Romance novels need a canon
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats. Read the whole essay.
If you’ve wondered why movies look more and more like video games, here’s part of the answer: “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” the ninth in the popular video game franchise, racked up sales of $1 billion in its first 15 days of release, according to the research firm Chart-Track and estimates by Activision Publishing, the game’s developer.
“Black Ops II” took a day less to reach the $1 billion mark than last year’s entry, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.” By contrast, the fastest movie to $1 billion box office was “Avatar,” which took a poky 17 days. According to the Telegraph it’s the fourth consecutive year that Activision has claimed the biggest global entertainment product launch for a “Call of Duty” game.
Now chew on this: In the last 15 days “more than 150 million hours have been logged online playing ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II.‘” That translates to 1.25 million people playing eight hours a day, making this video game the equivalent of the second largest corporate employer in the U.S. after Wal-Mart. While Salon has often criticized Wal-Mart, it’s worth noting here that Wal-Mart employees at least get days off and some compensation for their time.
Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.More Alex Halperin.
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
"Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie
Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower. Read the whole essay.
"A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant
A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex. Read the whole essay.
"Black Silk" by Judith Ivory
A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say. Read the whole essay.
"For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale
A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society. Read the whole essay.
"Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner
A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ... Read the whole essay.
"Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen
Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight. Read the whole essay.
"The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal
A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency. Read the whole essay.
"Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time. Read the whole essay.