Category: Fabulous Ones

Piranesi Redux

On April 21, 1990, the second through sixth places on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart of pop music were occupied by “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” by Jane Child, “All Around the World” by Lisa Stansfield, “I Wanna be Rich” by Calloway, “I’ll be Your Everything” by Tommy Page, and “Here and Now” by Luther Vandross. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/09/piranesi-redux/

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi is a scientist, working to understand the world around him. That world may seem odd, or circumscribed, to readers, but Piranesi does not question it. It is the world, after all; the House. He does not inquire into its origins, nor try to understand its supports. Instead, he maps it. The House has Halls …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/01/piranesi-by-susanna-clarke/

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes, Pt. 2

The Making of the Atomic Bomb turns 35 this year. My copy is a 25th anniversary edition, and it opens with the words, “More than seven decades after its conception under the looming storm front of the Second World War, the Manhattan Project is fading into myth.” The book itself was written and published in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/26/the-making-of-the-atomic-bomb-by-richard-rhodes-pt-2/

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

What would young Mexicans in the 1970s who cared about literature more than anything else be like? Roberto Bolaño gives at least one version in The Savage Detectives. The book is anything but a careful study. Over the course of its 577 pages, Bolaño pulls out nearly all of the stops (the book he truly …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/25/the-savage-detectives-by-roberto-bolano/

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway, Pt. 2

Harkaway takes the epigraph for Gnomon from The Emperor by Ryszard Kapuscinski. “When the first question was asked in a direction opposite to the customary one, it was a signal that the revolution had begun.” Ethiopia, as portrayed in The Emperor is a land of whispers and intrigues, barely contending with modern technology, shaped by …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/24/gnomon-by-nick-harkaway-pt-2/

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway, Pt. 1

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

Some time past the middle of the twenty-first century, Britain offers its citizens the safest, most democratic, best-adjusted society in human history. Every person under the System is encouraged — though not compelled — to spend a certain amount of time each week voting, and is semi-randomly assigned to decision-making bodies for the duration of their session. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/22/gnomon-by-nick-harkaway-pt-1/

From Page to Screen: Dune

Dune movie poster

Confession time: Though I have read Dune several times after encountering it at an early and impressionable age, I don’t think that I have read it this century. My recollection is more impressionistic than detailed, and my impression is that the movie got all of the most important parts of the story up on the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/20/from-page-to-screen-dune/

Fletcher and Zenobia by Victoria Chess and Edward Gorey

Fletcher and Zenobia

I don’t have all that much to say about Fletcher and Zenobia except that reading it makes me very happy, every time. It hits just the right note of whimsy without being twee. It’s mildly melancholy at the beginning, then enlivened, then worrisome again, and then everything is pleasantly resolved at the end. What more …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/18/fletcher-and-zenobia-by-victoria-chess-and-edward-gorey/

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a total failure.” That’s Murderbot to a T. All Systems Red introduces Murderbot, a part-mechanical part-organic construct more formally known as a Security Unit, one of many produced to keep humans safe in an interstellar civilization. Before the story began, this Security Unit had hacked its governor module …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/12/all-systems-red-by-martha-wells/

Twenty Years On

This is not real. We’ve seen it all before. Slow down, you’re screaming. What exploded? When? I guess this means we’ve got ourselves a war. And look at — Lord have mercy, not again. I heard that they went after Air Force One. Call FAA at once if you can’t land. They say the bastards …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/11/twenty-years-on/