Don't get me wrong: I still like Elizabeth Moon, Jim Butcher and Jayne Ann Krentz. But not like I used to. Well, maybe the Krentz. But Elizabeth Moon and Jim Butcher are both feeling like the past, and I think I know why.
The basic structure of a Jim Butcher/Harry Dresden novel and an Elizabeth Moon milsf book is similar: our hero(ine) means well, fucks up, and then proceeds at a mad dash, developing additional powers, friends and enemies in an effort to correct the initial "error", which turns out to have been a problem largely because of malovelent Others working behind the scenes. Their friends and lovers are harmed/die/betray them, but at the same time they are building a network of truly trustworthy people they can work effectively with.
Shorter form: it's like when you're running, and you trip, catch yourself, realize you didn't completely catch yourself and wind up moving faster and faster and faster in an effort to regain your equilibrium, never quite succeeding but at the same time not actually falling. Until you do. Then you get up, dust yourself off, have a bit of a cry and go on, because you suddenly realize THERE'S A BEAR CHASING YOU.
I'm trying to figure out why this isn't as riveting? appealing? resonant? as it once was. I mean, that's pretty much a perfect description of a huge chunk of my life. But bizarrely enough, even with a contested Trustee election in March, my sense of impending doom is kinda just . . .gone.
Weird. Nice! What do you call it when you're wondering where your ever-present sense of impending doom is on long-term hiatus?
Crusie fits this mold fairly well, too.