Monday, February 13, 2012

Among Others, by Jo Walton

I don't think I'm going to write a review of Among Others, by Jo Walton. Constructing reviews feels like a fairly mechanical process to me, and I think that might cheapen my entirely pleasant experience with this book. That and I think somewhere along the way my affection for it became completely uncritical, which probably isn't ideal for a review.

Among Others reminds me a little of Rachel Swirsky's novella from last year's Hugo ballot, "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window". I went into both stories expecting they wouldn't really be my thing, and I fell for both of them. Among Others is the diary of a 15-year old Welsh girl who loves classic science fiction. She is also the daughter of a witch, and she sees fairies.

I expected those things to be obstacles to my enjoyment -- I haven't read much classic SF, and I generally dislike the sort of story that has fairies in it. But they weren't obstacles at all. Really, I just thought the whole thing was charming. Jo Walton's affection for SF, for SF fandom, and for Wales, was quite infectious. Maybe if you weren't already susceptible to that sort of thing, or had a dislike for nostalgia in general, this book would do nothing for you. But I'm not that person, and I really enjoyed it.

And now, for something completely different, I'm having a go at Leviathan Wakes [2011], a blockbuster space opera by James S. A. Corey (aka Daniel Abraham). I expect explosions.

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