Confirming my prior assumptions is the opposite of what I aim for when reading the available previews linked in SF Signal’s round-ups of new SF/F/H releases. However, as I worked through January, I only found two titles that appealed to me, and they were both related to things I had read before. I’m glad to know about them though.
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch, A Murder of Clones. I read the novella that started the “Retrieval Artist” series at some point close to its original publication around 15 years ago, and I’m pleased to see it’s still chugging along. To me, it has the feel of 1960s SF. A space detective / space patrol series with a lot of random alien species would have been perfectly at home on the shelves with Retief, Sector General, Gil Hamilton, James Schmitz’s Zone Agents, etc. This is volume 10 and the third in a sub-series, so I guess it’s pretty far from being an introduction. But there was nothing hard to follow in the preview, and I liked that it just got a story going quickly.
- Harry Connolly, The Way into Magic. It looks like SF Signal may have missed announcing the first volume of Connolly’s new epic fantasy series, “The Great Way,” but jumping straight into this, the second volume, probably helped me to see it as an eventful story with a lot of D&Dish magical stuff going on. I’ve read one volume of the same author’s urban fantasy series, “Twenty Palaces,” and I thought it was alright: certainly, it moved along, even if it stuck closely to familiar tropes of urban fantasy. If this new series achieves something similar within its genre, then it should find an audience.