December 1st, 2007

Fishy Circumstances

The Down Home Zombie Blues

I had a novel experience this week. For the first time, I read a book with a matching mug. The mug - won in a mailing list contest, courtesy of the author - arrived a week before The Down Home Zombie Blues. Linnea Sinclair's latest novel came out on November 29th. Her novels were the ones which got me started on my romance science fiction project last year.

This one's a lighthearted combination of science fiction, romance, and police procedural novel, set in contemporary Florida. While there is a mystery, the romance and science fiction are the novel's strongest elements. (Sinclair used to work as a PI, but this is the first time she's written a full mystery novel. The elements are all there, and I suspect she'll get better with practice in future ones.) Because my hopes were high, I came away with some minor criticisms of it - inconsistent pacing in the second half; inconsistent use of several of the secondary characters - but on the whole, it was a fun piece of escapism.

Best of all, it's an excellent piece of introductory science fiction. It's meant to be. It plays with tropes and references to Star Trek, for example, without being heavy-handed about it. For SF movie watchers who've not moved on to reading in the genre, this is a good place to start.