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

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Lifeload by Jo Walton - 2009 - 192 Pages


Lifeload by Jo Walton - 2009 - 192 Pages 

Lifeload won the 2009 Mythopoeic Award awards by Hugo, Nébula, and World Fantasy.

(Mythopoeia (also mythopoesis, after Hellenistic Greek μυθοποιία, μυθοποίησις "myth-making") is a narrative genre in modern literature and film where a fictional or artificial mythology is created by the writer of prose or other fiction.)

In August last year I posted on Among Other by Jo Walton,also a multiple Hugo and Nébula Award Winner.  I was pleased to find another of her multiple fantasy Award winning books marked down in a Kindle edition flash sale.  As the  pandemic rages on I thought maybe a bit of fantasy might be in order.

Lifeload is set in a farm community structuted along feudal lines.  Lifeload is the role in the community you were meant to have.  Family Life is important.  Your heritage defines to an extent your Lifeload.  The Lord of the Manor is descended by Birth.  Family and marriage arrangements seem almost polymorophous.  Sex outside of marriage is normal.  Both husbands and wives can have extra sexual partners.  In the World of Lifeload, the the further east you, the stronger is the power of magic.

The plot line develops around the return of a woman who was once Lord of the msnor but left fifty years ago to study magic.  

People can live a very long time in this world.  Communities have priests but what they do is vague.  Much is left unclear which lets our mind fill in the details.  An army is sent to attack the community, another Lord has a claim on the area from long ago. The army has about 150 soldiers.  All in The comminity Go inside the fortified manor.  Weapons are bows, swords, shields and magic spells. The community has about 200 residents, The Lord of The Manor is Under a higher Lord.

For me the great fun of Lifeload is in the intricate history and mythology of the world Walton has created.

Jo Walton has published fourteen novels, most recently Lent. She has also published three poetry collections, two essay collections and a short story collection. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2002, the World Fantasy Award for Tooth and Claw in 2004, the Hugo and Nebula awards for Among Others in 2012,  and in 2014 both the Tiptree Award for My Real Children and the Locus Non Fiction award for What Makes This Book So Great. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are much better. She gets bored easily so she tends to write books that are different from each other. She also reads a lot, enjoys travel, talking about books, and eating great food. She plans to live to be ninety-nine and write a book every year.  From

I intend to read more of her books.


Buried In Print said...

I don't think I recognize this one of hers but I've only read Among Others (though I have two trilogies and a couple of stand-alones on my TBR too). A book a year 'til she's 99...then, I guess I'm going to lose track of her stories!

If you do get hold of her collection of essays (which come from her blog posts), read the ones she writes about books you've already read and avoid the others...she always includes spoilers, which is fun if you've read the book, not fun otherwise!

Mel u said...

I read a ing others also. I choose this book as my second of her works because it was on sale for $1.95 as a kindle