Category: Alternate History

Nov 26 2017

Ganymede by Cherie Priest

Ganymede, the third of Cherie Priest’s five Clockwork Century novels, follows the efforts of some free people of color to tip the scales of the American Civil War, ongoing for more than 20 years at the time of the book’s events, in favor of the Union by bringing it an experimental Confederate submarine that sank …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/11/26/ganymede-by-cherie-priest/

Sep 27 2017

Pirate Utopia by Bruce Sterling

The collapse of the European empires at the end of World War I produced considerable political strangeness. Béla Kun. The Czech Legion in Siberia. The Bavarian Soviet Republic. Baron Ungern. Flights of fancy, seizures of power, and some powerfully fancy seizures. In Pirate Utopia, Bruce Sterling sails off to another corner of collapsing empires rubbing …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/09/27/pirate-utopia-by-bruce-sterling/

Sep 14 2017

Europe in Winter by Dave Hutchinson

I should say two things right up front about Europe in Winter. First, intermittently during a bicycle tour across one of Europe’s smaller polities that steadfastly refuses to disappear completely is both the right and wrong way to read this book. Wrong, because it surely deserves closer attention that I was sometimes able to give …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/09/14/europe-in-winter-by-dave-hutchinson/

Sep 11 2017

Underground Airlines by Ben H Winters

As a young Asian girl with shallow roots in Virginia and a voracious reading appetite, I was absolutely seduced by Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind. Once I settled permanently in America, moving north over the course of a decade from Virginia to DC to Maryland, widening my circle of colleagues and friends, and becoming …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/09/11/underground-airlines-by-ben-h-winters-2/

May 02 2017

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

There’s no denying that this is a beautifully written book. Catherynne M Valente takes Russian and Slavic folktales and melds them with Russian, particularly Leningrad, history of the early 20th century. Her descriptions of falling in love and of the secret languages and compromises of marriage make for compelling, wholly believable and empathetic reading. And …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/02/deathless-leningrad-diptych-1-by-catherynne-m-valente/

Apr 24 2017

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters is a hell of a book. The premise is that amendments to the US Constitution in the 1860s preserved the Union and averted the Civil War, but at the cost of continuing to accept slavery in states that chose to keep their peculiar institution. In the 21st century, a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/24/underground-airlines-by-ben-h-winters/

Feb 11 2017

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

So I was trying to explain to a friend why I think this book is important for the generation of YA readers who may encounter it, thinking, much like Gilded Cage’s Abi does (and I did, tbh, when I first picked it up,) that it’ll be a romantic Upstairs/Downstairs sort of novel with magical powers, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/02/11/gilded-cage-dark-gifts-1-by-vic-james/

Dec 21 2016

Wrapping Up

Both reading and writing have slowed significantly since November 8, and not only because of the election, though that has certainly played a major part in my slowdown. Time for some short takes, to clear the desk for the coming year. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I read this in the summer, and I’ve been searching …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/12/21/wrapping-up/

Sep 27 2016

League of Dragons by Naomi Novik

League of Dragons brings the Temeraire series to a fitting conclusion. The story picks up right where Blood of Tyrants left off: with Napoleon retreating to the west through the Russian winter. Novik captures the terrible pity of that march, the unrelenting cold of the borderlands, and the folly of men who tried to carry …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/09/27/league-of-dragons-by-naomi-novik/

Sep 21 2016

Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik

The premise of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire novels is simple: Patrick O’Brian with dragons instead of ships. What’s not to like? The first three or four books are pretty much a lark. The history is alternate – dragons! – but not too alternate, because otherwise there wouldn’t be any Royal Aerial Corps, nor any wicked Napoleon to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/09/21/blood-of-tyrants-by-naomi-novik/