Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Five Types of Books I Want for Christmas
I'm suffering from some genre fatigue, folks, and I'm soliciting your help in getting out of the muck. It sometimes feels like I'm reading the same five books over and over, and only the names change. Surely there's more out there than the stuff I'm finding?
Here are the five types of books I want for Christmas. (Language a bit NSFW!)
5. Military science fiction that is not a rehash of The Forever War. Soldier gets sent/signs up for an interstellar war. It's nothing like he expects. He's forced to do terrible things that do equally terrible things to him. Soldier finds love. Loses love. Finds love again. THE END. Argh, no. Somebody show me some military science fiction that doesn't go this route. I'm deeply tired of reading the same book over and over again - there has to be another story in there. Doesn't there?
4. Science fiction, fantasy, or urban fantasy with unhappy endings. Can Spacey O'Spacerson/Jesu el'Chosen One/Hottie McHookerpants fight crime, deal with odd happenings, and still solve the mystery? Just once, I'd love the answer to be no. Or "yes, but..." where the 'but' is bigger than a warehouse. Lilith Saintcrow is the only person I know who is writing this stuff. Who else can give me my fix?
3. Strange or innovative urban fantasy. Werewolves, vampires, and demons - oh my! I want something else. I rather liked The Space Between for a different take on angels/demons. The Bloodhound Files is a nice riff on the vampires/werewolves trope because it's the humans who are rare in their world. What other series can I check out that aren't just rehashing the same old thing?
2. Urban fantasy written by men. Jim Butcher - check. Mark del Franco - check. Uh, well, that's kind of where it breaks down for me. My bookshelf needs an injection of some hot man-writing, people. Hook a girl up.
1. Science fiction romance that isn't just a fancy setting for fucking. Spaceships! Virtual reality! BAM - FUCKING. No. The thing is, the story matters. If it's just a backdrop for fucking, I'm not interested. I want an entire world and people who are shaped by this world and relationships that reflects that. We've got it for paranormal stuff, why am I not finding this for science fiction? Nalini Singh does this right with her Psy-Changeling setup - it's great science fiction and plenty of cross-species romancing that is heavily influenced by the rules of the complex and different world they inhabit. Now, who else is getting the job done?
Please chime in with any recommendation that hits these spots. I've gone from reading 12-18 books a month to 2 or 3, because I'm just so done with all the same old stuff. I feel like my brain is stagnating.
(Update: Two books that go under both #3 and #4 that I should have mentioned: A Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde and Grave Witch by Kalayna Price. Both of these books have unconventional heroines whose abilities have serious side effects. Akira Malone has a multitude of broken bones from ghosts possessing her. Alex Craft will almost certainly end up blind forever, and sooner rather than later.)