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

Author's posts

Sep 12 2018

London: A Life in Maps by Peter Whitfield

London: A Life in Maps began as a volume accompanying an exhibition at the British Library in 2006. (The exhibit lives on in virtual form at the Library’s web site.) The book was first published that year, and when it kept selling for more than a decade, revised for a new edition published in 2017. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/12/london-a-life-in-maps-by-peter-whitfield/

Sep 08 2018

Soviet Bus Stops, Volume II by Christopher Herwig

“‘This is bullshit,’ I mumbled, through tears of exhaustion and frustration. The chances of the 4×4 climbing the snowy Goderdzi Pass were as slim as the likelihood that the bus stop at the summit was the prize I so desperately sought. Why was I still doing this after fifteen years, why couldn’t I stop?” (p. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/08/soviet-bus-stops-volume-ii-by-christopher-herwig/

Sep 04 2018

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

Since June 1 of this year, and through October 28, the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford have been displaying an extraordinary selection of items from their Tolkien collection. The original map of the Lonely Mountain, complete with pointing hand and runic inscription. Watercolors by Tolkien of Hobbiton, of Bilbo’s conversation with Smaug, of the Eagles, of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/04/tolkien-maker-of-middle-earth/

Aug 30 2018

Dragon Coast by Greg van Eekhout

With his trilogy about a darkly magical California — California Bones, Pacific Fire, and Dragon Coast — Greg van Eekhout has created an interesting world that puts wizards and fantastic creatures into a roughly contemporary setting and spun exciting stories of adventure among the people who shape that world. Earth is home to many magical creatures, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/08/30/dragon-coast-by-greg-van-eekhout/

Aug 28 2018

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

Why was Raising Steam, the penultimate Discworld novel, so much better than I expected? I had reason to worry. It clocks in at 475 pages, and for the last 10 books, I have much preferred the shorter ones to the longer ones. Both of Raising Steam‘s immediate non-YA predecessors, Unseen Academicals and Snuff, had seemed …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/08/28/raising-steam-by-terry-pratchett/

Aug 23 2018

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Snuff, the thirty-ninth Discworld book, turns out to be the last one starring Sam Vimes, who has gone a long way in the world since his first appearance in Guards! Guards! There will be one more Moist van Lipwig book, one more Tiffany Aching book (although I am still drafting my thoughts on I Shall …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/08/23/snuff-by-terry-pratchett/

Aug 14 2018

Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest

Isn’t it great when the last in a set of books is the best of the bunch? Not only is Fiddlehead, the fifth of Cherie Priest‘s Clockwork Century novels, easily the best of the series, it’s terrific fun from start to finish, a page-turner in the best sense of the word. It races from tension-filled …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/08/14/fiddlehead-by-cherie-priest/

Aug 13 2018

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

One of the hard problems of writing far-future science fiction is just how strange humans of that era are likely to appear to present-day readers. Quite apart from the changes that technology and any move of setting from the terrestrial are likely to bring, the ways that societies change over time are likely to render …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/08/13/too-like-the-lightning-by-ada-palmer/

Aug 12 2018

Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow

One of the niftier things that Cory Doctorow does in Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom is to show a basically sympathetic character making a series of bad decisions for reasons that I, as a reader, could understand why he was taking those actions but I wished he wouldn’t and hoped he would figure …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/08/12/down-out-in-the-magic-kingdom-by-cory-doctorow/

Aug 12 2018

Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

Sometimes an author is much more interested in a major character than I am. Writing about Raven Stratagem, the second book in the Machineries of Empire series, I already noted that Lee’s interest in writing about Shuos Jedao was starting to exceed my desire to read more about him. Revelations late in the book showed …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/08/12/revenant-gun-by-yoon-ha-lee/