Lem is trying to settle into life aboard the star ship Teapot with her new alien friends, but she feels uncertain about her place. Unlike her crew mates, Lem doesn't think she brings any skills to support the running of the ship. Then the ship answers a call to help evacuate a colony that will otherwise be wiped out by a large asteroid impact, and Lem's skills as a project manager are tested to their limit.
“Judgement Dave” starts out in the same humorous vein as it's predecessor, Left Hand of Dog, but soon gets a little more serious. The humor is still there, but the story clearly reflects the frustrations of the pandemic times in which it was written. Lem ends up dealing with science deniers and politicians totally out of touch with reality. It's not the least bit veiled satire on contemporary events. Since all of the main characters in this book were introduced in the first volume, you'll need to have read the previous book before reading this one.
Lem remains much the same character we got to know in the first book, although we get a better idea of what her life on Earth was like before she was kidnapped. We get to see her in her element, as it were, managing the evacuation of the planet Dave, or at least trying to. Of course, Lem has her trusty sidekick Spock, who often provides the comic relief in this story.
The rest of the crew of the Teapot were introduced in the first book, and we don't get to know too much more about them in this story. Lem has formed quite a close relationship with Bexley, and the crew definitely share the same political leanings, broadly speaking.
Like everything I've read from this author, there's a very queer sensibility to the stories, with lots of thought provoking discussions about gender and identity. This story also takes on de-personalizing peoples to justify slavery.
“Judgement Dave” is available from Amazon.