Doug Merrill

Writer, editor, translator, project manager, reformed bookseller. Currently based in Berlin, following stints in Moscow, Tbilisi, Munich, Washington, Warsaw, Budapest and Atlanta. Also blogs at A Fistful of Euros, though less frequently than here these days.

Most commented posts

  1. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison — 7 comments
  2. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin — 6 comments
  3. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton — 5 comments
  4. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire — 5 comments
  5. Mort by Terry Pratchett — 5 comments

Author's posts

Jun 28 2020

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Fated Sky

Pacing, and the parts of the story not told, shape The Fated Sky the second book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronauts series. The Calculating Stars ended with Elma York, the series’ first-person narrator, on her way to the moon. By the beginning of The Fated Sky, there is a colony on the moon with …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/06/28/the-fated-sky-by-mary-robinette-kowal/

Jun 27 2020

Die Schule der Nackten by Ernst Augustin

You have better things to do with your time than read this book, or at least the latter two-thirds of it. The first-person narrator, Alexander, is interesting, and a bit odd in an interesting way. He’s a historian of sorts, unattached to any academic institute, specializing in the ancient Near East: Chaldean studies, Aramaic studies, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/06/27/die-schule-der-nackten-by-ernst-augustin/

Jun 26 2020

Die Rumplhanni by Lena Christ

Die Rumplhanni

Rural Bavaria at the outbreak of the Great War still moved to the rhythms of nature and the seasons. Village life revolved around the inn, the smithy, and the farms that surrounded both. Generations shared the same house, the young people paired up early and had little choice but to stick together, and families kept …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/06/26/die-rumplhanni-by-lena-christ/

Jun 21 2020

Hugo Awards 2020: Short Story Nominees

Because I don’t have a subscription to the OED, I will take Merriam-Webster at their word that the first appearance of “listicle” was in 2007, several eternities ago in internet terms — back when you still had to have a .edu address to get a Facebook account (back when youngish people still thought Facebook was …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/06/21/hugo-awards-2020-short-story-nominees-2/

Jun 17 2020

Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski

Season of Storms

Fourteen years after completing his multi-book Witcher Saga with The Lady of the Lake, Andzej Sapkowski returned to the world of Geralt of Rivia, not to continue the story but to add in some adventures from his hero’s early years. It’s an odd way to end the series and, perhaps, his writing career, as I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/06/17/season-of-storms-by-andrzej-sapkowski/

Jun 14 2020

München Blues by Max Bronski

München Blues by Max Bronski

Oktoberfest brings a lot of customers to Wilhelm Gossec’s this-and-that shop. The hideously overpriced merry-go-round horse in the window captures their attention, and they wind up leaving with a souvenir, an old piece of Bavarica that Gossec has snagged at an estate sale, or maybe even an oil painting artfully half hidden so that the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/06/14/munchen-blues-by-max-bronski/

May 29 2020

Infernal Machines by John Hornor Jacobs

Infernal Machines

Now this is more like it! John Hornor Jacobs concludes his trilogy of cowboys and Romans with style and panache, picking up the pace, tightening the narrative, and never losing the joy of pulpy adventure even as he delivers more complex characters and greater depth in this alternate world. As Infernal Machines begins, longtime partners …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/29/infernal-machines-by-john-hornor-jacobs/

May 24 2020

The Fourth Crusade by Jonathan Phillips

The Fourth Crusade

Where Jonathan Riley-Smith provided an overview of crusading as a movement over many centuries, Jonathan Phillips looks closely at one particular crusade, with an eye toward answering the question of why an expedition intended to take Jerusalem and other sites in the Holy Land wound up instead besieging, conquering and sacking Constantinople. Apparently this was …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/24/the-fourth-crusade-by-jonathan-phillips/

May 21 2020

Giants at the End of the World edited by Johanna Sinisalo and Toni Jerrman

Giants at the End of the World

Giants at the End of the World is a nifty artifact, its subtitle “A Showcase of Finnish Weird” telling part of the story, and the headline of the back jacket text “Worldcon 75 proudly presents” telling the rest. The slender and compact collection of 11 stories was a present to attending members of the 2017 …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/21/giants-at-the-end-of-the-world-edited-by-johanna-sinisalo-and-toni-jerrman/

May 17 2020

Saffron and Brimstone by Elizabeth Hand

Saffron and Brimstone by Elizabeth Hand

I zipped through the eight stories of Saffron and Brimstone in about a day and a half when I was in the hospital and looking for something fantastical to read. The tales — one novella, a quartet of connected short stories, and three other stand-alones — all bring fantastic or horrific elements into the mundane world, sometimes …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/17/saffron-and-brimstone-by-elizabeth-hand/