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Karen Ostertag's blog

New Speculative Fiction for December 2012

New to our shelves:

Spirit's End by Rachel Aaron (5, Legend of Eli Monpress) F, H
Red Country by Joe Abercrombie (3, World of The First Law) F
Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks (3, Culture) SF
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold (14, Miles Vorkosigan) SF, R
Cold Days by Jim Butcher (14, Dresden Files) F, H
Incarnation by Emma Cornwall (a.k.a. Lucy Weston) (2, Lucy Weston) H, F, R
The Rise of Ransom City by Felix Gilman (2, Half-Made World) SF, F, H
A Tangled Bridge by Rhodi Hawk (2, Twisted Ladder) H, M, R
The Silvered by Tanya Huff F, M, R

New Romance Fiction for December 2012

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

This Is How the World Ends: Apocalyptic SF

WARNING: This may be my last blog.  No, of course I'm not leaving my position.   It's just that... well, haven't you heard?  The world is scheduled to end this week.  Oh dear, you haven't heard, have you? According to the ancient Maya calendar, the end is due on December 21, 2012 (at 11:11 a.m. precisely, in case you need to schedule a few last appointments or polish off your bucket list before the Last Trump).  But wait, there's no cause for panic!

Because I am a librarian to the end, I've made sure that you, my loyal readers, will be properly prepared for Judgement Day (as much as I can, anyway-- your soul is your own affair).  I've thoroughly researched the topic and compiled a few reading lists on the incipient Apocalypse and what to do afterward (if you survive).  I expect you'll have many demands on your time before the big day, but it's important to stay informed!  Knowledge is power, particularly when the world is plunging into limitless chaos.  (And episodes of The Walking Dead will only save you in the case of a zombie apocalypse.)

Smooth Criminals

The pages of romance are populated by any number of gamblers, rakes, mercenaries, courtesans, femme fatales, hoydens, and other scapegraces who don't care to play by society's starchy rules.  This month's ne'er-do-wells, though, take their roguishness a step further.  They don't just bend the rules; they break the law.

What is it about bad boys? (And wicked women too-- I wouldn't leave them out!)  As much as we condemn their actions, we have a strange fascination with outlaws.  For centuries, we've made celebrities of them-- turned them into legends, even.  (I'm looking at you, Robin Hood! Rebel against an oppressive king, yes, but a robber all the same.)  Granted, to the ancient Greeks a clever thief was a legitimate hero (just look at Odysseus), but we've romanticized our fair share of criminals since that time.

There and Back Again: Journeys in Speculative Fiction

A certain highly anticipated fantasy film about a long journey "there and back again" will see its world-wide release in less than a month.  Closer to home, many are making trips of their own today to be with family for the Thanksgiving holiday.  The roads, rail lines, and airways of this country are jam-packed with travelers.  (And before the weekend is over, they'll get to do the whole thing over again in reverse, hooray!)

College freshmen, many of them back home for the first time since the start of school, might feel a particular kinship with Mr. Baggins in the ending chapters of The Hobbit.  The place to which they've returned may look the same (if their mothers haven't turned their rooms into craft spaces or storage cubbies), but for some, it won't feel quite like the home they left a few short months ago.  Though it's been more years than I'd care to admit since I was a freshman, I can still recall that odd feeling of displacement on my first Thanksgiving back, of being a guest in my own home.  

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)

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