January 2017 archive

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Ugh, I’m so fucking tired of “literary” writers slumming it in genre fiction. Authors, if you’re going to attempt dystopian fiction or science fiction or fantasy, understand: the most important thing is the world-building. You HAVE to build a convincing setting that makes sense and works according to a) rules of internal logic, and b) …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/01/31/station-eleven-by-emily-st-john-mandel/

Fairest: In All The Land (Fairest Vol 6) by Bill Willingham

Cinderella is easily my favorite character in the Fables universe, so I’m always thrilled to read the stories that place her front and center in the action. In this stand-alone story, someone is going around killing the women who’ve been proclaimed The Fairest In All The Land, and it’s up to Cindy to prevent more …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/01/27/fairest-in-all-the-land-fairest-vol-6-by-bill-willingham/

Fairest Vols I and II by Various

Fairest Vol 1: Wide Awake by Bill Willingham and Phil Jimenez I have loved Phil Jimenez since his work on Wonder Woman, so it was delightful to see him turning his pencil to the world of Fables. Interestingly, this volume is less an origin story of Sleeping Beauty than it is a redemption tale of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/01/27/fairest-vols-i-and-ii-by-various/

Landscapes of Communism by Owen Hatherley

Owen Hatherley places Landscapes of Communism at an intersection of several modes: serious but not academic architectural criticism; political and social history, as reflected in a region’s built environment; companion for both travellers and residents; and thoughts on living in cities shaped by different social systems. Hatherley writes early on that he uses the term …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/01/03/landscapes-of-communism-by-owen-hatherley/

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice (The Austen Project #4) by Curtis Sittenfeld

Quite charming, and for the most part a note-perfect retelling of the classic for modern times. There were really only two false notes for me: the first was the laughable idea that, as a writer-at-large, Lizzy Bennett earns $105k a year, and the second was the last marriage proposal of the book, which I thought …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/01/02/eligible-a-modern-retelling-of-pride-and-prejudice-the-austen-project-4-by-curtis-sittenfeld/

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Twenty books into Discworld, Terry Pratchett has set up enough pieces of furniture in the various fictional rooms on the Disc that moving just a few of them around is bound to produce something interesting. In Hogfather, he has Death, Death’s granddaughter Susan, a member of the Assassins’ Guild who’s too good at what he …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/01/02/hogfather-by-terry-pratchett/

Taking Stock of 2016

In reading, as in so many things, 2016 did not end quite the way I had reckoned it would. About halfway through the year I noticed I was near the end of several series, with more on the to-be-read shelf that I could knock out and clear space. That bookcase nearly full, double shelved, so …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/01/02/taking-stock-of-2016/