“The cultures of the different worlds had grown so distinct that interplanetary communication was becoming impossible. Our job was to keep them from offending one-another in order to prevent pointless conflict. We may have broadened our scope a bit since then, but that is the core of our job, and do it solely by talking to our leaders. If we ever gave them a reason to stop listening to us, we’re finished. Understand?”
In Master of Formalities we are introduced to Wollard, the Master of Formalities for the planet Apios and his apprentice Phee which is at war, and has been at war for generations, with the hated Hahn Home World. The Hahn have stepped up their attacks forcing countermeasures from the ruler of Apios when the capture of something of importance changes everything.
This novel by Scott Meyer is his usual light-hearted fare which I enjoy. I don’t know if it is a satirical look at other sci-fy works or an homage to them. Either way it is entertaining. There are enough twists and turns and subplots to keep the story moving and very enjoyable reading.