Microreview 29: Les Lames du Cardinal

Pevel, Pierre. Les Lames du Cardinal. 3 vols (Les Lames du Cardinal, L’Alchimiste des Ombres, Le Dragon des Arcanes). Paris, Bragelonne, 2007-2010. ISBN 978-2352944904. Where French fantasy differs from American. 17th Century uchronia, brilliantly renewing the Dumas musketeer universe. Admirably detailed & accurate… Read More ›

Microreview 27: First Law Trilogy

Abercrombie, Joe. The First Law. 3 vols (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings). London: Gollancz, 2006-2008. ISBN 978-1473213708. Great character-driven British fantasy, styled in raw, abrasive realism. The universe too, somewhat less developed than the uniquely strong… Read More ›

MicroReview 26: Strange & Norrell

Clarke, Susanna: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. London: Bloomsbury, 2004. ISBN 978-0747579885. Vast in scope & admirably written, this book rejuvenated European speculative fiction. 2 rival magicians battle Napoleon & each other in a cruelly exquisite mock-Austen Regency England. I give *****/5…. Read More ›

MicroReview 25: France Awoke

Trémolet de Villers, Vincent, & Raphaël Stainville. Et la France se réveilla: Enquête sur la révolution des valeurs. Paris: Toucan, 2013. ISBN 978-2810005642. Spectacular account of France’s recent traditionalist insurrection, all but ignored by the world, but which has quite destabilized, almost incapacitated, the sitting… Read More ›

MicroReview 23: Krupp

Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm. Princeton NJ: Princeton UP, 2012. ISBN 978-0691153407. Vastly informative, if over-loyal, history of the central corporate player during Germany’s umatched industrial metamorphosis, from late 18th Century to modern, space-ready days. I give ****/5. * (Webfront illustration caption… Read More ›

MicroReview 22: Industrial Enlightenment

Jones, Peter M. Industrial Enlightenment: Science, Technology, & Culture in Birmingham & the West Midlands 1760-1820. Manchester, UK: Manchester UP, 2013 (2008). ISBN 978-0719089121. Outstanding academic analysis & survey of the lush intellectual environment around key Industrial Revolution pioneers during the late… Read More ›

MicroReview 20: Mining in World History

Lynch, Martin. Mining in World History. London: Reaktion Books, 2002. ISBN 978-1861891730. Historical narrative of mining & metallurgy from Renaissance to our age, illuminating its vast political, economic, & technological ramifications. Thoughtful, informative, reads like a novel. I give ****/5. * (Webfront photo caption & credit… Read More ›