Friday, January 22, 2010

IN SEARCH OF NEW READS, PART I

Quick! Name some SFR writers!

Ha! you say, and easily rattle off half a dozen well-known authors. Your list probably includes those who are at the top of their game right now—Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant, Ann Aguirre, Nalini Singh, even Sherrilyn Kenyon, if we go by the numbers. It may include old favorites like Lois McMaster Bujold or Anne McCaffery. If you’re savvy and with-it, your list is growing to include up-and-comers like D.L. Jackson and Barbara Elsborg (and one day soon, the hosts of this blog!).

But, of course, it’s our job here at Spacefreighters Lounge to scout out the far, dusty corners of the SFR galaxy (and your local Borders, Barnes and Noble or Joe’s Bookshop) to dig up lesser known authors. Birders have a Life List of feathered creatures they’ve spotted. Readers of genre fiction have the same kind of weird fascination with sharing the more obscure authors on their Lifetime Reading Lists.
Now, truly, most of the authors on my Life List are hardly unknowns. Linda Howard and Nalini Singh, for example, are personal favorites of mine and millions of other readers, too. It’s just that they hadn’t been generally recognized as science fiction romance authors. They needed a “tag alert” so you could find them, in Linda’s case for her excellent time travel/suspense romance KILLING TIME, and in Nalini’s case for her entire Psy/Changling series.

The same could be said for award-winning paranormal writers Angela Knight and Gena Showalter. Angela is perhaps best known for her MAGEVERSE series of paranormals, the latest of which is MASTER OF FIRE. But she began her career with futuristic short fiction for Ellora’s Cave and Red Sage. Of those, MERCENARIES (Ellora’s Cave) has been expanded and republished by Berkley. “Roarke’s Prisoner” is still available as part of the SECRETS, Vol. 2 anthology from Red Sage.

Angela has also had recent success with her futuristic TIME HUNTERS series, WARRIOR and GUARDIAN. This series follows a team of “genetically engineered cyborgs dedicated to protecting time travelers from each other.” Need I say these cyborgs are sexy alpha male types? And in need of someone to help them get in touch with their feelings? Well worth checking out, particularly if you like your SFR hot and action-oriented.

The amazing Gena Showalter has hit gold with two paranormal series, LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD and ATLANTIS, and often introduces new series titles or related titles as e-books or YA spin-offs. She’s just a busy gal! But you may not be aware of her excellent near-future SFR series of ALIEN HUNTRESS novels, beginning with AWAKEN ME DARKLY and including most recently SEDUCE THE DARKNESS.

How about this for backcover copy (from Gena’s website, for AMD): In a time and place not too far away, Mia Snow is an alien huntress for the New Chicago Police Department, and she’s the perfect girl for the job. Tough and sexy, she’s earned each of her scars battling the elusive enemy among us. Now, investigating a series of killings, she is shaken to the core when a burst of violence leaves her partner Dallas fighting for his life. A tall, erotic stranger holds the power to heal the injured agent — and to bind Mia in an electrifying and dangerous seduction. He is Kyrin en Arr, of the deadly Arcadian species — an alien, a murder suspect — who has Mia walking a knife’s edge, risking her badge and even her life . . . and edging closer to a shocking revelation that will shatter everything she’s ever believed.

Sounds good, huh? I’ve read two titles in the series and found them to be tight, edgy and evocative of a dark vision of the future that’s Gena’s own. Oh, and hot, too. Just what I’m looking for in SFR. The next title in the series is not due until November of this year. That should give us all enough time to catch up with the ones we’ve missed.

All right, maybe you all had Angela Knight and Gena Showalter on your Skiffy Rommer lists, too. Shoot me a line and let me know how much you enjoyed their lesser-known SFR stuff. And be sure to add their names to the ongoing tag party Heather Massey, our own Laurie Green and others have working to spread the news about SFR.

Meanwhile, I’ll try harder to find someone you don’t know next time with IN SEARCH OF NEW READS, PART TWO!

Cheers, Donna

9 comments:

  1. Great article, Donna, and some new books to check out. And--woohoo!--time for another tag party! :)

    Looking forward to your next article and possibly even more SFR leads!

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  2. Great article and lot's of new reads to add to the TBR.
    I find a lot of the "newly released" SFR novels from the big houses have been previously published by e-publishers. When expanding your reading list, don't hesitate to explore some of the e-novels out there. You'd be amazed at the variety you can find and when they hit the big print houses, you can say you read them first. LOL
    If you like erotic science fiction, keep your eyes open for Last Flight of the Ark. It should be out with Liquid Silver Books this spring and I promise some surprises and twists you won't expect.
    D.

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  3. Donna, I have read all of Angela Knight's Time Hunter series and I love them. They are sexy, suspenseful, and they will make you laugh out loud.

    Elorie

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  4. Thanks for checking in, everyone. Laurie, I'm a great believer in the tag party concept--and glad to encourage it whenever I can. Thanks for the suggestion, Dawn. So far my methodology has been to roam up and down aisles looking for likely titles. But I've asked for an e-reader for my birthday in February so I can actually read stuff I buy off the 'net without sitting hunched over the computer (like I do for so for so much of my day already), so things will change soon!! And Elorie, I always appreciate a little humor with my SFR, too. Angela Knight fits the bill.

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  5. One thing I've wondered - in the bookshops - do they put sci fi rom with the rom or the sci fi?? In the Uk - they barely have a romance section but I've noticed in the States that you're much more organised with your genres. I ask the question because I don't recall seeing Linea Sinclair et al in the romance bit.
    Barbara

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  6. That's actually a much discussed topic among SFR authors and fans, Barbara. It's very difficult to locate SFR because where it's shelved is up to the individual stores. If you're looking for a particular book it might be found in the science fiction section, romance or sometimes fantasy. If you're just scanning for a good SFR read--good luck.

    It would be wonderful if SFR had its own section, but its just not yet big enough as a genre-subgenre to warrant that.

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  7. Yeah, it's frustrating, particularly as a newbie. I've noticed my local Borders has just started piling certain crossover books--steampunk, some post-modern SF, some urban fantasy--on a table between the SF and Romance sections (which are contiguous--talk about some guys and gals avoiding each other!) Guess the store manager can't figure it out either!! At least more established writers fall out about right--Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant in romance; Lois McMaster Bujold in SF. Bujold was the hardest to find when I went looking for her.

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  8. @ Flick....good point on the shelving of SFR. It's not up to the author and sometimes not even up to the publisher. The head buyer of each chain bookstore makes those decisions (so I'm told), which is why I'm shelved in the USA in the SF section in Barnes & Noble and in romance in Borders. Indies, of course, can shelve books as they please. ;-) As for over the pond, I would guess it's still up to the head buyer as they have to catalog the books consistently.

    Now libraries--I have no clue how they shelve.

    I have a list of authors on the LINKS page on my site - www.linneasinclair.com - but it's not as complete as Heather's on The Galaxy Express. However between the two there are lots of good reads. I guess what it comes down to--if you're in a bookstore--is ask, or use the store's computer database to locate authors. Happy reading! ~Linnea

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  9. Barbara's off to Austria so I don't think she saw your comment.

    That's interesting (or maybe frustrating) that B&N and Borders shelf the same author's book in two different places. No wonder we have such a tough time finding our favorite genre.

    If I'm not looking for a specific title, then I'm just browsing for something that catches my interest and that's when hunting down the SFRs can really become a scavenger hunt.

    Thanks for stopping by Spacefreighters, Linnea.

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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.