.                               Return to home page

Karen Ostertag's blog

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.) 

New Romance Fiction for April 2013

In paperback:

Relentless by Cherry Adair (3, Lodestone trilogy) C, M, S
High Risk by Vivian Arend (1, Adrenaline) C, M, E
Passion's Prey by A. C. Arthur (3, The Shadow Shifters) C, S, M, O, E
Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks (2, The Montgomerys and Armstrongs) H
A Shot of Sultry by Macy Beckett (2, Sultry Springs) C
Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman (2, Secret Brides) H
And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake by Elizabeth Boyle (2, Rhymes with Love) H
Thrown by a Curve by Jaci Burton (5, Play by Play) C, E
The Wanderer by Robyn Carr (1, Thunder Point, OR) C

New Speculative Fiction for April 2013

New to our shelves:

Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear (2, Eternal Sky) F, H
Halo: Silentium by Greg Bear (3, Halo: The Forerunner Saga) SF
Written in Red by Anne Bishop (1, Others) F, A, R
Frost Burned by Patricia A. Briggs (7, Mercy Thompson) F, H, M
Bloodfire Quest by Terry Brooks (2, Shannara: Dark Legacy of Shannara) F, H, M
Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill F
The Shape Stealer by Lee Carroll (3, Black Swan Rising) F, H, R
Deep Down by Deborah Coates (2, Hallie Michaels) F, H, M, R
Queen Victoria's Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy

Real Men Write Romance (Really!)

Romance fans tend to be voracious readers, always on the lookout for a new author to follow (or an author who's new to them).  With that in mind, I'd like to spotlight a few great romance writers you might not have picked up before.  Let me introduce you to Leigh Greenwood, Dale Cramer, Jessica Stirling, Naomi Neale, M. L. Buchman, Lee Carroll, Z. A. Maxfield, and Ilona Andrews. 

On the surface they don't seem to have a lot in common, aside from writing great romance.  Some are award winners, while others have seen more modest success.  They're all over the map, as far as subgenres go: western, inspirational, historical, chick lit, suspense, gothic, LGBT, and urban fantasy/ paranormal.  Oh... there is one other detail they all have in common: behind every one of their keyboards sits a male author.

New Romance Fiction for March 2013

In paperback:

Once again a Bride by Jane Ashford H
Rush by Maya Banks (1, The Breathless trilogy) C, E
Sex and the Single Fireman by Jennifer Bernard (3, The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel) C
Wait until Dark by M. L. Buchman (3, Night Stalkers) C, M
Lady Eve's Indiscretion by Grace Burrowes (7:4, Windham: The Duke's Daughters) H
The Seventh Victim by Mary Burton C, M
Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan (3, Darkest London) H, S, M
A Bride by Moonlight by Liz Carlyle (4, Fraternitae Aureae Crucis) H, M, S
Ripe for Seduction by Isobel Carr (3, League of Second Sons) H

New Speculative Fiction for March 2013

New to our shelves:

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination by John Joseph Adams, ed. SF, CB, R (SF Mad)
Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian (11, Midnight Breed) F, R, H
Extinction by Mark Alpert SF, M
Fuse by Julianna Baggott (2, Pure trilogy) SF, A, M
Domino Falls by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due (2, Devil's Wake) H, SF, A, M (Horror Barnes)
Exit Kingdom by Alden Bell H
American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett F, H, R
Farside by Ben Bova SF, M
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (1, Memoirs of Lady Trent) F, R

Syndicate content