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

Jun 23 2019

Off to the Wabe

Dublin 2019

Perhaps to gyre and gimble. Back in mid-July. In the meantime, I have become a supporting member of Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon. I’m gutted that I won’t be able to attend in person, but what can ya do? I had an amazing time at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, and enjoyed being a Hugo voter …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/23/off-to-the-wabe/

Jun 22 2019

My Real Children by Jo Walton

My Real Children by Jo Walton

In 2015 Patricia Cowan has passed getting on in years and is definitely old. She’s reasonably well taken care of in the home where she lives now. She’s often confused, though, sometimes very confused, “VC” as it says in the notes the nurses and aides make. She’s not surprised, though; her mother struggled with dementia …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/22/my-real-children-by-jo-walton/

Jun 19 2019

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming really is that good. Here’s a lengthy excerpt from the beginning. “There’s a lot I still don’t know about America, about life, about what the future might bring. But I do know myself. My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often, and keep my word. My mother, Marian, showed me how to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/19/becoming-by-michelle-obama/

Jun 17 2019

Der Vater eines Mörders by Alfred Andersch

Der Vater eines Moerders

In May 1928, the director of an old-fashioned high school in Munich enters a ninth grade classical Greek class to check and see how the students are coming along with their lessons. Der Vater eines Mörders tells how one student, Franz Kien, experienced the hour, what he saw and heard, what he thought and felt. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/17/der-vater-eines-morders-by-alfred-andersch/

Jun 15 2019

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner

“No one sends for a niece they’ve never seen before just to annoy her family and ruin her life. That, at least, is what I thought. This was before I had ever been to the city. I had never been in a duel, or held a sword myself. I had never kissed anyone, or had …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/15/the-privilege-of-the-sword-by-ellen-kushner/

Jun 15 2019

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

A Deepness in the Sky is about as close to opposite of Just One Damned Thing After Another as it’s possible to be and still have both books inhabit the same genre. Deepness is big (774 pages in the mass market paperback edition that I have), full of carefully worked out ideas about space and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/15/a-deepness-in-the-sky-by-vernor-vinge/

Jun 13 2019

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Just One Damned Thing After Another

Here’s a cure for excessively serious or positively ponderous. In Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor took a premise that’s been used numerous times before — history as a practical academic discipline, aided and abetted by time travel — and simply wrote the hell out of it. St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/13/just-one-damned-thing-after-another-by-jodi-taylor/

May 31 2019

The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith

The House of Unexpected Sisters

“That’s the mystery series where no one dies, right?” said Kid One. Yes it is, I said. “Well how can there be danger?” Ah, that’s the genius of this series, isn’t it? And oh, sweet youth, to think that death is the only kind of peril that’s strong enough to drive a story. Heartbreak, humiliation, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/31/the-house-of-unexpected-sisters-by-alexander-mccall-smith/

May 27 2019

Hoisted from comments: Father Boyd

Father Neil's Monkeyshines

Imagine my surprise! “Hi, Doug, I don’t comment on my own books usually. But this is Eastertide. Bless Me, Father (5 books and 3 TV series) was a best-seller in its day, the 1970s. I didn’t expect is to be selling as many copies in 2019. And thousands watch the TV series on Youtube each …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/27/hoisted-from-comments-father-boyd/

May 19 2019

Hitler’s Empire by Mark Mazower

In Hitler’s Empire Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University, describes how Nazi Germany ruled most of the rest of Europe. Briefly, Nazi rule was both incompetent and inhumane. In that sense, Mazower’s book does not break much new ground. Instead, it takes on several other interesting tasks. It situates Nazism “as an …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/19/hitlers-empire-by-mark-mazower/