Tag: Alternate History

Jun 28 2020

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Fated Sky

Pacing, and the parts of the story not told, shape The Fated Sky the second book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronauts series. The Calculating Stars ended with Elma York, the series’ first-person narrator, on her way to the moon. By the beginning of The Fated Sky, there is a colony on the moon with …

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May 29 2020

Infernal Machines by John Hornor Jacobs

Infernal Machines

Now this is more like it! John Hornor Jacobs concludes his trilogy of cowboys and Romans with style and panache, picking up the pace, tightening the narrative, and never losing the joy of pulpy adventure even as he delivers more complex characters and greater depth in this alternate world. As Infernal Machines begins, longtime partners …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/29/infernal-machines-by-john-hornor-jacobs/

May 11 2020

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Ah, if only, if only. I’ve enjoyed enough romance novels to be able to differentiate between the wonderful modern-day version and the traditional version described by Sir Walter Scott, and only sometimes do the twain meet in ways more convincing than mere bad plotting. It’s bittersweet to feel that this charming tale of the First …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/11/red-white-royal-blue-by-casey-mcquiston/

Apr 18 2020

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

A Second Chance, the third book in Jodi Taylor’s series about the time-traveling historians of St Mary’s Institute, shows signs of settling in for a set of tales that is going to continue. Taylor dials the pace back just a bit from madcap to merely rapid, she’s willing to develop the settings the historians visit …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/04/18/a-second-chance-by-jodi-taylor/

Apr 13 2020

Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

Come for the Alan Turing fanfic! Stay for the… um. Oh, dear. I knew going into this that it would be terrible, but I hadn’t realized exactly how terrible till I finished this utter nonsense of a 21st century novel. Ordinarily, I like to just review a book without taking into consideration anything the author …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/04/13/machines-like-me-by-ian-mcewan/

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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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/