Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Among Others by Jo Walton & SFFWorld Miscellania

Jo Walton has been writing fantasy and science fiction for about a decade, at least as a published writer. Her novel Tooth and Claw won the World Fantasy Award and her novel Ha’penny won the Prometheus Award. Though I haven’t read any of her fiction prior to this novel, I’ve been reading and enjoying the many posts she makes at My review of her latest novel, Among Others went up at SFFWorld today:

A novel like this is very difficult to sum up without giving away too many spoilers or revealing the joy of discovery Mor experiences. Essentially, Among Others is epistolary novel told through Mor’s diary. Though I haven’t read too many novels structured in this manner, I wonder if they all hold the same addictive, powerful and voyeuristic appeal as does Walton’s novel. What made this novel work so well for me, and many readers of SF, is Mor’s unbridled love of the genre and perhaps more importantly, how it essentially saved her and allowed her to move on from the tragedy she experienced into the next stage of her life. The novel can be seen as a testament to not only the power of story and the written word, but also the power of community so strongly associated with SF. In fact, as I was reading the novel I very much wanted to visit some of the books Mor read. I made a journey to the local used bookshop to pick up some older SF contemporary with many of the novels Mor read, as well as Walton’s debut novel The King’s Peace.

We’ve got some other things going on at SFFWorld as well, such as the usual Book Club discussions wherein members engage in more detailed discussions of books they’ve chosen through a poll. For the month of May the books are as follows:

The Keep by F. Paul Wilson - I’ve read only one book by Wilson, which is part of his Repairman Jack cycle of novels, Legacies and enjoyed it a great deal. Wilson is an author I really need to read more of since (1) he writes very well and (2) he’s a New Jersey guy like me. This is one of his first and best regarded novels, and considered a modern classic of the horror genre.

BlackOut by Connie Willis - I've never read anything by Willis, but this one seems to be a strong contender for the Hugo award. I know Mark Yon, of SFFWorld is a big fan of Mrs. Willis.

Lastly, speaking of Mark, he was invited by Orbit Books (UK) to write up introductions for their re-release of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, and the first post went live today.

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