Category: Fabulous Ones

Apr 15 2016

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Like the human aliens of the planet Gethen, The Left Hand of Darkness is first one thing and then another, encompassing all of them yet remaining bounded by its humanity. The inhabited worlds of Le Guin’s interrelated Hainish novels are tied together by membership in the Ekumen, eighty-odd planets in something like a trading federation, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/04/15/the-left-hand-of-darkness-by-ursula-k-le-guin/

Aug 26 2015

Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson

Raising Demons is perfect. There are two other books I can think of that I regularly describe as perfect – Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint and Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera — and now I have a third. It is possible that if I took out my jeweller’s loupe, I could find an imperfection, an infelicitous word here, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/08/26/raising-demons-by-shirley-jackson/

Jun 16 2015

Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner

Twenty years and more after reading Stand on Zanzibar for the first time, I was surprised at how vividly its opening had stayed with me. First up the extended epigraph, a quotation from McLuhan, a warning to the unwary about what Brunner is about to spring on his readers, unsuspecting as they may have been …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/06/16/stand-on-zanzibar-by-john-brunner/

Apr 22 2015

What If? by Randall Munroe

What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? If every person on Earth aimed a laser pointer at the Moon at the same time, would it change color? Is it possible to build a jetpack using downward-firing machine guns? If an asteroid was very small …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/04/22/what-if-by-randall-munroe/

Mar 15 2015

Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart

Delight, verve, brio, glee, panache, all of these are in Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds, the first of three books in the chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, set in what he calls “an ancient China that never was.” Here is how it starts: I shall clasp my hands together and bow to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/03/15/bridge-of-birds-by-barry-hughart/

Mar 04 2015

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Wasn’t this great fun? The front flap of The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison, summarizes the set-up: “A half-goblin, the youngest son of the emperor, has lived his entire life in exile, far form the imperial court and the deadly intrigue that surrounds it. But when his father and three half-brothers, who are heirs to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/03/04/the-goblin-emperor-by-katherine-addison/

Mar 02 2015

Number Ten Ox

I shall clasp my hands together and bow to the corners of the world My surname is Lu and my personal name is Yu, but I am not to be confused with the eminent author of The Classic of Tea. My family is quite undistinguished, and since I am the tenth of my father’s sons …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/03/02/number-ten-ox/

Feb 05 2015

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield

This was a hoot. As the back cover says, “the Reduced Shakespeare Company‘s classic farce” presents, after a fashion, all 37 plays and does something to with the sonnets in just over 90 minutes of stage time. They do the comedies all at once, in a bit

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/02/05/the-complete-works-of-william-shakespeare-abridged-by-adam-long-daniel-singer-and-jess-winfield/

Nov 17 2014

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

Ancillary Sword puts author Ann Leckie in a strong position to be the first author since 1991-92 to repeat as winner of the Hugo for best novel, and indeed to be only the second person ever to repeat Hugo/Nebula awards in that category. Which is mainly to say that Ancillary Sword is a terrific book, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/11/17/ancillary-sword-by-ann-leckie/

Nov 12 2014

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

There are a lot of angry reviews in various places, saying this book is boring, saying that the author should be working on the main trilogy and not messing around with odd novellas, saying it isn’t worth the time, nothing happens, etc. They could not be more completely wrong. This is not a book about …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/11/12/the-slow-regard-of-silent-things-by-patrick-rothfuss/