Tag: Alternate History

Sep 08 2019

The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs

The Incorruptibles

Romans and cowboys! A demon-powered steamboat! Saloon fights! Distressing damsels! Samuel Clemens! Now this is how you embrace the pulpy side of things and stay the heck out of the uncanny valley. Not least because very unfriendly immortals are likely to sweep down from the uncanny heights and leave you scalped or kilt ded. Fisk …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/09/08/the-incorruptibles-by-john-hornor-jacobs/

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 20 2019

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Calculating Stars starts with a bang. Elma York, Kowal’s protagonist and first-person narrator says that she and her husband had flown up to the mountain cabin that he inherited for stargazing, “By which I mean: sex. Oh, don’t pretend that you’re shocked. Nathaniel and I were a healthy young married couple, so most of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/20/the-calculating-stars-by-mary-robinette-kowal/

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 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/

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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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/18/the-underground-railroad-by-colson-whitehead/

Jan 28 2019

The Smoke by Simon Ings

I read a lot of novels and it is perishing rare for me to feel genuinely intimidated by the intellect of an author but here we are! Simon Ings’ terrifying intelligence is palpable throughout the pages of The Smoke, with my only quibble being why London is called such, as the text doesn’t seem to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/01/28/the-smoke-by-simon-ings/

Jan 24 2019

The Dark Descent Of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

It’s interesting how quickly one’s sympathy for a young girl raised to cosset a psychopath plummets as she goes from teaching him social skills to actively enabling his monstrous tendencies. And in this political climate, it’s hard to feel much sympathy for a woman who knows that her man is a shit but feels she …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/01/24/the-dark-descent-of-elizabeth-frankenstein-by-kiersten-white/

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 14 2018

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

You know what would be really scary? A novel written from the point of view of one of the women who believed wholeheartedly in the tenets of the Republic of Gilead, who rejoiced in the work they were doing, who revelled in her role as helpmeet, as implementer of God’s will on an earth that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/14/the-handmaids-tale-by-margaret-atwood/