Category: Fabulous Ones

Apr 18 2019

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad is a hell of a book. Like Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters, Whitehead’s book was published in 2016 and takes a slightly science fictional look at slavery in the United States of America. Winters’ narrative brought slavery into the 21st century and imagined what the peculiar institution would be like in …

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Feb 08 2019

A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka by Lev Golinkin

How did A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka turn out to be such an impossibly good book? I picked it up more or less on a whim during a visit to Texas — ok, memoir of leaving the Soviet Union as a kid and growing up in the States, could be interesting — and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/08/a-backpack-a-bear-and-eight-crates-of-vodka-by-lev-golinkin/

Dec 24 2018

2018 Reading Roundup

I’ve now read 100 books in 2018. I won’t stop between now and the end of the year, but this seemed like a good point to pause and take stock. Here’s a list of my top 10 SFF, fabulist, or otherwise wackadoodle books from the last year, presented in the order that I read them …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/24/2018-reading-roundup/

Dec 17 2018

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

The first half of The House of Government located the Bolshevik party within a specifically Russian tradition of millennarianism. Revolutionary socialism would redeem the world, starting with Russia, and usher in a new era, a time of plenty, a time of the perfectibility of humanity. The second half of the book details what life is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/17/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-2/

Dec 16 2018

Night of Stone by Catherine Merridale

Night of Stone is a book for deep and dark December, and an amazing work of history. Carrying the subtitle “Death and Memory in Russia,” it focuses on the twentieth century, when there was more than enough of the first, and the second existed under the particular pressures of the Bolshevik revolution and Soviet governance. …

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Dec 09 2018

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

In the eight linked tales that comprise Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff takes readers on mind-stretching journeys across time and space, far more frightening trips across the mid–twentieth century US, conjures ghosts in Chicago, banishes them in New England, and summons up a sparkling cast of friends and relatives who are doing their best to live …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/09/lovecraft-country-by-matt-ruff-2/

Oct 15 2018

The City & The City by China Miéville

Don’t read the second sentence of this post. Don’t read the sentence that comes before this one. In this world, we do not acknowledge italics. Italics are the only text there is. If you see something written in another way, avert your eyes, unsee and unread before it is too late. We have some leniency …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/15/the-city-the-city-by-china-mieville/

Oct 15 2018

Words Are My Matter by Ursula K. Le Guin

Here is Ursula K. Le Guin on life in pre-Roe America: My friends at NARAL asked me to tell you what it was like before Roe vs. Wade. They asked me to tell you what it was like to be twenty and pregnant in 1950 and when you tell your boyfriend you’re pregnant, he tells …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/15/words-are-my-matter-by-ursula-k-le-guin/

Oct 14 2018

We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It often happens that the very best books are hardest to write about. I discovered TNC’s blog fairly early in his tenure at The Atlantic, and I made sure to keep coming back. Time zones — I lived in the South Caucasus at the time, even further from US schedules — meant that I missed much of …

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Sep 28 2018

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner

I hadn’t read Swordspoint in a long time – certainly not this decade, probably not this century – but it had stayed in my memory as one of three perfect books. At some point, I heard that there were two more novels that shared Swordspoint’s setting, one by Kushner and one she co-wrote with Delia Sherman. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/28/swordspoint-by-ellen-kushner/