Retrieval Artist Books

Retrieval Artist is a series of Science Fiction novels written by Kristine Kathryn Rusch which follow the exploits of a law enforcement officer doing what he can to find and capture human criminals gallivanting about on Alien Worlds.

Order of Retrieval Artist Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Retrieval Artist and Other Stories 2001 Description / Buy
2 The Disappeared 2002 Description / Buy
3 Extremes 2003 Description / Buy
4 Consequences 2004 Description / Buy
5 Buried Deep 2005 Description / Buy
6 Paloma 2006 Description / Buy
7 Recovery Man 2007 Description / Buy
8 Duplicate Effort 2009 Description / Buy
9 The Recovery Man's Bargain 2010 Description / Buy
10 The Retrieval Artist 2010 Description / Buy
11 The Possession of Paavo Deshin 2010 Description / Buy
12 Anniversary Day 2011 Description / Buy
13 Blowback 2012 Description / Buy
14 A Murder of Clones 2013 Description / Buy
15 Search & Recovery 2014 Description / Buy
16 Sole Survivor (Short Story) 2015 Description / Buy
17 The Peyti Crisis 2015 Description / Buy
18 Vigilantes 2015 Description / Buy
19 Starbase Human 2015 Description / Buy
20 Masterminds 2015 Description / Buy
21 Inhuman Garbage (Short Story) 2016 Description / Buy
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The Retrieval Artist series is often commended for blending science fiction with the police procedural genre. In fact, these books are more police procedurals than anything else, with the science fiction genre only coming into play to provide a unique background within which Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s stories can play out.

The Retrieval Artist series takes place in a far-flung future. Mankind mastered space travel a long time ago. Over time, they came into contact with alien species. It became necessary to create an interplanetary government known as the Earth Alliance.

The Earth Alliance was tasked with not only creating and maintaining peace treaties between man and alien but it also drafted laws that could govern the activities of mankind on alien worlds.

When readers first meet Miles Flint, Rusch’s hero in The Disappeared, the first novel in the Retrieval Artist series, he has just earned his detective badge. However, rather than basking in the glory of his new position, Miles is assaulted by apprehension when he begins to understand the true nature of his work.

The Earth Alliance has made it so that human beings who break the law on alien words are judged by those same alien laws. Unfortunately for most people, alien laws are neither rational nor forgiving.

They do not recognize ignorance as a defense and they provide no room for leniency. Miles learns that his work will involve finding and turning human lawbreakers over to his alien superiors for punishment.

He also learns that most such humans are innocent. They break the law not because they are corrupt but, rather, the human corporations that employ them expanded onto alien soil so quickly once the opportunity was availed that they gave their staff no chance to acclimate to their new alien cultures.

And for breaking laws they neither knew existed nor considered important, they must face punitive consequences ranging from being executed to watching their children get taken away.

The Retrieval Artist series is spent watching Miles Flint as he comes to terms with his role in this system. Miles spends more time breaking the law he was sworn to keep, and helping unfortunate humans evade alien capture than actually solving crimes.

The name Retrieval Artist refers to those law enforcement operatives whose job it is to locate the Disappeared. The Disappeared are human beings who, once they are targeted by alien laws, hire certain agencies to make them disappear.

The Retrieval Artist novels normally have a mystery at their center, one that Miles must solve even as he attempts to maneuver the various convoluted alien cultures he encounters.

Retrieval Artist Awards

The First novel in this series was awarded an Endeavor Prize.

Best Retrieval Artist Books

The Retrieval Artist books are most commonly praised for their inventive concept and refreshing take on police procedurals, with some of the best novels in the series including:

Blowback: The Anniversary Day Tragedies changed everything. The Earth Alliance is now consumed by paranoia, certain that another assault is on its way. But Noel DeRicci cannot worry about what she cannot see.

As the Moon’s Chief Security officer, she is too busy keeping the United Domes Government together and focused.

This is as Miles Flint, a Retrieval Artist, joins a band of shady operatives and attempts to investigate the Anniversary Day events his way.

Masterminds: The Masterminds gave civilization a scare with the Anniversary Day Bombings. But that was merely their opening act. They have put in play a plan that has been decades in the making.

Noelle DeRicci doesn’t know if she can handle an investigation of such scope, not with so much on the line. Meanwhile, Mile Flint believes that his daughter’s past might hold the key to identifying the masterminds.

Other Book Series You May Know

The “RCN” Series by David Drake is a great read as well. Daniel Leary is a Lieutenant in the Republic of Cinnabar Navy. Adele Mundy is a librarian. Brought together by unfortunate circumstances, Leary and Mundy must maneuver interplanetary political shenanigans in their efforts to serve the interests of their homeworld.

You may also enjoy “The Buyadeen Cycle” Series by George Alec Effinger. Marid Audran is a street hustler living in a technologically advanced future that has seen Muslim countries flourish while the West has disintegrated. A series of events force Marid out of his comfort zone in the Arab Ghetto and into the lucrative but deadly upper echelons of the criminal underworld.

What Is The Next Book in The Retrieval Artist Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Retrieval Artist Series. The newest book is Inhuman Garbage and was released on October, 8th 2016.

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