I stayed up until 4 a.m. finishing Sandra McDonald’s The Outback Stars. I really didn’t mean to, but I kept thinking, “maybe the next chapter will resolve x,” and the next thing I knew I was done. It’s not without flaws; the mystical elements didn’t always mesh smoothly with the space opera stuff, to my way of thinking, and at one point halfway through, the entire plot hinged on a coincidence, which drove me nuts. But overall… well, I stayed up until 4 a.m., you know? It’s a space opera romance about office politics and espionage. Right up my alley, in other words. Sign me up for the sequel.