Tag: Alternate History

Feb 26 2020

Foreign Devils by John Hornor Jacobs

Foreign Devils by John Hornor Jacobs

Foreign Devils continues the cowboys and Romans mashup started in The Incorruptibles, a story that will conclude in Infernal Machines. I am very glad that I don’t have to wait for John Hornor Jacobs to write the third volume, because boy howdy is Foreign Devils a middle book. As the Ruman Empire strides through its …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/02/26/foreign-devils-by-john-hornor-jacobs/

Nov 30 2019

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

A Symphony of Echoes

A Symphony of Echoes is every bit as fun as Just One Damned Thing After Another, the first book chronicling the adventures of the historians of St Mary’s Institute, who definitely do not travel through time. No indeed, they investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Which is how the first quarter of the book …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/30/a-symphony-of-echoes-by-jodi-taylor/

Nov 18 2019

The Spider Dance by Nick Setchfield

The Spider Dance by Nick Setchfield

I love it when the second book in a series is better than its predecessor. And make no mistake, this is not a standalone novel, despite the odd lack of signalling otherwise. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t start with Nick Setchfield’s The War In The Dark, which sets the scene for …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/18/the-spider-dance-by-nick-setchfield/

Oct 26 2019

The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde

The Woman Who Died a Lot

Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series takes place mostly in an England that’s a republic a Wales that’s a socialist republic; of Scotland there is practically no mention, though I cannot say whether that is a comment or happenstance. The Crimean War was still being fought in 1985, and there are various other bits of history …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/10/26/the-woman-who-died-a-lot-by-jasper-fforde/

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/