Tag Archive: alternate history

May 02 2017

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

There’s no denying that this is a beautifully written book. Catherynne M Valente takes Russian and Slavic folktales and melds them with Russian, particularly Leningrad, history of the early 20th century. Her descriptions of falling in love and of the secret languages and compromises of marriage make for compelling, wholly believable and empathetic reading. And …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/02/deathless-leningrad-diptych-1-by-catherynne-m-valente/

May 01 2017

Tales of the Squee

The height of my to-be-read pile could be measured in years, if the books could somehow fit into a unified pile. And that doesn’t count a particular moving box in the basement, in which some really good books, or at least some really interesting-looking books are awaiting their turn to come upstairs. (Some of them …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/01/tales-of-the-squee/

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/

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/

Sep 27 2016

League of Dragons by Naomi Novik

League of Dragons brings the Temeraire series to a fitting conclusion. The story picks up right where Blood of Tyrants left off: with Napoleon retreating to the west through the Russian winter. Novik captures the terrible pity of that march, the unrelenting cold of the borderlands, and the folly of men who tried to carry …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/09/27/league-of-dragons-by-naomi-novik/

Sep 21 2016

Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik

The premise of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire novels is simple: Patrick O’Brian with dragons instead of ships. What’s not to like? The first three or four books are pretty much a lark. The history is alternate – dragons! – but not too alternate, because otherwise there wouldn’t be any Royal Aerial Corps, nor any wicked Napoleon to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/09/21/blood-of-tyrants-by-naomi-novik/

Aug 30 2016

The Just City by Jo Walton

I love so much how my experiences with Jo Walton’s books just get better and better. I spent the climactic scene of The Just City with one hand clutched to my breast, knowing something terrible was coming and feeling a kind of horror and relief when it finally did — horror because it truly was …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/08/30/the-just-city-by-jo-walton-2/

Jul 23 2016

All Clear by Connie Willis

All Clear, which picks up right where Blackout left off and comprises the second part of an 1100-page story, would have been a brilliant book at about half or two-thirds of its 640-page length. The ending has emotional power; it resolves the main question running through the books and ties up the characters’ individual tales …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/07/23/all-clear-by-connie-willis/

Jul 18 2016

Blackout by Connie Willis

Reading Connie Willis is always, sentence by sentence, a delight. Her characters are sympathetic and interesting to spend time with; conflicts usually arise from misunderstandings, or from the nature of a situation. Some few people are jerks, some are hurt and acting out, but that’s just like life, isn’t it? Willis also appears to have …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/07/18/blackout-by-connie-willis/

May 25 2016

Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson

Soon after reading The Collapse was just the right time to pick up Europe at Midnight, Dave Hutchinson’s second book set in a Europe that kept right on collapsing after 1989 and, by the unspecified date of the story, sends more than 500 entrants each year to the Eurovision Song Contest. Europe at Midnight splinters …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/05/25/europe-at-midnight-by-dave-hutchinson/

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