Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Among Others by Jo Walton - 2010 - Winner of The 2012 Hugo and Nebula Wards

Among Others by Jo Walton - 2010 - Winner of The 2012 Hugo and Nebula Awards

If you are looking to expand your reading in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, as the real world sucks right now, I suggest you look for Hugo and Nebula Award Winning works.

Among Others  focuses on a young woman, she is 15 when we meet her, who uses classic science fiction and fantasy works to help her cope with her life.  It is structured as a series of brief diary entries.  For sure the central character and narrator Morwena Phelps lives a very reading centered life.

She was raised by a mentally disturbed mother.  They lived in an abandoned industrial park in Wales.  Welsh fairies are fond of such places.  Morwena played with the fairies as a child.  Her refuge is in classic science fiction and fantasy works.  Her mother tries to use the spiritual forces for an evil purpose. She wants to take over the world.  She is a witch.   Morwena  is drawn into a contest of will with her mother which leaves Morwena half crippled and her twin sister dead when her mother causes a car wreck.  She is sent to to her father who she barely knows.  Luckily for her he also loves science fiction.  He places her in a boarding school.

Throughout the narrative Morwena sees fairies of all sorts.  We see her encounters with other girls, teachers, a helpful librarian.  She joins a book club and gets interested in boys.

The mother continues to harass her at school through threatening letters.  A great magical battle ensues.

I found this book fascinating.  I can very much relate to an adolescent who used books to escape from an unhappy existence in which she was made to feel like she was an outcast.  The more she reads, the more she sees beyond the world in which she was raised, the odder she is made to feel.

Of course she is attracted to magic and magic to her. Those who believe in the intrusion of magic into this world, as do I, will love this book.  Science Fiction fans will relish reading along with Morewena.

This is my first venture into the world of Jo Walton, I will be back.

Jo Walton won the Hugo and Nebula Awards in 2012 for her novel Among Others, and the Tiptree Award in 2015 for My Real Children. Before that, she won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Tooth and Claw won the World Fantasy Award in 2004. A native of Wales, she lives in Montreal.

Check her very interesting website for more information

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

I loved this book too, for its bookishness. I wished that I could have been friends with this character, when I was her age. Like you, it made me want to read more Jo Walton. I've heard that her Small Change trilogy, which begins with Farthing, is especially good. The only other book of hers I've read is the collection of essays, but I don't recommend it in general, because there are so many spoilers for the books in there, although I do love her passion for the books she reads! (You can find her pieces about books online, too, and read them when you don't mind the spoilers.)