Header image with four cats and the text: Pussreboots, a book review nearly every day. Online since 1997
Now 2024 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA+ Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld
Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) by Julie Bowe
Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis
Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book of Old-Fashioned Superstitions by Chloe Rhodes
Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova
Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase
Classified as Murder by Miranda James
The Clue at Black Creek Farm by Carolyn Keene
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien
Espresso Shot by Cleo Coyle
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles by Mark Russell and Mike Feehan
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter
Giant Days: Extra Credit by John Allison
The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Ice Witch by Joel Ross
It All Comes Down to This by Karen English
Kraken by Wendy Williams
The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One by Michael Dante DiMartino and Irene Koh
Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames
Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City by Will Mabbitt and Ross Collins
Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson
The Million by Karl Schroeder
Monoceros by Suzette Mayr
Paradox in Oz by Edward Einhorn and Eric Shanower
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Restart by Gordon Korman
Running With Lions by Julian Winters
Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
Weather or Not by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

Cybils Update (October 16)
Cybils Update (October 23)
Cybils Update (October 30)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 01)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 08)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 15)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 22)
September 2018 Sources
September 2018 Summary

Road Essays
FFCC99: Orphan Uhoria Labyrinth
FFCC33: Orphan Uhoria Blue Highway: A comparison of The Sentinel and Three-Quarters Dead
FFCC00: Orphan Uhoria Interstate: The Polar Express, Waiting for Augusta, and Winterhouse
FF99FF: Orphan wildlands cornfield
Road Narrative Update for September 2018

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2024-2025

Beat the Backlist 2024

Ozathon: 12/2023-01/2025

Chicken Prints
Paintings and Postcards

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

The Million: 10/09/18

The Million

The Million by Karl Schroeder is a novella length mystery set in a far future Earth. The world is maintained by elite caretaker families while the majority of the population sleeps like cicadas in specially built chambers. These elite number one million. They are ruled by the Hundred, and even more privileged and smaller minority.

Gavin Penn-of-Chaffee lives with his adopted father and brother. He's not supposed to be there. He's not one of the Million. He's a visitor, someone who awoke when he wasn't supposed to, and is living on Earth in real time instead of the one month for every thirty years like the majority of Earth's population.

Given the description of mountains, grasslands, and bison, I'm going to imagine that the Chaffee lands are in Colorado and the house near or in present day Chaffee county.

When tragedy strikes Gavin is forced into an impossible situation. He has to pretend to be a member of a different family. And to do this, he has to attend school in Venice. His goal is to prove his brother's innocence.

In terms of the road narrative project, The Million sits fairly high up on the spectrum at a CCFFFF. It's the story of siblings (albeit through adoption) who are living in uhoria and may well become separated further in time by way of the cornfield. I know that sounds far fetched beyond the siblings which is self explanatory.

The uhoria here is twofold. First and foremost as the narrative opens, Schroeder presents a future earth. It's far enough ahead that technology has improved enough for mass hibernation to be possible. But there's a secondary uhoria, the fact that ten billion of the people sleep for thirty years a time, meaning that a year's worth of living takes them three hundred sixty years, or roughly ten generations of the Million.

So the cornfield. The cornfield here is Venice. It is a city on water. It is a tkaronto, which is typical for a Canadian road narrative. Both cornfields and tkarontos can be entry points to the underworld. As Venice houses one of the underground cicada fortresses which are stand-ins for the underworld in that most of the world's population is essentially "dead" for most of the lifetime of Million. Criminals are sentenced to joining the sleeping population because it will keep them out of the way for the remainder of the current Million's watch.

Gavin, is facing the reality that he and his brother will be separated. His brother will be sentenced to the life that he once had. As I've shown with other narratives where siblings are separated (or killed), the surviving sibling receives the power of orphan magic. He essentially returns to his status as an orphan but now gains the privilege of the Million.

Five stars

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2024 Sarah Sammis