Category: Dystopia

Feb 27 2021

The Swimmers by Marian Womack

It’s kind of hilarious how the back cover of this volume calls it a reimagining of Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea even as Marian Womack’s afterword candidly discusses how she doesn’t want to compare The Swimmers to what was for her a seminal text. And I can see for both arguments: the comparison is a …

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Dec 23 2020

The Peripheral by William Gibson

The Peripheral by William Gibson

Like the protagonist of Neuromancer, William Gibson is an artiste of the slightly funny deal. In The Peripheral the first slightly funny deal is between some people in England who hire some other folks in a small-town part of Appalachia in the US. The English contingent wants the people across the pond to fly a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/12/23/the-peripheral-by-william-gibson-2/

Nov 20 2020

An Interview with T. C. Farren, author of The Book Of Malachi

Q. Every book has its own story about how it came to be conceived and written as it did. How did The Book of Malachi evolve? A. I was living at a remove from society, feeling outrage at human cruelty and a dark, desperate humor at the time of writing TboM. Our suburb was close …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/20/an-interview-with-t-c-farren-author-of-the-book-of-malachi/

Nov 13 2020

The Book of Malachi by T.C. Farren

I’m still thinking about this cleverly constructed fable set fifteen or so years in the future. Thirty year-old Malachi is hired to essentially be the groom for a stable of murderers whose bodies are being used as part of a top-secret organ-growing project run by Raizier Pharmaceuticals. The nutrients fed to the prisoners cause their …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/13/the-book-of-malachi-by-t-c-farren/

Aug 23 2020

Moneyland by Oliver Bullough

Moneyland by Oliver Bullough

If for some reason your blood pressure is too low, this book will raise it as surely as any medicine. In Moneyland, Oliver Bullough describes in gut-wrenching detail the power of corruption in the contemporary world, how much the rich powerful and corrupt are continuously stealing from normal and law-abiding people, how thoroughly they have …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/23/moneyland-by-oliver-bullough/

Aug 06 2020

Alpha Omega by Nicholas Bowling

At about the 70% mark, I realized that Alpha Omega could slot very easily into the universe of The Matrix, serving as an entirely convincing origin story, so to speak, of that cyberpunk dystopia. The comparisons drawn between this book and Ernest Clines’ Ready Player One are poor: Mr Clines’ novel is a Spielbergian adventure …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/06/alpha-omega-by-nicholas-bowling/

Jul 21 2020

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

A searing, devastating indictment of both unquestioning loyalty and the corporate interests that use up workers in order to profit shareholders, extrapolated to their grimmest reality, Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigade is both gripping and timely in this endless year of 2020. Our narrator, Dietz, grew up in the slums of Sao Paulo, eking a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/07/21/the-light-brigade-by-kameron-hurley/

Jul 16 2020

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders

I’ve read a bunch of Charlie Jane Anders’ short fiction and never understood why it was so popular. I figured reading something long form would help clarify this situation and it did, but not in the way I wanted. Here’s my problem with the writing of hers I’ve read so far: there are few interiors. …

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Jan 14 2020

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

What’d I miss? The voters of the 2018 Worldcon awarded The Stone Sky the Hugo award for best novel, the first time in the award’s history that any author had won for best novel three years in a row, and also the first time that all three parts of a trilogy had won in that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/01/14/the-stone-sky-by-n-k-jemisin/

Oct 09 2019

Always North by Vicki Jarrett

I went into this thinking it would be a bit like Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, partly due to the cover, but also due to the prospect of a young woman going on a dangerous expedition into the unknown, and the resulting ecological devastation she witnesses firsthand. But that’s about where the similarities end. Izzy is a …

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