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Karen Ostertag's blog

New Speculative Fiction for August 2013

New to our shelves:

Witch Wraith by Terry Brooks (3, Shannara: Dark Legacy of Shannara) F, H, M
MacRieve by Kresley Cole (13, Immortals after Dark) F, H, R
The Year's Best Science Fiction 30 by Gardner Dozois, ed. (30, Year's Best Science Fiction) SF (SF Year's)
On the Razor's Edge by Michael Flynn (4, January Dancer) SF
The Glass God by Kate Griffin (2, Magicals Anonymous) F, H, M
After the End: Recent Apocalypses by Paula Guran, ed. (6, Recent Monster Anthologies) SF (SF After)
The Humans by Matt Haig SF, R
Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton (22, Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) H, R, M

New Romance Fiction for July 2013

In paperback:

One Day in Apple Grove by C. H. Admirand (2, Smalltown, USA) C
From This Moment On (Marcus & Nicola) by Bella Andre (2, The Sullivans) C
Sweet Revenge by Zoe Archer (1, Nemesis Unchained) H, M
An Outlaw in Wonderland by Lori Austin (2, Once upon a Time in the West) H, W, M
Forged in Steele by Maya Banks (7, KGI) C, M
The Billion Dollar Cowboy by Carolyn Brown (1, Cowboys & Brides) C, W
One Sweet Ride by Jaci Burton (6, Play by Play) C, E
Take Me Under by Rhyannon Byrd (1, Dangerous Tides) C, M, E
Unforgiven by Anne Calhoun C, E

New Speculative Fiction for July 2013

New to our shelves:

Clockwork Fairy Tales by Stephen L. Antczak and James C. Bassett, eds. F, SF, A (Fantasy Clockwork)
The Beautiful Land by Alan Averill A, SF, R
Lexicon by Max Barry SF, F, M
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes A, SF, M
Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe (2, Tufa) F
Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnston (2, Ender: The First Formic War) SF (SF Card)
Abaddon's Gate by James S. A. Corey (3, Expanse) SF
Cold Steel by Kate Elliott (3, Spiritwalker trilogy) F, A
The World of the End by Ofir Touche Gafla, with Mitch Ginsburg, trans. F, SF, R, M

New Romance Fiction for June 2013

In paperback:

Haven Creek by Rochelle Alers (3, Cavanaugh Island) C, O
The Emperor's New Clothes by Victoria Alexander (11, Faerie Tale Romance) H, W
The Look of Love by Bella Andre (1, The Sullivans) C
Homecoming by Lacey Baker (1, Sweetland) C
Ours To Love by Shayla Black (7, Wicked Lovers) C, E, M/F/M
Half Moon Hill by Toni Blake (6, Destiny) C
Hearts of Shadow by Kira Brady (2, Deadglass trilogy) C, A, F, S
Walking in Fire by Cathryn Cade (1, Hawaiian Heroes) C, M, S, O, E
Surrender to the Earl by Gayle Callen (2, Brides of Redemption) H

New Speculative Fiction for June 2013

New to our shelves:

The Tyrant's Law by Daniel Abraham (3, Dagger and the Coin) F, M
School's Out Forever by Scott Andrews (2: 3, 5, 7, The Afterblight Chronicles Omnibus) SF, M
      (contains Children's Crusade, Operation Motherland, and School's Out)
Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 by Catherine Asaro, ed. (2013, Nebula Awards Showcase) SF (SF Nebula 2013)
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks H
Guardian by Jack Campbell (3, The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier) SF
The Watchtower by Lee Carroll (2, Black Swan Rising) F, H, R
Blood and Bone by Ian C. Esslemont (5, The Malazan Empire) F, M

Pixies in the Drawing Room: Gaslamp Fantasy

Frances Griffiths and fairy, 1917I've discussed historical-set speculative fiction in the past, specifically the popularity of steampunk and the weird West.  Today I'd like to introduce you to steampunk's fey cousin, gaslamp fantasy.  If you like fantasy and you enjoy period novels, gaslamp fantasy will be right up your cobblestoned alley.  Think of it as urban fantasy with a 19th-century twist.

The term "gaslamp fantasy" covers fantasy fiction set in the Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian eras, though some will stretch the definition as far as the early years of the 20th century, up the first World War.  While steampunk found its origins in the likes of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and the innovative marvels of the Industrial Age, gaslamp fantasy's wonders generally stem from more uncanny sources.

New Romance Fiction for May 2013

In paperback:

Bite Me, Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann H, S, M
Sinner's Heart by Zoe Archer (3, Hellraisers) H, S
As Twilight Falls by Amanda Ashley (23, Vampire Romances) C, S
Fever by Maya Banks (2, The Breathless trilogy) C, E
Headed for Trouble by Suzanne Brockmann (Troubleshooters) C, M
Darius by Grace Burrowes (1, Lonely Lords) H
Falling Blind by Shannon K. Butcher (7, Sentinel Wars) C, S
Uncommon Pleasure by Anne Calhoun C, E
    (contains Over the Edge and All On the Line)
The Marrying Season by Candace Camp (3, Legend of St. Dwynwen) H, M

New Speculative Fiction for May 2013

New to our shelves:

Spirit's End by Rachel Aaron (5, The Legend of Eli Monpress) F, H
Juggernaut by Adam Baker (1, Outpost) H, M, SF
Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson (2, Jessica McClain) F, H
Protector by C. J. Cherryh (14:5, Foreigner 4) SF
London Falling by Paul Cornell F, H, M
A Turn of Light by Julie E. Czerneda F, R
Hauntings by Ellen Datlow, ed. H, F (Horror Hauntings)
The Exiled Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (3, The Assassini trilogy) F, H, M
Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations by Paula Guran, ed. (5, Recent Monster Anthologies) F, H, M (Fantasy Weird)

Second Chances

Have you ever said or done something you later regretted?  Or worse, have you not said or done something, and spent the rest of your life wondering how things might have been different "if only..."?  Even if you're content with the choices you've made, it can be hard to let go of some of those missed opportunities.  And if you're not entirely happy, those poor decisions and unresolved endings can really haunt you.

Now imagine the regret in question is a person you once loved.  What do you do when that once-special someone suddenly walks back into your life?  It could be that friend you crushed on in college, but never had the courage to approach.  He's single now... and he's moving into your building.  Perhaps it's your ex-- he's in recovery from the very issues that drove you away, and he's looking for a fresh start.  Sure, you could ignore him, and let the history between you keep you apart.  (After all, you had good reasons for breaking up with him in the first place, right?)  Or....

Arturus Rex: The Once and Future King

"And when they came to the sword that the hand held, King Arthur took it up."If Shakespeare is Britain's most enduring voice, surely this man is the heart of its most enduring story: Arthur, the legendary King of the Britons.  Arthur and his knights have inspired the pens of such literary giants as Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, C. S. Lewis, and Marion Zimmer Bradley... but they've also found their way into the adventures of Indiana Jones, Monty Python, and Sonic the Hedgehog.  (I find it intriguing that Shakespeare, who regularly borrowed from England's history and other stories far and wide, never once touched upon what became known as "the matter of Britain"-- the Arthurian mythos.  Perhaps he was leery of poaching in Edmund Spenser's territory.) 

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