Doug Merrill

Writer, editor, translator, project manager, reformed bookseller. Currently based in Berlin, following stints in Moscow, Tbilisi, Munich, Washington, Warsaw, Budapest and Atlanta. Also blogs at A Fistful of Euros, though less frequently than here these days.

Most commented posts

  1. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison — 9 comments
  2. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire — 6 comments
  3. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin — 6 comments
  4. Mort by Terry Pratchett — 5 comments
  5. Midnight at the Pera Palace by Charles King — 5 comments

Author's posts

The Long Sunset by Jack McDevitt

The Long Sunset by Jack McDevitt

The Long Sunset is the eighth book in Jack McDevitt’s series named after the Academy of Science and Technology, whose central character is Priscilla Hutchins, a pilot of interstellar craft generally known by her nickname “Hutch.” Six years ago, when I read Cauldron, I wrote: The universe that McDevitt has shown through Hutch’s … eyes …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/01/17/the-long-sunset-by-jack-mcdevitt/

Taking Stock of 2021

For a year that started out with a struggle to read much of anything at all, 2021 brought numerous books that made me very happy to read, to have read, to browse repeatedly, and to go back and read bits of them again and again. Both Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins and Fletcher and Zenobia …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/01/07/taking-stock-of-2021/

Lent by Jo Walton

Lent by Jo Walton

In Lent, Jo Walton takes the life of Girolamo Savonarola both seriously and literally. Not only his life, the whole framework in which he lived that life: God, demons, Purgatory, the Rule of St. Benedict, the Dominican Order to which Savonarola was dedicated, his desire to create a new Jerusalem in Italy, and ever so …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/31/lent-by-jo-walton/

Outside the Gates of Eden by Lewis Shiner

Outside the Gates of Eden

There’s a live recording of a Bruce Springsteen song — “The River,” I think — with a long spoken introduction in which Springsteen talks about his difficult relationship with his father. The elder Springsteen, a veteran of World War II, didn’t understand what his son was doing with his long hair and his late nights and his …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/30/outside-the-gates-of-eden-by-lewis-shiner/

Agency by William Gibson

Agency by William Gibson

Readers who made it through the first few unforgiving chapters of The Peripheral and went on to enjoy the rest of the book will find the beginning of Agency easier going, with the essential setup unchanged and many of the characters returning. In the main timeline sometime late in the twenty-second century, humanity has mostly …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/26/agency-by-william-gibson/

Merry Christmas

Luke 2:1-14, Anglo-Saxon: Soþlice on þam dagum wæs geworden gebod fram þam casere Augusto, þæt eall ymbehwyrft wære tomearcod. Þeos tomearcodnes wæs æryst geworden fram þam deman Syrige Cirino. And ealle hig eodon, and syndrige ferdon on hyra ceastre. Ða ferde Iosep fram Galilea of þære ceastre Nazareth on Iudeisce ceastre Dauides, seo is genemned …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/25/merry-christmas/

That’s Dickens with a C and a K, the Well-Known English Author

A Christmas Carol

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/24/thats-dickens-with-a-c-and-a-k-the-well-known-english-author/

Hugo 2021 and Me

Discon robot

I hope that Ursula Vernon wins a Hugo every year she is nominated (under her main name or in her T. Kingfisher guise) because she uses the time allotted for her speech wisely. The year I was able to attend Worldcon, she gave a disquisition about whalefall, i.e., what happens to a dead whale as …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/19/hugo-2021-and-me/

Putting the World into Worldcon

The 2021 World Science Fiction Convention, DisCon III in Washington, DC, is in full swing as I write. In fact, presentations of this year’s Hugo Awards are set to begin in 15 minutes an hour and fifteen minutes, and I plan to write about those in the morning when I wake up and find out …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/18/putting-the-world-into-worldcon/

Station Island by Seamus Heaney

Station Island by Seamus Heaney

I still struggle with a notion I first mentioned when writing about Heaney’s inaugural collection, Death of a Naturalist, the idea that with each collection of poetry I should take time to live with it, read through several times, maybe even commit bits to memory so as to have them always at the ready. I …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/12/station-island-by-seamus-heaney/