Monthly Archive: April 2017

Apr 26 2017

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson

“And I must of course acknowledge Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. I first read it at ten, thrilled and terrified, and uncomfortable with the racism but not yet aware that the total absence of women was also problematic. This story is my adult self returning to a thing I loved as a child and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/26/the-dream-quest-of-vellitt-boe-by-kij-johnson/

Apr 25 2017

Germany: Memories of a Nation by Neil MacGregor

Neil MacGregor was Director of the National Gallery in London from 1987 to 2002 and of the British Museum from 2002 to 2015. He is now Chair of the Steering Committee of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin. His best-known previous book is A History of the World in 100 Objects. That background goes a long …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/25/germany-memories-of-a-nation-by-neil-macgregor/

Apr 24 2017

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters is a hell of a book. The premise is that amendments to the US Constitution in the 1860s preserved the Union and averted the Civil War, but at the cost of continuing to accept slavery in states that chose to keep their peculiar institution. In the 21st century, a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/24/underground-airlines-by-ben-h-winters/

Apr 23 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

There are lots of reasons to commit suicide, but most of the people I know who’ve done it or attempted to have had a lot of Really Bad Shit going on in their heads from Really Bad Shit that comes from their past, or from a present so at odds with their perception of self …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/23/thirteen-reasons-why-by-jay-asher/

Apr 23 2017

The Man In The High Castle by Philip K Dick

Okay, so I came to this book from the very excellent Amazon show, and it almost seems unfair to review it now when I’ll always have the comparison in my mind. As source material for the very excellent show, it’s very rich in subject, and I was impressed by Philip K Dick’s ability to get …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/23/the-man-in-the-high-castle-by-philip-k-dick/

Apr 23 2017

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov

Where to even begin with The Foundation Pit? The author, Andrey Platonov was born in Russia in 1899, the son of a railway worker, and later worked as a land reclamation expert. He was a fervent supporter of the Russian Revolution; during the 1920s he supervised the digging of wells, construction of ponds, and draining …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/23/the-foundation-pit-by-andrey-platonov/

Apr 22 2017

The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov

The Caves of Steel is really the first of Asimov’s robot novels, as I, Robot was short stories stitched together by a tiny framework narrative. In the introduction, Asimov relates that the conceit of the novel came out of a conversation with an editor: a science fiction mystery that didn’t use technology to cheat and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/22/the-caves-of-steel-by-isaac-asimov/

Apr 17 2017

Bohemian Gospel (Bohemian Gospel #1) by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

Readable, if highly problematic. And usually when the word “problematic” is bandied about, reviewers are considering subject matter or character/authorial point of view. My use of the word comes more from the way Dana Chamblee Carpenter has treated actual history in the service of her tale: abusively, to be blunt about it. Going off on …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/17/bohemian-gospel-bohemian-gospel-1-by-dana-chamblee-carpenter/

Apr 16 2017

Rules of the Game (Endgame #3) by James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton

So I’m not in this book so CLEARLY it is a huge disappointment. Jk, that isn’t why it was disappointing (tho I could have forgiven my omission had the book made up for it otherwise.) It’s hard to go into why the book failed to reach the levels of awesomeness that the first two books …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/16/rules-of-the-game-endgame-3-by-james-frey-nils-johnson-shelton/

Apr 10 2017

Shadow & Claw (The Book of the New Sun #1-2 ) by Gene Wolfe

At the end, I put down the book and said aloud, “That was a goddamn waste of time.” I get that this is just the first two books in a four (or five, if you’re a completist) book series, but damn, how can you reasonably argue that a reader has to slog through 400+ pages …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/10/shadow-claw-the-book-of-the-new-sun-1-2-by-gene-wolfe/