I just finished reading 3 really good speculative fiction books: all three of them by up and coming (or since they are published, maybe I should call them “newly arrived”?) authors.

The first one, The Strange Adventures of Ranger Girl by Tim Pratt is a tale set in modern Santa Cruz, california. The main character manages a cafe. Just for that whole venture into California coffee culture, the book was a great read, but what I like about Tim Pratt is his focus on relationships. And not just romantic relationships, but focusing on how the give and take between people influences our actions.

The second on, Hammered, is by Elizabeth Bear. It’s a tale set in a future Hartford, Conn. where an ex military type with outdated cyborg-like attachments is trying to live a quiet life. Except she’s friends with the local drug lord and is key to winning an alien technology race with the Chinese. I liked it for the main character. Got to love those future sci fi female main characters who aren’t too stereotyped.

The third one, Crystal Rain,, by Tobias Buckell was a refreshing action story in a far future world where the main culture is Caribbean and most of the people are NOT white. The main character and another mainish character were both great. I love those action hero type dudes. Another cool thing was that the main action centered around a war with the Aztecs. (or at least a culture seemingly Azteca) It was a great read that I didn’t want to put down because I had to know what was going to happen.

Check them out!