January 2015 archive

Genre Blend New Releases – February 2015

The shortest month of the year is not short on new books that combine genres.  Gearing up for the spring publishing season, there are some great new blended titles coming our way in February.  As always, I have tried to list the genres in the order os seeming importance to the story.  For example, HISTORICAL/ROMANCE would be a mostly historical fiction novel with a romance, but ROMANCE/HISTORICAL is a romance novel with a historical setting.  Make sense? Let’s round up February’s new blends!

February 3

February 10

 

February 17

February 24

Genre Blended Comics

The blending trend of mixing and matching elements from different genres to tell a story is not limited to novels.  Visual media are often the perfect way to tell a blended story, and while TV and movies get a lot of attention, comic book and graphic novels have been genre-blending for a long time.

The storytelling technique of comics really blends the best of the written and visual worlds, allowing the creators to (literally) illustrate scenes that a novelist can only describe. But you still get to keep some of that imaginative work that happens when you read novels – filling in the details in your head that are only inked on the page with soundtracks and special effects and how the character sounds in your head. It also is a format that allows you to proceed at your own pace, lingering over panels and pages that catch your fancy, whipping through scenes that somehow manage to convey movement and action through pen and ink.

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Fantasy Cops

Urban Fantasy is a genre full of crime.  Not every urban fantasy contains a mystery component, but many, MANY do. When you set your fantasy on regular city streets and remove the epic worldbuilding and plots of large-scale political intrigue and clashing armies (think Tolkien, Martin, etc.) you need something to fill that plot hole.  A mystery plot, with its reliable structure of crime, investigation, and resolution is amazingly suited to a blend with fantasy. It is also a plot that lends itself to episodic series, with gradually accumulated world-building allowed to be used over and over again with the same characters, only changing the particular mystery plot du jour. (more…)

Near-future SF

In science fiction canon, big-scale far-future stories usually get all the glory.  Books set on other worlds, with space ships and alien encounters are what many people think SF is all about.  And those books are great.  I love space opera, and I love far-future SF books like Dune or the Culture books by Iain Banks, or Peter F. Hamilton’s crack-o-liciously good duology of Pandora’s Star/Judas Unchained. But there is something equally appealing about near-future SF stories. (more…)