A series of short adventure stories set in a nominally sci-fi universe. The stories read a bit like episodes from the original Star Trek, where a brave and clever band of starship captains, ambassadors, and scientists deal with new alien species and some sort of plot or diplomatic incident. The stories are largely enjoyable, though the sci-fi aspects are very thin. In particular the aliens think and speak very much like the humans do, and the humans mostly think and speak the same (homespun, likes baseball, mildly right wing). The short story form does work much better for the author than his long form novels set in the same universe. With a short story the premise behind the episode only has to work for 30 pages rather than 300. The short episodes are strung together and gradually move the larger plot along. One of the best stories though is a standalone buried at the end of the book, which has a clever and enjoyable hand-to-hand fight against a strange alien beast.