December is a really light month for new science fiction and fantasy books, but there's still some really great stuff out there. Including a new Deryni novel by Katherine Kurtz, a dwarf detective novel, and a Jay Lake collaboration. Here are the most essential books published in December.
Carrie Vaughn is the author of the mega-successful Kitty Norville novels — but she didn't want to rest on her laurels. Instead, she fought to break out of the "urban fantasy" category, which she hadn't even known existed until she was put into it. Her story is fascinating.
Science fiction noir doesn't come much nastier than the KOP novels by Warren Hammond. The adventures of a bent cop on a rotten planet, they're like Dashiell Hammett mixed with Philip K. Dick. Spoilers ahead.