Title: "Inhuman Garbage"
Author: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Published: Asimovs March 2015
Finalist in the Asimov’s 30th Annual Readers’ Award Poll
Selected for three different 2015 "Year’s Best" anthologies
This is part of Rusch's Retrieval Artist series but seems entirely independent of it. I did not check through my files for previous stories in this series but had no trouble following this. As far as I knew, all these characters were just being introduced, and I had no problem following them. Detective Noelle DeRicci is called in when the body of a woman is discovered on a waste crate in Armstrong, the largest dome on the Moon. She interviews the owner of the waste container company that sends the waste to the Growing Pits to be made into compost. Even the owner, who we do not see again is fully realized. The coroner she has summoned identifies the body as Somja Mycenae, who works as a nanny to a local crime boss named Luc Deshin. Noelle interviews him and he tells her he had let her go that day because she was not affectionate enough with his infant son. Things take off from there and the point of view shifts around to Deshin (who is a sympathetic character), the coroner, DeRicci's superior, etc. We get some surprising revelations in a story rich with intrigue mixed with science fiction and police procedural. Rusch is so good at this sort of thing. This will be on my Hugo Short List for Novella next year.