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

Dec 08 2019

Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer

Seven Surrenders

Of the predecessor to Seven Surrenders, Too Like the Lightning, I wrote that Palmer directly tackles the problem of how different far-future humans will be from present-day people. As Mycroft Canner, her unreliable narrator, says near that book’s beginning, “You will criticize me, reader, for writing in a style six hundred years removed from the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/08/seven-surrenders-by-ada-palmer/

Dec 07 2019

Luna by Ian McDonald

Luna New Moon

Several months after finishing Ian McDonald’s Luna trilogy — Luna: New Moon, Luna: Wolf Moon, and Luna: Moon Rising — the two things that have stuck with me the most are the scale of the achievement and the vividness of so many scenes throughout the books. McDonald has brought a great deal of life to a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/07/luna-by-ian-mcdonald/

Dec 06 2019

Herrn Dames Aufzeichnungen by Franziska Gräfin zu Reventlow

Herrn Dames Aufzeichnungen

The series introduction to Herrn Dames Aufzeichnungen (Herr Dame’s Notebooks) calls it “the key novel about the Bohemian scene in Schwabing around 1900″ and the volume’s introduction notes that in it Reventlow worked through some of her experiences with the “Cosmic” circle that included writers and artists such as Stefan George (the only name I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/06/herrn-dames-aufzeichnungen-by-franziska-grafin-zu-reventlow/

Dec 03 2019

1968: The Year That Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky

1968 by Mark Kurlansky

Ok, boomer.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/03/1968-the-year-that-rocked-the-world-by-mark-kurlansky/

Nov 30 2019

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

A Symphony of Echoes

A Symphony of Echoes is every bit as fun as Just One Damned Thing After Another, the first book chronicling the adventures of the historians of St Mary’s Institute, who definitely do not travel through time. No indeed, they investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Which is how the first quarter of the book …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/30/a-symphony-of-echoes-by-jodi-taylor/

Nov 26 2019

More Becoming by Michelle Obama

“Becoming Us,” the second part of Michelle Obama’s memoir tells how two very different people, two nearly polar opposite people in fact, came not only to love and cherish one another but to build a life and a partnership that would work from Chicago to the whole world. One of their first social functions together, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/26/more-becoming-by-michelle-obama/

Nov 17 2019

Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner

Legacy of Ashes

If Legacy of Ashes were a record album, Tim Weiner would surely have titled it The CIA’s Greatest Shits. As it is, the subtitle is The History of the CIA, which is a misnomer right off the bat because it’s a history and not the history, and as a history it’s mostly a litany of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/17/legacy-of-ashes-by-tim-weiner/

Nov 12 2019

Süden und der Strassenbahntrinker by Friedrich Ani

Süden und der Straßenbahntrinker

Tabor Süden works for the Munich police in the missing persons bureau. One day, a man turns up in their offices and says he is back, they don’t need to look for him anymore. Problem is, no one had reported him missing. That would be odd, but relatively easy to dismiss except that over the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/12/suden-und-der-strassenbahntrinker-by-friedrich-ani/

Nov 09 2019

Speaking of Revolutions

“Another young woman, an employee of the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, was on her way home from a visit to a sauna when the news of the night inspired her to head for Bornholmer [Strasse]. Her name was Angela Merkel. She had chosen a career in chemistry, not in politics, but [November 9, 1989] …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/09/speaking-of-revolutions/

Nov 03 2019

The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman

The Fall of the Kings

I hate to damn The Fall of the Kings with faint praise because it’s fine, really it is. It’s just that this book follows the perfect Swordspoint and the extremely good The Privilege of the Sword, and while The Fall of the Kings is an interesting combination of a university novel in a fantastic setting …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/03/the-fall-of-the-kings-by-ellen-kushner-and-delia-sherman/