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

Author's posts

Nov 09 2020

The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder

The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder

It is entirely possible that any reader of this review has in their pocket a computing device more powerful than the one whose design and initial construction are the story of The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder. That machine, code named “Eagle” in the book, would eventually be sold by Data General …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/09/the-soul-of-a-new-machine-by-tracy-kidder/

Nov 05 2020

Invisible Planets edited and translated by Ken Liu

Invisible Planets, edited by Ken Liu

With his smashingly successful translation of Liu Cixin’s The Three–Body Problem, Ken Liu introduced modern Chinese science fiction to a large English-speaking audience. The reception of the rest of Three-Body‘s trilogy, one translated by Joel Martinsen and the other by Ken Liu, showed that it was not a one-book phenomenon, and that English-speaking science fiction …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/05/invisible-planets-edited-and-translated-by-ken-liu/

Nov 01 2020

Swords Against Death by Fritz Leiber

Swords Against Death

The stories in Swords Against Death are among the first published adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, making them more than 70 years old at this writing. The bulk of them were published as stand-alone stories in pulp magazines in the 1940s and 1950s; nearly all of them predate The Lord of the Rings …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/01/swords-against-death-by-fritz-leiber/

Oct 31 2020

A(nother) Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

A Night in the Lonesome October

Just in time for the full moon falling on Halloween — the celestial alignment that drives the book’s plot, I re-read A Night in the Lonesome October. Everything I wrote about it last time holds true: it’s a romp, a hoot, a love letter to classics of Halloween and suspense, a master storyteller having fun …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/10/31/another-night-in-the-lonesome-october-by-roger-zelazny/

Oct 04 2020

Door into the Dark by Seamus Heaney

Door into the Dark

I admit that my first time through Door into the Dark I did not get as much out of it as I did from Death of a Naturalist. Entering again, I see more in the rooms that Heaney is making, evoking, although there is much that is still murky to me. The titles of the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/10/04/door-into-the-dark-by-seamus-heaney/

Sep 24 2020

Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber

Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber

It’s sometimes funny what sticks with a reader. I first encountered Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Fritz Leiber’s famed sword and sorcery duo and the protagonists of Swords and Deviltry, on the order of 40 years ago, and I remember very clearly that I started with the second volume: Swords Against Death. If I were …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/24/swords-and-deviltry-by-fritz-leiber/

Sep 20 2020

Und keiner weint mir nach by Siegfried Sommer

Und keiner weint mir nach

When the editors of the Süddeutsche Zeitung planned out their 20-book set “Selected Munich,” Siegfried Sommer must have seemed a natural to kick off the series. He had been born in the city in 1914, died there in 1996, lived practically all of his life in Munich except for his time in the army during …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/20/und-keiner-weint-mir-nach-by-siegfried-sommer/

Sep 19 2020

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn

The magic is still there, in The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. More than half a century after its publication, it’s still lodged partly in a timeless yet post-WWII America and partly in places whose times and locations are much more suspect, nearly pure mythical settings of village and unhappy kingdom and enchanted castle, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/19/the-last-unicorn-by-peter-s-beagle/

Sep 05 2020

Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney

Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney

Ideally, of course, I would take the time to live with Death of a Naturalist for a good long while, absorbing the images, being surprised by new readings, seeing more levels of meaning on re-reading, having some poems shift from mild interest to true favorite, having others fade only to be rediscovered later and seem …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/05/death-of-a-naturalist-by-seamus-heaney/

Aug 31 2020

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan might be that garrulous guy at the bar telling stories of things he’s done and seen, or things that people he knows have done and seen. The book goes down easy; I read it in less than an afternoon. Individually the tales don’t go on for too long, there’s usually something amusing along …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/31/trout-fishing-in-america-by-richard-brautigan/