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

Aug 11 2019

Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee

Hexarchate Stories

My review of Revenant Gun, the third in Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire series, ended “In short, I would greatly enjoy reading more stories set within Lee’s hexarchate, or indeed either the heptarchate that preceded it or the successor states that are trying to succeed it… And no more Jedao for a while, please. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/11/hexarchate-stories-by-yoon-ha-lee/

Aug 10 2019

An Informal History of the Hugos by Jo Walton

An Informal History of the Hugos

I remember enjoying these assessments of the Hugo Awards when they first appeared as columns on Tor.com, and I am glad to see them collected in book form with the addition of selected comments that appeared in the discussion that followed each column. The subtitle of this collection — A Personal Look Back at the Hugo …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/10/an-informal-history-of-the-hugos-by-jo-walton/

Aug 10 2019

Conversations on Writing by Ursula K. Le Guin and David Naimon

Conversations on Writing

Conversations on Writing grew from three sets of discussions between Ursula K. Le Guin and David Naimon for the Oregon radio station KBOO. She completed her introduction to this volume less than four months before her death in January 2018; Naimon wrote his not quite two weeks after her passing, it’s a touching valediction. “I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/10/conversations-on-writing-by-ursula-k-le-guin-and-david-naimon/

Aug 09 2019

Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson

Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach

For the epigraph to Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, Robson riffs on the old saying about the past being a foreign country. Instead of “they do things differently there” she has “we want to colonize it.” That’s the first indication that her novella will eventually be a time-travel story. The next is the abrupt …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/09/gods-monsters-and-the-lucky-peach-by-kelly-robson/

Aug 04 2019

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

One of the things that science fiction can do better than many other genres of literature is to take an abstract philosophical or metaphorical problem and make it very, very literal. “Am I forever defined by my past?” is a popular introspective question. “How do I deal with all of these other beings around me?” …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/04/artificial-condition-by-martha-wells/

Aug 03 2019

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti: The Night Masquerade

It’s nearly impossible to talk about Binti: The Night Masquerade without discussing elements of Binti and Binti: Home, so I am not even going to try. And to be honest, the best thing that happens in Binti: The Night Masquerade, from a storytelling perspective, is a plot surprise a bit more than halfway through the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/03/binti-the-night-masquerade-by-nnedi-okorafor/

Jul 29 2019

The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard

The Tea Master and the Detective

The Tea Master and the Detective introduced me to Aliette de Bodard’s Xuya universe, an interstellar setting that sprang from an alternate Earth history in which East Asian powers and cultures dominated the age of discovery and thus also the leap into space. Her web site says that the more recent stories are influenced by …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/29/the-tea-master-and-the-detective-by-aliette-de-bodard/

Jul 27 2019

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti: Home

Binti told the classic science fiction story of a talented young person from the hinterlands — and an outsider from an outsider people in those hinterlands — who gains admission to wider worlds by dint of talent and hard work. Unlike many of those stories, though, Binti’s is interrupted by violence and tragedy even before she …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/27/binti-home-by-nnedi-okorafor/

Jul 24 2019

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

The Black God's Drums

“The night in New Orleans always got something going on, ma maman used to say—like this city don’t know how to sleep.” (p. 7) It doesn’t, and neither does P. Djèlí Clark’s splendid, exciting, enchanting novella The Black God’s Drums. Clark’s first-person narrator, a slightly feral young woman named Creeper, makes her own way in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/24/the-black-gods-drums-by-p-djeli-clark/

Jul 22 2019

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning delivers perfectly cromulent action and adventure in the Navajo corner of a world that has suffered a partly supernatural climate apocalypse. Maggie, the book’s first-person narrator, is a badass. Trained by a near-god in the arts of combat, she adds magical powers of speed and killing prowess, powers drawn from her Navajo …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/22/trail-of-lightning-by-rebecca-roanhorse/