Category: Fabulous Ones

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/

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/

Chargés d’Affaires by Cordwainer Smith

When Cordwainer Smith first began publishing stories in the early 1950s, the genre was much further from the mainstream than it is today. Writing for magazines such as Galaxy or Worlds of If would have been considered extremely odd for one of America’s leading experts on psychological warfare and a Johns Hopkins professor of Asiatic …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/04/01/charges-daffaires-by-cordwainer-smith/

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

More than any other book I can think of Wolf Hall impressed upon me the number of people constantly present in a pre-modern household of any size. The first book of Hilary Mantel’s trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell, it teems with people coming in and out the main character’s presence, from its unforgettable …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/03/24/the-mirror-and-the-light-by-hilary-mantel/

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

I would like to think that Tolkien, if questioned about how he handles race in his tales, would say what Éomer says when confronted over his harsh words about Galadriel: “I spoke only as do all men in my land, and I would gladly learn better.” (The Two Towers, p. 37) For Éomer does learn, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/03/13/the-return-of-the-king-by-j-r-r-tolkien/

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

Yes, Boromir failed. But he was far from alone. Denethor failed in sending a war leader on a mission meant for a diplomat. Aragorn and Gandalf failed to give him his due, and after that they failed to recognize that they were freezing out their proud companion. Despite their supposed wisdom, they did not see …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/14/the-two-towers-by-j-r-r-tolkien/

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins written by Eric Kimmel

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel

Kid One first fell in love with this book as an elementary school student, a Protestant child living in an Orthodox country enjoying a very Jewish story. And what’s not to like? Hershel of Ostropol wanders into an unnamed Central European village on the first night of Hanukkah expecting celebration and hospitality. Instead, he finds …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/02/hershel-and-the-hanukkah-goblins-written-by-eric-kimmel/

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Well this time around — the first in at least eight years — I read the Tom Bombadil chapter, and I’m glad I did. I had gotten in the habit of skipping it, so it had lodged in my mind as both much longer — turns out the chapter is only 15 pages — and far duller …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/01/23/the-fellowship-of-the-ring-by-j-r-r-tolkien/

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/