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

Jan 10 2019

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Stories of Your Life and Others left me cold, which surprised me for two reasons: first, because he has a reputation as an excellent writer, few stories but nearly every one a contender for major awards and often enough a winner; second, because I had enjoyed The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate so much. (That …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/01/10/stories-of-your-life-and-others-by-ted-chiang/

Jan 02 2019

Taking Stock of 2018

My amount of reading took a jump in 2017 with what I read to vote for the Hugo awards, and it stayed jumped this year. I finished the Discworld novels in early September, a couple of months sooner than I had expected. I had somehow missed reading them in the 1980s and 1990s, and only …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/01/02/taking-stock-of-2018/

Dec 24 2018

Don Karlos by Friedrich Schiller

The first thing to note about Don Karlos is that I noped right out of it somewhere in the middle of the second act. My disbelief had wavered early on when Don Karlos, the crown prince of Spain, unburdens his soul to his childhood friend the Marquis of Posa. Karlos (Carl in English) says he …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/24/don-karlos-by-friedrich-schiller/

Dec 20 2018

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Two years and some-odd weeks ago, Donald Fucking Trump — aided by the Russian government along with its witting and unwitting stooges, boosted by an FBI director he soon fired, slavered over by a national press that apparently couldn’t help itself any more than it could help spending more time on his opponent’s e-mail practices …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/20/what-happened-by-hillary-rodham-clinton-2/

Dec 17 2018

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

The first half of The House of Government located the Bolshevik party within a specifically Russian tradition of millennarianism. Revolutionary socialism would redeem the world, starting with Russia, and usher in a new era, a time of plenty, a time of the perfectibility of humanity. The second half of the book details what life is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/17/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-2/

Dec 16 2018

Night of Stone by Catherine Merridale

Night of Stone is a book for deep and dark December, and an amazing work of history. Carrying the subtitle “Death and Memory in Russia,” it focuses on the twentieth century, when there was more than enough of the first, and the second existed under the particular pressures of the Bolshevik revolution and Soviet governance. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/16/night-of-stone-by-catherine-merridale-2/

Dec 09 2018

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

In the eight linked tales that comprise Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff takes readers on mind-stretching journeys across time and space, far more frightening trips across the mid–twentieth century US, conjures ghosts in Chicago, banishes them in New England, and summons up a sparkling cast of friends and relatives who are doing their best to live …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/09/lovecraft-country-by-matt-ruff-2/

Dec 07 2018

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Not every fantasy features swords and sorcery, though most of them involve a mythical creature of one sort or another. Amor Towles names his in the title: A Gentleman in Moscow. In midsummer 1922, following a brief trial, Count Alexander Rostov is not ordered immediately shot as a class enemy. It seems that senior Bolsheviks …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/07/a-gentleman-in-moscow-by-amor-towles/

Dec 02 2018

Night of Stone by Catherine Merridale

“We made the journey in 1997, at the end of October. The winter had set in early that year, and even St Petersburg had its first covering of snow. Outside the city, and especially as we travelled north, the snow had taken over the landscape completely, levelling the gentle contours of the forest floor and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/02/night-of-stone-by-catherine-merridale/

Nov 30 2018

Crosstalk by Connie Willis

Connie Willis at her best tells tales of engaging characters in surprising situations and then lands an emotional blow that can still be felt a decade or more later. I can’t, offhand, think of another author who has done what Willis does two-thirds of the way through Passage. When she’s merely very good, Willis can …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/11/30/crosstalk-by-connie-willis/