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. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton — 5 comments
  3. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire — 5 comments
  4. Midnight at the Pera Palace by Charles King — 5 comments
  5. Mort by Terry Pratchett — 5 comments

Author's posts

Mar 23 2019

You Are One of Them by Elliott Holt

This is another novel whose story I could have easily wandered in and out of, with just a minor tweak or two. Sarah Zuckerman, the protagonist of You Are One of Them, works for an English-language newspaper in Moscow in the mid-1990s. My newspapers were in Budapest, and I didn’t relocate to Moscow for another …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/23/you-are-one-of-them-by-elliott-holt/

Mar 22 2019

Rocannon’s World by Ursula K. Le Guin

Rocannon’s World was Ursula K. Le Guin’s first published novel. It contains some of the forms of a fantasy story but takes place in a science fictional setting, part of the Hainish universe that she developed in several of her later novels, including The Left Hand of Darkness, The Word for World is Forest, and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/22/rocannons-world-by-ursula-k-le-guin/

Mar 09 2019

The Bridge by David Remnick

Because I am all about timely reading, I have just finished The Bridge, whose subtitle is The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, and which was published in 2010. As Remnick explains in the acknowledgments, his “hope was to write a piece of biographical journalism that, through interviews with his contemporaries and certain historical actors, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/09/the-bridge-by-david-remnick/

Feb 25 2019

All the World’s a Stage by Boris Akunin

For a number of years, I was worried that Boris Akunin’s English-language publishers (the estimable Weidenfeld & Nicolson) had despaired of finding an audience for the Russian mystery writer’s work, and I would have to read the remaining stories in German and miss out on Andrew Bromfield’s witty translations, or really really really improve my …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/25/all-the-worlds-a-stage-by-boris-akunin/

Feb 24 2019

Expedition zu den Polen by Steffen Moeller

Steffen Möller’s second genial book about Poland and Germany takes the train ride from Berlin to Warsaw as his frame to share more anecdotes from a life lived in both countries. Möller’s engagement with Poland began more or less on a lark, when he signed up for a language seminar in Krakow in the mid-1990s. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/24/expedition-zu-den-polen-by-steffen-moeller/

Feb 20 2019

Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi

There’s a lot of ick in the ten tales that comprise Pump Six and Other Stories. Most of the settings are dystopias of one sort of another — mostly near-ish future, mostly Asian-inflected, mostly involving some sort if environmental collapse — and most of the characters in the stories are either horrible people in and of themselves, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/20/pump-six-and-other-stories-by-paolo-bacigalupi/

Feb 11 2019

Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells

Martha Wells has recently received a lot of attention for her Murderbot novellas (Doreen’s reviews of the first three are here, here, and here), but she has been publishing fantasy and science fiction novels since the early 1990s, snagging a Nebula nomination for The Death of the Necromancer in 1998. Wheel of the Infinite, her …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/11/wheel-of-the-infinite-by-martha-wells/

Feb 10 2019

Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman

Don’t Panic, subtitled Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy began as a labor of friendship in 1987 when Nick Landau of Titan Books, which had Adams’ agreement to write a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy companion book, called up Neil Gaiman “and asked if I was interested. I wanted to write this …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/10/dont-panic-by-neil-gaiman/

Feb 10 2019

The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross

I suppose The Labyrinth Index marks the time in the Laundryverse when horror overtakes humor, and the combining apocalypses leave the characters nothing to do but get on with it in the face of diminishing hope for the human race, but honestly it makes the book a bit of a slog. The Laundry is, or …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/10/the-labyrinth-index-by-charles-stross/

Feb 09 2019

Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf

Why We Took the Car seems to have established a fixed place in the German YA firmament since its initial publication as Tschick in 2010. Young people read it on their own, they read it for class, and it’s part of the general culture. There was a movie in 2016. It has also done well …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/09/why-we-took-the-car-by-wolfgang-herrndorf/