Patricia Altner interviews Ann Aguirre on her blog today.
I read Grimspace, the first book in Ann's science fiction series about a "jumper", Jax, who navigates ships through grimspace (aka subspace, or what I call nodespace in my book), last year. It's a futuristic adventure romance novel that I was really excited to find, because at that time Kristin was shopping my book to publishers and Grimspace was one of the best examples of a book that was a similar genre to mine (meaning, "if you liked that, you'll love this!"). Plus it had a cool cover.
It's published by Penguin Ace, so we had high hopes for that editor. She said of Song of Scarabaeus: "It's solid and the author has talent... I enjoyed the writing," but rejected the book as being "too technical, with more science than I was looking for in an SF novel with romantic elements."
Definitely one of my nicer rejections, especially because I was aiming for a book that includes plausible science as an integral part of the story and the worldbuilding. I majored in cell biology and zoology (eons ago) and read Scientific American and Stephen Jay Gould for pleasure. Science, particularly biology and physics, fascinates me. I had great fun inventing a new science for Song, extrapolating from what I know about ecology, genetic engineering and retroviruses.
Having said that, my focus is always on the characters and the story - which is what I enjoyed about Grimspace, with its fast pace and lively dialogue. It's written in first-person present tense, which takes some getting used to but works really well. There will be four books in the series (book 2, Wanderlust, is already on the shelves) so check it out.