Looking for #SFR recs

I bow to the SFR hive mind on this one. 🙂 People, I’m after recs to add to my TBR pile. At the moment, I’m going through a lot of non-fiction, mostly textbooks as The Wast prepares himself for his exams. I’m in dire need of some distraction, but can’t think of what to read, so I throw myself upon your mercy.

What do you recommend?

I’d like to steer clear of any military or military-like stories. I’m a military brat myself, but have great ambivalence towards the service and am really looking for entertainment at the moment.

I’d also prefer a not-so-obviously North American background. There are N. American terms I don’t understand, and I don’t want to get involved in a story where I need to research particular terms. God knows I’m doing enough of that during our swotting time.

Strong heroines, natch, but no bullies.

No erotic scenes. I find I’m pulling away from the erotic SFR romances. Anyone else finding that?

I suppose it all adds up to a read that’s relaxing, above all.

I know, I’ve listed quite a few daunting criteria. Still, anything else left standing once the dust settles?

Author: Kaz Augustin

Writer, Linux geek, cook, homeschooling mum and middling soap-maker

5 thoughts on “Looking for #SFR recs”

  1. That is some daunting criteria. Strong heroine, non-North American, non-military, non-erotic. I’d love to read that book if I could find it. Maybe I should sit down an write it. 🙂

    Have you considered space opera? Sometimes it has some romantic plot lines, and less erotic scenes. Carol Van Natta’s series is neat. I’ve finished Long Way to A Small, Dark Angry Planet (Becky Chambers) which I quite liked. And Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Series (but that’s very military).

    Transcendence (Shay Savage) with a caveman (literally) hero and time travel. It’s definitely unique and I give the author props for trying new stuff as per hero and style.

    As per erotic SFR-I’ve been pulling away from it too, but less because of the erotic element, more because of too many similar plot lines. I’m not criticizing writers for writing them b/c bills must be paid and that sells. Maybe a few months down the line I’ll feel differently.

    I also find myself craving some non white heroes. I’ll still eagerly grab a book with a Black, Asian, or Native hero:in SFR not so common.

    I’ll stop before this turns into a long, angst filled blog post.

    1. “Strong heroine, non-North American, non-military, non-erotic. I’d love to read that book if I could find it. Maybe I should sit down an write it.”

      Yes, that sounds a lot like one of my stories. It’s about the difficulties faced by a married couple who are independent miners, trying to work a new claim on an unsettled planet. The story is from the wife’s point of view. It involves the couple’s personal relationship amid the changing economics of mining, and her struggle to find solutions while dealing with the existing culture. I guess if I wrote it down, it would start something like this:

      “What happened to the money?” Gene wasn’t shouting but in the close confines of the ship he was louder than necessary.

      “I transferred half of it into a separate account.”

      Gene’s shift from annoyed panic to confusion had left him momentarily unable to form a proper question; so Nancy continued, her own annoyance casting a noticeable edge to her voice, “You decided to buy a survey claim six months travel from the last trading base which is already in the middle of nowhere. And, you decided this without saying a word to me. If I’m getting in the way of your plans you can take your half of the money and go mining without me.”
      Nancy resisted the urge to cross her arms, instead clasping her hands tightly together in her lap. She knew that most of the mining wives wouldn’t have questioned a husband’s decisions about where or how to mine, certainly her mother never would have.

      “There wasn’t anything available; I was lucky to find that.”

      Nancy paused a moment, realizing that Gene had probably felt that his answer was completely reasonable and that she would agree. He was again missing the point. “Gene, we only gained a little on the last mining claim and the one before that wasn’t much better. I can’t spend the rest of my life worrying about when the next unexpected repair is going to bankrupt us. I can’t keep putting off having children because we can’t afford a decent place to raise them.”

      “We’ll do better on this claim. We’ll get ahead.”

      Nancy recognized the gambler’s attitude that most miners shared. Prosperity was always just one more claim away. She shook her head. “That isn’t good enough. I want you to promise that if we don’t do better on this claim, we’ll move back from the frontier to an established colony and you’ll get a regular job.”

      Nancy’s ultimatum left Gene once more unable to speak. He turned and left the room. A moment later, she heard the airlock close. She took in a deep breath and exhaled. Had she pushed Gene too far? Maybe, and Gene was a good man; but how could she keep living like this?

    1. No probs. 🙂

      Yeah, y’know, I knew it was a hard list, but that’s what I’m in the mood for At This Moment. Next month, hey, it could be something else. And I’m not really one to diss the military stuff ‘cos I’ve written it myself!

      ::snaps fingers:: Carol! Of course! Thanks for the prompt. Great rec. And I’ll go hunt down Becky Chambers’ book, too. I’m not interested in Leckie’s, tbh. Just not at that point as a reader at the moment. And “Transcendence” sounds wicked.

      Thanks so much for the recs. Knew it was going to be difficult, but you really came through. 🙂

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