Category Archive: Dystopia

Oct 09 2017

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

I put down The Obelisk Gate for about three and a half months when I was four-fifths of the way through. One of the main characters, a girl not yet in her teens, did something horrible, and I just couldn’t anymore. I haven’t had that strong a reaction since Elric killed Moonglum near the end …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/10/09/the-obelisk-gate-by-n-k-jemisin/

Oct 06 2017

The Last Man in Russia by Oliver Bullough

Oliver Bullough’s first book, Let Our Fame Be Great, examined the encounters between Russia and the smaller peoples of the Northern Caucasus. They generally ended badly for the smaller nations. In his second book, he looks at how the larger nation has fared. (At the time he wrote the book, he was Caucasus Editor for …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/10/06/the-last-man-in-russia-by-oliver-bullough/

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/

Jun 21 2017

This Census-Taker by China Miéville

This Census-Taker, by China Miéville, did not add up for me. If it were not a Hugo finalist, if I had not read and liked close to half a dozen of his other works, I would have pronounced the Eight Deadly Words and set the book aside. Miéville is aiming for the mythic, but mythic …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/06/21/this-census-taker-by-china-mieville/

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/

Apr 23 2017

The Man In The High Castle by Philip K Dick

Okay, so I came to this book from the very excellent Amazon show, and it almost seems unfair to review it now when I’ll always have the comparison in my mind. As source material for the very excellent show, it’s very rich in subject, and I was impressed by Philip K Dick’s ability to get …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/23/the-man-in-the-high-castle-by-philip-k-dick/

Apr 23 2017

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov

Where to even begin with The Foundation Pit? The author, Andrey Platonov was born in Russia in 1899, the son of a railway worker, and later worked as a land reclamation expert. He was a fervent supporter of the Russian Revolution; during the 1920s he supervised the digging of wells, construction of ponds, and draining …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/23/the-foundation-pit-by-andrey-platonov/

Apr 10 2017

Shadow & Claw (The Book of the New Sun #1-2 ) by Gene Wolfe

At the end, I put down the book and said aloud, “That was a goddamn waste of time.” I get that this is just the first two books in a four (or five, if you’re a completist) book series, but damn, how can you reasonably argue that a reader has to slog through 400+ pages …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/10/shadow-claw-the-book-of-the-new-sun-1-2-by-gene-wolfe/

Mar 18 2017

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

I don’t know why I expected something lesser than what I read. I think I’d heard too many murmurs of “derivative” and “boy Katniss” but this really isn’t any of that at all. Sure, Red Rising and The Hunger Games both have dystopian settings featuring underdogs who rise to the top via brutal competitions, and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/03/18/red-rising-red-rising-1-by-pierce-brown/

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/

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