Category: Essay

Reading Backwards by John Crowley

Reading Backwards by John Crowley

There are still 148 copies available of this gorgeous, autographed collection of John Crowley reviews from 2005 to 2018. It’s a lovely object, a reminder of what the making of books, even commercially published books, can be as a craft. I’m even a little sorry that the dust jacket betrays that this book has actually …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/14/reading-backwards-by-john-crowley/

Hugo Finalists 2022

Hugo finalists at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi

What an exciting bunch of finalists! I’ve read precisely none of the finalists in the first four fiction categories (I had put The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison on my nominating ballot and am sorry to see it was not among the top six), also none of the finalists for Best Related Work, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/04/17/hugo-finalists-2022/

Please Miss: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Penis by Grace E. Lavery

Well, that was certainly… something. In all frankness, it felt very much like reading the screed of a 1980s British academic, who is quite erudite but also monomaniacal about a particular subject, in this case popular culture of primarily English extraction. Whether we’re reinterpreting Dickens through the (honestly valid) lens of pornography or skewering various …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/02/28/please-miss-a-heartbreaking-work-of-staggering-penis-by-grace-e-lavery/

Hugo 2021 and Me

Discon robot

I hope that Ursula Vernon wins a Hugo every year she is nominated (under her main name or in her T. Kingfisher guise) because she uses the time allotted for her speech wisely. The year I was able to attend Worldcon, she gave a disquisition about whalefall, i.e., what happens to a dead whale as …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/19/hugo-2021-and-me/

Putting the World into Worldcon

The 2021 World Science Fiction Convention, DisCon III in Washington, DC, is in full swing as I write. In fact, presentations of this year’s Hugo Awards are set to begin in 15 minutes an hour and fifteen minutes, and I plan to write about those in the morning when I wake up and find out …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/18/putting-the-world-into-worldcon/

No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin

No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin

No Time to Spare collects and arranges pieces that Ursula K. Le Guin wrote for her blog from late 2010 until 2015 or so. She was initially unimpressed (not to say sniffy) about the form but one of her favorite authors from the later part of her life caused to change her mind. “I’ve been …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/08/21/no-time-to-spare-by-ursula-k-le-guin/

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I read Between the World and Me a lifetime ago, in early summer when it was strange to leave the neighborhood again after so many weeks of stillness. It is a hard book, not because of the difficulty of language or of its concepts, but because of the hardness of its subject: how to live …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/15/between-the-world-and-me-by-ta-nehisi-coates/

Wintry Slowness

Sueddeutsche Reihe

Last February, I read 17 books in a month, which is a lot for me, if not for Doreen or Laura (or indeed Jo Walton). Now, I seem to be on the opposite side of that coin. Of the three books I finished in December, one I skimmed a great deal of, one was quite …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/01/23/wintry-slowness/

An Informal History of the Hugos by Jo Walton

An Informal History of the Hugos

I remember enjoying these assessments of the Hugo Awards when they first appeared as columns on Tor.com, and I am glad to see them collected in book form with the addition of selected comments that appeared in the discussion that followed each column. The subtitle of this collection — A Personal Look Back at the Hugo …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/10/an-informal-history-of-the-hugos-by-jo-walton/

Words Are My Matter by Ursula K. Le Guin

Here is Ursula K. Le Guin on life in pre-Roe America: My friends at NARAL asked me to tell you what it was like before Roe vs. Wade. They asked me to tell you what it was like to be twenty and pregnant in 1950 and when you tell your boyfriend you’re pregnant, he tells …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/15/words-are-my-matter-by-ursula-k-le-guin/