Review - Keepsakes

40K books have a Kindle edition of Keepsakes by Mike Resnik up at Amazon. It'sa far cry from my usual "hard end of hard-SF" fare, and reviewing it was a very pleasant surprise.

Keepsakes opens as starfaring a police procedural. All the usual suspects are there – the grizzled older cop who’s seen it all, the keen new starter who’s convinced he has the answers and is going to shake things up, and the fast food joint across from the cop shop, where the real gossip and (of course) real work happen.
Keepsakes is certainly no whodunit though. The perpetrators are revealed in the first sentence, and named in the third paragraph. Instead, the story morphs into a more ambitious and thoughtful piece about how our motivation can’t be unpicked from our nature, and the surprising strength of our attachment to the things we treasure most.
This is a tale about what humans value, and about human values: Is morality more important than legality? What do we risk when we try to wring a few extra dollars out of a deal because we’re in dire straits? And finally, at the bitter-sweet end of the tale, it’s about that sad truth, that when love “conquers all”, that conquest may have victims and consequences that go far beyond the lover and the object of their affections.
Resnick’s future tech is deftly handled – there are no info-dumps, and he mostly sidesteps how the gadgets of the future do their thing, and takes casually for granted that they do what they do – which sets the stage very nicely and allows something of a detective-noir mood to build, as our detectives strive to uncover the motivation for a seemingly pointless, galaxy-spanning spree of heartless cruelty. Meanwhile, there are enough golden-era style SF hi-jinks to keep the plot rattling along nicely: Orange-furred polygamous aliens, a mexican standoff with mind-reading bad guys, a daring asteroid crash-landing, and even inter-species marriage.
When I finished Keepsakes, it was initially unsatisfying. But then I found the story twisting in my  head. It exposed facets and morals and wry observation that I didn’t spot immediately.  It will stay with me as a parable about how our emotions are what assign meaning and value, and that our humanity is in peril as soon as we forget to treasure our emotional responses.
Recommended read if: You want a short, sharp novella that leaves you thinking.