE excited that the author has joined us on the blog today to introduce us to the crew of their upcoming book! Check it out here.
By Cat Rambo
Captain Niko Larsen is of human extraction, raised among the Free Traders, the loose affiliation of ships that survives by taking cargo from one point to another. She misses her people there, but has vowed never to return to them, due to a past and terrible wrong. Instead, she joined the military entity known as the Holy Hive Mind, and rose (and sometimes fell) within its ranks, before finally retiring and taking those of her crew with her that she could in order to found The Last Chance, a restaurant aboard a major space station, TwiceFar.
Favorite food: A spicy protein-paste that she remembers from childhood, which most people find far too hot. Dabry made her promise to stop cooking with it, but she still fries some up as a midnight snack every once in a while.
Sergeant Dabry Jen, Niko’s second-in-command and right-hand man, actually has two right hands of his own, since he comes from the Ettilite, a four-armed race. He and Niko met when they were both being tested for suitability after having just enlisted with the Holy Hive Mind, in Dabry’s case somewhat involuntarily. The two became fast friends, and have worked together so long that they can seem to read each other’s minds at times, though it’s the result of long experience and not telepathy.
Favorite food: Whatever he’s cooking next. An example of this is Velcoran cuisine, in which the flavors are contained in balloons of inhalable gas accompanying protein bricks. Dabry loves a good culinary challenge.
Communications officer Skidoo is a Tlellan, a race actually each made of a symbiotic pair of beings. Tlellans resemble Earth’s octopi, and the similarity has led to the nickname for them, Squids. Most of them don’t venture into space, but Skidoo has, not just in search of adventure but sensual pleasure. Flirtatious and open-hearted Skidoo’s efforts often go awry in her efforts to keep everyone happy, but she rolls with the punches and keeps on being her own sweet self.
Favorite food: Back on Tlella, there’s a tiny, heart-shaped shrimp usually consumed raw in a thin, briny soup. She hasn’t tasted it in a long time, but she tells herself it’s the only thing she misses about her home planet.
Thorn and Talon are teen weretigers who were entrusted to Niko’s care by their mother, a soldier in Niko’s employ. Impetuous, highly competitive, and just beginning to become adults, the twins are huge fans of warball, the training game they first learned while in the Holy Hive Mind. They usually perform clean-up and similar tasks for the restaurant, since when put in the front of the house, they tend to get too chatty with customers, while in the kitchen, they get overeager and impatient.
Favorite food: Something they’ve gotten to chop. With knives.
Reptilian Lassite is a Sessile, a member of his society’s priestly caste, driven by his need to see the Golden Spiral he has prophesied manifest. Niko is essential to the spiral’s culmination, and Lassite has dedicated himself to her—or rather, to moving her along its path. Small and grim, he has been known to drive off restaurant patrons by foreseeing doom in their future more than once, a habit that doesn’t work well with his role as the restaurant’s maître d’. Lassite is trained and adept in wielding magic, including taming the alien ghosts that haunt the space station quarter in which the Last Chance is situated.
Favorite food: None
Atlanta is a new arrival to the crew and utterly uncertain of her role, although determined to find one within their ranks. Her lack of experience and assumptions from her former life of luxury lead her into trouble more than once, particularly when confronting the sort of dangers chasing Niko and her crew.
Favorite food: Almond cookies
Pastry chef Milly is a Nneti pastry chef, feathered, graceful, and capable of a deadly, killing dance that she exercised in her former life as a soldier. She’s recently arrived to the crew, but has been a pleasant addition, one that everyone gets along with well.
Favorite food: Sour-picked grubs in spun sugar cocoons
Quartermaster and sous chef Gio is an augmented chimpanzee who’s ventured off his home planet of Earth in search of adventure and found it when Niko took him under her wing, rescuing him from an abusive and brutal captain. Gio’s followed her ever since, signing out his sardonic commentary but never objecting to danger or discomfort.
Favorite food: Fruit salad
Heads turn for Lolola Montaigne d’Arcy deBurgh, who wears a beautiful, high-end designer body and is a renowned food critic. She thought the day was going well when they arrived at Twicefar in order to dine at the Last Chance and possibly bestow one of the Known Universe’s most coveted awards, a Nikkelin Orb. It was a lovely evening, with lovely company, up until everything started to go not just downhill but right off the cliff. Now Lolola finds herself sharing meals with people who don’t know her greatest secret—and she’s got to figure out how to turn it all to her advantage.
Favorite food: Tacos
You Sexy Thing is an intelligent bioship. After it’s been moored at Twicefar while its owner checks out a certain restaurant he’s heard a lot about, the ship finds itself stolen when newly arrived cargo signal the start of the station exploding and the crew needs to get off of Twicefar as fast as possible. The Thing isn’t sure yet how emotions work, but it’s very “excited” to try them out, and getting the chance to test out its new skills with them in communication with the crew is more than welcome.
Favorite food: Companionship
Cat Rambo (they/them) is an American fantasy and science fiction writer whose work has appeared in, among others, Asimov’s, Weird Tales, Chiaroscuro, Talebones, and Strange Horizons. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, where they studied with John Barth and Steve Dixon, they also attended the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop. They are currently the managing editor of Fantasy Magazine. They published a collection of stories, Eyes Like Sky And Coal And Moonlight, and their collaboration with Jeff VanderMeer, The Surgeon’s Tale and Other Stories, appeared in 2007. They live and write in Washington State, and “Cat Rambo” is their real name.
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