Category: Alternate History

Cold Water by Dave Hutchinson

Cold Water by Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson, like William Gibson, is an artiste of the slightly funny deal. They run all through Cold Water, and trying to figure out just who is running a caper on whom is one of the pleasures of the novel. Carey Tews, the novel’s main protagonist, is a Texan who’s been in Europe for decades …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2023/01/28/cold-water-by-dave-hutchinson/

Wrapping Up

The Electric State by Simon Stålenhag

Time for some short takes to clear the desk for the coming year. Primeval and Other Times by Olga Tokarczuk. Nobel winner Tokarczuk uses very short chapters, each titled “The Time of …”, to depict life in an archetpyal Polish village from just before the outbreak of the First World War through the last years …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/12/30/wrapping-up-3/

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots

So in my day job I do things related to fairly customized computer software, and if the company needed some extras to stand around in the background for a public presentation or a video about a new product, sure, I’d do that. Anna Tromedlov, the first-person narrator of Hench, says yes to more or less …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/16/hench-by-natalie-zina-walschots/

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/

No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor

No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor

After tangling things forwards and backwards in A Trail Through Time, Jodi Taylor offers more straightforward adventures for the historians of St Mary’s in No Time Like the Past. Which is to say, there are calamities, dangers expected and otherwise, narrow escapes, and scuffles with university bureaucracy. I would say that Dr Madeleine Maxwell, first-person …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/07/16/no-time-like-the-past-by-jodi-taylor/

The Peacekeeper (The Good Lands #1) by B.L. Blanchard

This may easily be the most fascinating invented setting I’ve read for a murder mystery in ages, and that definitely includes the Anglo-Nordic nation Peter Spiegelman created for his excellent A Secret About A Secret. Imagine, if you will, a near-future world in which North America was never colonized by Europeans. Instead, the indigenous tribes …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/06/01/the-peacekeeper-the-good-lands-1-by-b-l-blanchard/

A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor

A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor

A Trail Through Time is the fourth book about Madeleine Maxwell and St Mary’s Institute for Historical Research where the historians investigate major historical events in contemporary time — “It’s time travel, OK” — and follows closely on the events of A Second Chance. The title of this book refers to the ability of its major antagonists, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/03/21/a-trail-through-time-by-jodi-taylor/

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 …

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

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

Like Doreen, I initially thought that Riot Baby was an imperative phrase, not a descriptive one. Instead of getting his characters to riot, Onyebuchi has them bide their time and keep absorbing the hits that life, in this particular instance life as working-class Black Americans, gives them. Those hits start early, and keep coming. Riot …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/11/28/riot-baby-by-tochi-onyebuchi-2/

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

I don’t think I’ve yet met a premise of P. Djèlí Clark’s that I haven’t loved! Ring Shout posits the idea that the Ku Klux Klan are made up of both your regular hate-filled Klansmen and demonic Ku Klux entities from another realm masquerading as human. Not everyone can see these Ku Klux in their …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/11/18/ring-shout-by-p-djeli-clark-2/