Thursday, May 08, 2008


Do you ever buy a book, thinking it will be just what you want to read, then put it aside, just because it didn’t live up to, in your mind at least, the rest of the author’s works?

Before trading books in at the used bookstore, I snapped the photo which accompanies this entry. Each of those books I did read, in part. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but each one is only a partial read, and therefore, a disappointment.

I’ve enjoyed most of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden series, but I did not realize that Tomorrow Log is a compliation of short stories that they chose, but did not write. I did read one or two stories before consigning that book to the trade in pile.

Many reviewers and some publishers cite Dara Joy as one of the early writers of science fiction romance, but I have tried twice to read her work, and I really don’t like it. Her characters don’t seem real to me, and some of the settings and situations seem more artificial than imaginative.

Rebel Ice
is an installment in S. L. Vielh’s “Star Doc” series, which I have enjoyed, until this volume. The main thing that kept me reading the series was the fiesty main character, Cherijo, whose thoughts are revealed via a vivid first person POV. Alas, in this one, she has lost her memory, so she doesn’t remember to be fiesty. All of the books in the series are filled with multiple conflicts, but watching Cherijo spar with adversaries makes them entertaining. Rebel Ice, which lacks that element, depressed me, so I never finished it.

Suzanne Brockmann’s romantic suspense books are favorites of mine, especially the books with Navy Seals as heros. Hawken’s Heart just didn’t catch my interest the way her later books have, and a quick look at the copyright page reveals that this is a reprint of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear from her early career. Writers do get better, for the most part, and Brockmann’s later works are wonderful, but I will steer clear of her first efforts from now on.

The first book by Sarah Zettel that I read was Fool’s War, and it is an uneven but fascinating thriller with artificial intelligence as its sci fi theme. I also read another of her serious science fiction, Playing God, which mentioned in a previous entry. Reclamation is her first published work, I believe, and I tried to get through it, but I just couldn’t. Zettel is really smart, and Reclamation is just too complicated for my tastes. I read for fun! Nowadays, she is writing fantasy for the Luna line, so I may not ever read her again, since I really don’t like fantasy.

Susan Grant is one of my favorite authors. I absolutely loved her first book, Once a Pirate, which is a lighthearted time travel romance. Her next books, a series which I’d classify as sci fi romance, begins with The Star King, and is enjoyable. A stand alone, Contact, is my favorite of her works, and I listed it in a previous post as one of eight books I can read again and again. Her two novels in the 2176 series, The Legend of Banzai McGuire and The Scarlett Empress, were also fun reads. Her latest series, for a new publisher, began with Your Planet or Mine, and it was almost like reading a screenplay instead of a novel. I haven’t made myself finish it, and the sequel is languishing in my “to be read” pile.

I’m off to trade in more books, and some of the ones pictured are in the pile, so they will remain “unread” by me.

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At May 8, 2008, 8:42:00 PM, Blogger Susan Grant said...

I got a "google alert" on this and thought I'd reply to say that you're not alone! Your Planet or Mines didn't work for many of the fans of my previous books for some reason. (yet did for others, go figure!) Based on your comments, I think you'll really enjoy the last installment in this trilogy How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days. E-mail me with your addy & I'll send a signed copy to you. My new book Moonstruck is a darker, deeper spin off of this series. If you enjoy ET, it might be a nice jump off point to that book. Whatever you decide to do, I always appreciate your support, and really mean that! Good luck with your books, too!

At May 9, 2008, 9:20:00 AM, Blogger Laurie said...

Hi Pam. I also found your blog by google alert, but for "science fiction romance" in general. (By the way, Susan Grant's How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days was the first of her novels I've read, and I enjoyed it. Contact is next, and I'm looking forward to the release of Moonstruck on May 25, which sounds like it will be an edgy Sci Fi Rom.)

You have a lot of interesting content and I'll be back later to absorb it all. :) I'll post your link on my blog, Spacefreighters Lounge, which focuses on the science fiction romance sub-genre. (If you have any interest, there's a current poll running about Sci Fi Rom and Sci Fi YA novels.)

At May 9, 2008, 4:02:00 PM, Blogger Pamela J. Dodd said...

Thank you, Susan and Laurie, for stopping by.

Susan, I did pull Your Planet or Mine from the trade in stack, because I have enjoyed your work, and I might re-visit it to get caught up with the series.

Laurie, I will be hopping over to visit your site.

Good luck to you both,


At May 10, 2008, 5:51:00 PM, Blogger Susan Grant said...

Pam, thank you! I got your note and will get the book out to you. Laurie, thank you, as well! I will definitely check out your site. (If I don't already know it I'm a bit frazzled with jet lag after returning from Japan yesterday. :) )


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