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

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Considering a book of scholarly articles about the history Chinese international relations, I wrote that it was “chock full of implied stories” and looked forward to the day that I could read some of them. Shelley Parker-Chan chose a later inflection point from Chinese history to tell the story of She Who Became the Sun, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/09/25/she-who-became-the-sun-by-shelley-parker-chan/

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

At the end of Rogue Protocol, the SecUnit otherwise known as Murderbot had incontrovertible evidence that its corporate nemesis GrayCris had been engaging in illegal activities involving alien technology. It had little faith that exposure of the activities had caused the corporation serious harm, but GrayCris’ reactions suggested that the company might take a different …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/09/24/exit-strategy-by-martha-wells/

Medieval Ethiopian Kingship, Craft, and Diplomacy with Latin Europe by Verena Krebs

Medieval Ethiopian Kingship

The name Solomon brings the word “wisdom” almost immediately to mind. Belatedly, it makes me think of the Temple. Now that I have read Medieval Ethiopian Kingship, Craft, and Diplomacy with Latin Europe by Verena Krebs, I will also remember the Solomonic dynasty of Ethiopia. That dynasty took power in the late 1200s and ruled, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/09/11/medieval-ethiopian-kingship-craft-and-diplomacy-with-latin-europe-by-verena-krebs/

Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

I’m only three books into the Rivers of London series, and already they feel like comfort reading. I can feel confident that with each new Peter Grant book I pick up, I will encounter characters I enjoy spending time with — the narrator first and foremost — that they will have adventures and scrapes, that Aaronovitch will …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/09/04/whispers-under-ground-by-ben-aaronovitch/

Something of a Milestone

Alice looking behind the curtain

This last day of August makes five full years that we at The Frumious Consortium have had at least 10 posts every month. For a site with two principal writers, that’s no small feat. We’ve only gotten there because of Doreen’s fabulous and prolific nature, and Frumious isn’t the only place she graces with her …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/08/31/something-of-a-milestone/

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

A Desolation Called Peace was always going to be a tough sell for me, and there’s little chance I would have started reading it if it hadn’t been a Hugo finalist. I could see the virtues of its predecessor, A Memory Called Empire, but from the way that book ended I had the sense — …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/08/27/a-desolation-called-peace-by-arkady-martine/

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

A few chapters into Light From Uncommon Stars, after it was clear that the violin teacher had made a pact with a demon and was under tight deadline to collect one more soul or else the usual penalties would apply and also that the local landmark donut shop was run by space aliens pretending to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/08/19/light-from-uncommon-stars-by-ryka-aoki-2/

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers

The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers

Becky Chambers writes science fiction stories whose characters don’t necessarily save the world. If they’re fortunate, they save their own part of the world, and maybe make the overall shape of things a little bit better. I both like and respect that approach. I like it because if every story is about saving the whole …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/08/02/the-galaxy-and-the-ground-within-by-becky-chambers/

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Earth has a problem. But as Project Hail Mary begins, the protagonist and first-person narrator has no idea what the problem is. He knows a lot less than that, in fact. He doesn’t know where he is, doesn’t know how he got there, doesn’t even know his own name. Why is the room round? Why …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/07/31/project-hail-mary-by-andy-weir/

On the Field of Glory by Henryk Sienkiewicz

On the Field of Glory by Henryk Sienkiewicz

Henryk Sienkiewicz, an early Nobel laureate, wrote historical novels set mostly in the days of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that, like Shakespeare’s history plays, have a resonance well beyond their initial audiences and historical settings. Sienkiewicz lived and wrote at a time when Poland’s imperial neighbors had erased it from the map of Europe, and yet …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/07/24/on-the-field-of-glory-by-henryk-sienkiewicz/