I hate Kristine Kathryn Rusch. No, wait. I love Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
The truth? The truth is, I'm jealous as hell of Kristine Kathryn Rusch. For my money she's the best short-form writer in the business at the moment, and by "business" I don't just mean my usual pop-literature hunting grounds of SF (though she has a novella and a novelette in the current issue of Analog and Asimov's, respectively.
But it was when I saw her name on the cover (pictured above right) of an issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine last fall that I knew I was hooked. I bought the magazine.
Rusch is amazingly prolific and she is also never less than very good. Her science fiction stories emphasize both the science and the fiction, resulting in speculative backgrounds peopled by very real characters in imaginatively difficult situations.
Rusch plays with genres — SF, mystery, romance — the way a virtuoso musician bounces from one instrument to another in the studio. I haven't read any of "Kristine Grayson's" romance novels yet, but they're on my agenda — as is anything else she's got going, though at the rate she writes 'em, it's unlikely I'll ever be fully caught up.
If there is such a thing as a typical Rusch story, the cover novella of the July/August Analog, "Coordinated Attacks" is an excellent exemplar.
Structured as a police procedural times two — both strands involve the lead, a good cop on the edge named Bartholomew Nyquist, with one is set four years before the other; both strands are compelling incidents, both in terms of narrative tension and of character development; and both deal with terrorism on a future, colonized, moon, in a manner informed by current events but never didactically analogous to the "war on terror".
"Coordinated Attacks" is compulsive reading whose ending is logically and emotionally satisfying and that yet leaves you wishing the story wasn't over.
Knowing Rusch, there will be probably be a sequel or three, and I'll be surprised if any of them disappoint.
Besides fiction, Rusch also blogs, as clear and readable (and almost as prolific!) with her non-fiction as with her fiction. In particular, and likely of particular interest to many of you who are writers or wannabes, her series on surviving the death of traditional publishing, the latest entry of which is here, is fascinating and, I suspect, essential reading for anyone who is or wants to become a writer-for-money.
Basically, if you see her name on a cover or on a website, I can almost guarantee you'll find that whatever she's written is worth your time to read it.
Cross-posted to Edifice Rex Online.This entry was originally posted at http://ed-rex.dreamwidth.org/221219.html. Comment there using OpenID, or here as per normal.