Category: Doug

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

I loved “The City Born Great,” the 2016 short story (and 2017 Hugo finalist) that was the seed of this novel. “The conceit of the story is that great human cities have a life of their own. Maybe that life awakens quickly, maybe it takes centuries or millennia, but at some point the genius loci …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/07/25/the-city-we-became-by-n-k-jemisin/

Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow

Isn’t Eastern Standard Tribe a neat title? It sounds so nifty, so cool, so exciting, there must be a lot happening behind it. Doctorow has Art, the first-person narrator of roughly half the chapters, spell things out about halfway through the book. “It’s like this,” I said. “It used to be that the way you …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/07/24/eastern-standard-tribe-by-cory-doctorow/

The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison

Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison

I wrote in 2015, “One last thing that I liked about The Goblin Emperor is that it didn’t end with an obvious sequel on its way. There are many stories that Addison could set in this world, and they would be a pleasure to read…” The Witness for the Dead is one of those stories, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/07/12/the-witness-for-the-dead-by-katherine-addison/

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Let me just say up front that I loved all four main characters in Utopia Avenue and didn’t want anything bad to happen to them ever. It’s a good thing I wasn’t in charge, then, as that would have made for a dull novel. David Mitchell not only had the skill to create people who …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/06/26/utopia-avenue-by-david-mitchell/

Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff

Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff

Ivan IV, not yet known as the Terrible, ascended to the throne as Grand Prince of Muscovy at the tender age of three. His father, Vasily III, “was a mild-mannered prince, well-liked by the people. Unlike his more famous father, Ivan III, known to history as Ivan the Great, who conquered large territories and fought …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/06/23/ivan-the-terrible-by-robert-payne-and-nikita-romanoff/

North by Seamus Heaney

North by Seamus Heaney

It’s funny that Dennis O’Driscoll begins his interview of Seamus Heaney about North by quoting a description of it as “a very oblique and intense book” because I found it not nearly as oblique as Wintering Out or Door Into the Dark. Heaney divided North into two parts, “a first section that has poems full …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/06/20/north-by-seamus-heaney/

Network Effect by Martha Wells

Network Effect by Martha Wells

Since the last time I looked in on Murderbot, it has become more secure in its freedom and found something like a home among the people of the Preservation Alliance. Preservation, as it is known throughout Network Effect, is something of a post-scarcity utopia, an interstellar polity posed as a counterpoint to Murderbot’s area of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/06/06/network-effect-by-martha-wells/

The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Relentless Moon, the third book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronauts series, changes locales and first-person narrator from the first two books, The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky. Nicole Wargin is also one of the original astronauts, and in early 1963 as The Relentless Moon opens, she is both an old Moon hand …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/31/the-relentless-moon-by-mary-robinette-kowal/

Die Jugendstreiche des Knaben Karl by Karl Valentin

Jugendstreiche des Knaben Karl

The editors of the Süddeutsche Zeitung began their series of 20 books in or involving Munich with a local icon, Siegfried Sommer. They finished the set with Karl Valentin, who was born in Munich and grew up in the city but went on to become a national icon as a comedic star on stage, in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/29/die-jugendstreiche-des-knaben-karl-by-karl-valentin/

Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

In 1808 the United States made the importation of slaves illegal, but illegitimate trade in humans continued until the eve of the Civil War. Supply and demand persisted on both sides of the Atlantic. “Habituated to the lucrative enterprise of trafficking and encouraged by the relative ease with which they could find buyers for their …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/24/barracoon-by-zora-neale-hurston/