I must start off this review by declaring that I am a fan of Connie Willis. Her work can be deadly serious, as in 'Passage', or much lighter as in 'To say Nothing of the Dog' but there is always an underlying humour. It is that perspective that I enjoy most in her writing. The humour is very much to the front in 'Uncharted Territory'. There is a lightness in this book that contrasts with the darkness of her last two works.
The problem for the reviewer is how to describe this book without spoiling the experience of reading it. The plot is simple in outline but very clever. The main players are a pair of scientists who are exploring a new planet but in her usual way the author somehow manages to make the location an important character in the story. The scientists are working with a guide who is a member of the native people. Their guide fines them every time they disturb the environment. Even leaving a human foot print behind results in a fine which their guide then spends on Internet shopping. Then they are joined by an enthusiastic young scientist who doesn't know the rules but does know a lot about mating rituals!
This is a clever story that introduces us to what I hope will turn out to be some new Connie Willis regular characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to pretty much anyone who enjoys taking an alternative look at the life, the universe and all that.