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Karen Ostertag's blog

New Romance Fiction for November 2012

(Romance Key: X = Holiday; E = erotica/romantica)

New Speculative Fiction for November 2012

New to our shelves:

The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks (10, Culture) SF
Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein (1, Fated Blades) F, M
Only Superhuman by Christopher L. Bennett SF, CB
This Case Is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova (a.k.a. Melinda Snodgrass) F, M, H
Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell (1, The Lost Fleet: The Lost Stars) SF
Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey (1, Agent of Hel) F, H
Ironskin by Tina Connolly (1, Ironskin) F, A, R
The Twelve by Justin Cronin (2, The Passage trilogy) H, SF, A
The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski H

Scared Silly

It's October, dear readers, and you know what that means: Christmas decorations are going up at the mall!  (Sadly, yes, but not quite the sort of spirit I had in mind.)  No, October means Halloween, and for speculative fiction readers that means lots of hair-raising, spine-tingling, soul-chilling HORROR!  Unless, of course, you're me: a self-confessed horror... wimp

New Romance Fiction for October 2012

Romance Key: X = Holiday; E = erotica/romantica)

In paperback:

How a Lady Weds a Rogue by Katharine Ashe (3, Falcon Club) H, M
Desire the Night by Amanda Ashley C, S
Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks (1, The Montgomerys and Armstrongs) H
When the Duchess Says Yes by Isabella Bradford (2, Wylder Sisters) H
Playing to Win by Jaci Burton (4, Play by Play) C, E
Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell (1, Sons of Sin trilogy) H, M
The Lost Night by Jayne Castle (1, Harmony: Rainshadow) SF, S, M
Fool for Love by Beth Ciotta (1, Cupcake Lovers) C

New Speculative Fiction for October 2012

New to our shelves:

House of Bells by Chaz Brenchley (2, Keys to D'Esperance) H
Riveted by Meljean Brook (3, Iron Seas) A, SF, M, R
Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson (1, Jessica McClain) F, H
Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia (4, Monster Hunters) F, H
Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson (1, Kharkanas trilogy) F
The Nemesis List by R. J. Frith (1, Jeven Jones) SF, M
The Kingmakers by Clay & Susan Griffith (3, Vampire Empire) F, H, A
Ghosts: Recent Hauntings by Paula Guran, ed. (4, Recent Monster anthologies) H (Horror Ghosts)
Extreme Zombies by Paula Guran, ed. H (Horror Extreme)

At the Border of SF: Magical Realism

Last month I wrote about crossover YA-- speculative fiction written for a teen audience that adults would also enjoy.  This month, I'd like to take another stroll outside of the SF genre shelves and introduce you to a close cousin: magical realism. 

Magical realism is essentially mainstream fiction with a difference.  Unlike urban fantasy, which uses a version of our world as a setting for fantasy (with all of fantasy's tropes and magical rules), magical realism brings an element of myth and fantasy into an otherwise mundane real-world setting and treats it as factual.  The result is something as weird and startling as finding a half-burnt simurgh feather on the ground while you're out walking the dog: the wondrous becomes (sometimes uncomfortably) possible and close and real

New Romance Fiction for September 2012

(Romance Key: E = erotica/romantica)

New Speculative Fiction for September 2012

New to our shelves:

Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks (1, Shannara: Dark Legacy of Shannara) F, H
The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan (3, Traitor Spy trilogy) F, M
Dying for You by MaryJanice Davidson (11, Queen Betsy) H, R
Mortal by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee (2, The Books of Mortals) SF, A, M (SF Dekker)
Precinct 13 by Tate Hallaway (1, Alex Connor) F, H, M
Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines (1, Magic Ex Libris) F, M, H
The Broken Ones by Stephen M. Irwin H, F, M, A
Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon (22, Dark-Hunters) F, R
King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (2, The Broken Empire) F

Fast, Fun Reads for Not-So-Young Adults

The summer's nearly over, alas!  In a week, it's back to pencils and books (or computers and smartboards) for the younger generation.  If you've got kids in school you might hesitate to pick up a long novel right now, with the demands of the school year looming so close.  Or maybe you don't have kids, but end-of-summer burnout is making your reading pile look like the Tower of Babel.  Well, fear not!  The library (as always) has an answer for you: Young Adult books... for grown-ups!

Young Adult (or "YA") titles tend to be faster reads for adults, but that doesn't mean they're poorer ones.  These books will hook you early and hard, grabbing your attention from the get-go.  Think about it-- they have to grab a teen's attention away from school, sports, friends, social media, texting, gaming, movies, shopping... you get the idea.  And in the name of grabbing that audience, YA authors are often willing to be more innovative and edgy than their adult-market counterparts-- telling an entire story through chat windows, for example, or using Death himself as a narrator.

New Romance Fiction for August 2012

(Romance Key: E= Romantica/Erotica)

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