In this hard science fiction novel, a Collections Agent on a planet where calcium is currency uncovers a murderous plot.
On the planet Brink, the scarcity of calcium led the world’s government to declare it the official currency. In the decades since, the governments of other colonized worlds have suppressed shipments of calcium in order to maintain favorable exchange rates, while Brink’s Commerce Board has struggled to negotiate importation quotas to keep the population alive and growing.
Taryn Dare is a Collections Agent, a specialized detective tasked with finding black market calcium and recovering it so that the Commerce Board can recycle it and distribute it as currency. Taryn is fueled by one goal: to save up enough cash for a one-way ticket to a better world. But when a job recovering a human corpse uncovers a deadly conspiracy in the system, Taryn is drawn into an investigation that may threaten her life, and the very fabric of her society.
“The reader will root for Taryn as she gradually learns the full impact of her actions and desperately tries to make changes in this uniquely realized world.”―Booklist, starred review
“Hollywood script reader Ollinger turns to writing with a gut-punching debut…[A] bleak but energized story that will satisfy fans of darker SF.”―Publishers Weekly
“Ollinger creates a vibrant world built around the procurement of calcium tinged with mystery, adventure, and a kick-ass female protagonist.”—GrimDark Magazine
Hollywood script reader Ollinger turns to writing with a gut-punching debut about a planet, Brink, where thousands of people are sick from calcium deficiencies. On Brink, calcium is so scarce it has become the planet's currency, and there, collections agent Taryn Dare tracks down black market calcium. When she finds a dying girl suffering form a strange calcium-related illness, she uncovers a conspiracy that upends her life and could cause the same upheaval planetwide. Taryn and Brink are both perfectly matched and foils for each other: Brink is just past its frontier stage and coming under extensive corporate control, strong-spirited Taryn is disciplining herself to eventually leave for good. Her spirit emerges in layers, with Taryn rising to each fast-paced challenge. Some of the seemingly impossible situations feel a little overdone, but her escapes come from teeth-gritting guts. Other characters who are quietly strong in their own right, and a well-wrought landscape poised between rising and ruin, round out this bleak but energized story that will satisfy fans of darker SF.