A masterful update to and satire of the space opera subgenre, this book is brilliant. The protagonist is wonderful, the intricate plot moves at breakneck speed and the universe is studded with memorable characters who will stick with the reader long after the story's done.
Freya, designed as a sexbot for humans, has had a variety of odd jobs but they're fewer and further between for a robot with an essentially useless set of skills. So when the opportunity comes to courier a small package from Mercury to Mars, she jumps at it -- and her life is forever changed. (Ace, Jul., 336 pp., $24.95)