Elizabeth Bear, Blood and Iron
--well, she says herself it's something of a mess, and I see what she means. But there's no doubt about it, this is a heavyweight author, so she gets away with stuff that would sink a lighter weight like a rock. For once I'm almost on the same wavelength as a show-don't-tell writer, or maybe it's because she somehow manages to do in prose what mangaka do in pictures-- indicate back story without sitting down and info dumping you. A very neat trick. Even Willey doesn't quite manage the segue over Important Bits as smoothly as Bear. (Possibly because Willey's IB are missing in the middle of the action and are not in fact back story.)
In time I'll probably get the Shakespearian ones just to see what she does with a book that didn't have four or-was-it-five rewrites. It may be much better, or it may put me off with its narrative consistency; there's something to be said for a book whose plot resembles a cart rolling down a hill, which is that you can never tell where it's going to end up. (And how mangaish that is as well.) Also because someone in Yuletide spoilered me for a plot point that was mentioned and dropped in this book, which is that a certain character was Doing It with Kit Marlowe.
Ill met by moonlight
--dear god, was this one bad
--serendipity reading of Pratchett means that I read all the Susan books without quite knowing who Susan was.