This has plagued me constantly over the last year. I noticed my collection of science fiction was beginning to be only Baen Books and Orbit (maybe a few Ace titles here and there). It made me wonder what I was missing.
A walk through the local book shop made me nervous to dive into something blind. I wasn’t sure what I’d like and what I wouldn’t. So, I explored my options and would like to share with you my conclusions!
There’s nothing wrong with liking the same authors and publishers, so I’ll begin with that.
1. Find Books Associated with Authors You Like
When I went through the book stores, I tried my best to find blurbs by authors I liked, or books written with them. I was introduced to Travis S. Taylor by his collaboration with John Ringo. I decided to pick up One Day On Mars as a result.
Other books by the same author are also a plus!
Likewise, you can always find new authors by associations with old ones. However, that will lead to (oftentimes) the same publisher being represented on your shelf. So there’s another option…
2. Try Authors From the Same Publisher
Doesn’t exactly solve the publisher problem, but you can’t go wrong with a publisher you like. I tend to like Baen and Orbit, so I have a lot of their books. They couldn’t be more different! But the books they publish tend to have quality associated, at least the qualities I’m looking for in books. With that in mind, you can also do something simplistic.
3. Judge the Book By It’s Cover
Sounds awful, right? But most publishers know what kinds of covers attract people who read specific kinds of books. There’s a reason why most spaceship/fleet types books have… surprise… spaceships on the cover.
Books about space marines tend to have space marines on the cover. It makes sense! You will find that the covers that attract you tend to have content that also interests you. At least, it has in my case.
4. Try Authors You’ve Heard About
I heard about Ann Leckie but never read Ancillary Justice. As a result I bought the book and read some of it. I liked it! It’s not bad, despite all the controversy surrounding it.
Try books from authors you’ve heard of but never read. Maybe new, maybe old, but always check out new books to you.
So that’s my advice. Try these measures, and if they don’t work, then try something else! Good reading!