March - April 2012 Fantasy BotM: Among Others by Jo Walton

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Hobbit, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    And just to add to the congratulations, Among Others (and therefore Jo!) have been nominated for the Hugo 2012 Award, Best Novel.

    Congratulations!

    Mark
     
  2. algernoninc

    algernoninc Now I'm an axolotl

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    if it wins it will be like Hugo and The Actor at the Oscars : two movies celebrating the movie industry, with this book celebrating the science-fiction / fantasy scene.
     
  3. AuntiePam

    AuntiePam Cranky old broad

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    I was okay with this. Mori decides that the boy (Garaint?) was only pretending to see the fairies.

    I'm about halfway through and I've been enthralled on every page. I'm curious to see if the magic is real, but whether or not it is, it won't matter.

    Why don't more writers have their characters reading and commenting on books? It connects us.
     
  4. AuntiePam

    AuntiePam Cranky old broad

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    Missed the edit window.

    Something else that struck me was a comment made in Mori's first meeting with the SF book club. I don't recall the exact wording, but it was something like characters will seem realistic to us if they're a product of their environment. And that this is the same for mainstream fiction. A character who feels realistic for one world wouldn't seem realistic in another world. You wouldn't accept Severian if he lived in Narnia, for example.

    I like this and will be looking for it in other books.
     
  5. AuntiePam

    AuntiePam Cranky old broad

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    Finished the book today, and see that I spoke too soon concerning the boy who saw the fairies. I hadn't met Wim, who apparently did see the fairies. There was another boy earlier, a friend of both girls, and he didn't see them.

    If Mori is telling the truth about what Wim saw, then the magic is real. I'd rather the magic not be real, because if it was, then I felt the ending was rushed and rather a letdown.

    But the magic parts of the book weren't what I liked anyway. I liked watching Mori start to relate to people, become her own person, separate from her twin.

    It's a book I'll be thinking about for awhile.
     
  6. cgw

    cgw Registered User

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    Just read Among Others. It was pretty good. More worthy of the Hugo than Leviathan Wakes but maybe not A Dance with Dragons depending on what you think of single books of series winning awards. (I have not read the other 2 nominees)

    I think the constant reference to SciFi books was a little indulgent even though it fit in the plot and style (diary). She named plenty of Zelazny but not Lord of Light????

    The end was pretty weird. Not the sister and mother thing but the 3 guys showing up right at the end.



    She did inlclude it. She said she did not want to read it. It was mentioned several times.
     
  7. Corporal Blues

    Corporal Blues I like to rock the party

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    So I went to a real-life book club last night where Among Others was the topic of discussion. Folks mentioned many of the same things we discussed here, but one thing I thought interesting was that most people did not like Wim. Though he was a bit of a manipulative jerk who was just trying to get in Mori's pants...the whole thing where he dates another girl just to see if Mori gets jealous is a total jerk move.

    Also, one person mentioned that Wim probably didn't actually "see" the fairies, and was just claiming to in order to get on good terms with Mori...which leaves the whole "was the magic real or was Mori just imagining them" question up in the air.

    Interesting stuff, and it was fun to get new things to think about regarding the book.
     
  8. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    Which is a win win, as those who don't normally read 'that Fantasy stuff' can go down the 'wasn't real' route, whilst those who do can claim that it is a Fantasy novel.

    Was the group a non-genre group, Corp? I'm interested because I think that this is one of those books that might appeal to untypical genre readers, whilst to many it's a book about loving books.

    Rather like the reaction to Cloud Atlas or The Time Traveller's Wife, it could be a genre book for non-genre people. Have i got that wrong?

    (And no, I haven't read it, other than the odd extract: still not available here in the UK.)
     
  9. Corporal Blues

    Corporal Blues I like to rock the party

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    Definitely, and I think that ambiguity is a strength of the novel. One employee of the book store that hosted the discussion said that he views it as a crossover novel, one for genre and non-genre readers can enjoy, but also for young adults looking to transition into adult books.

    It was a genre group. Next month's book is Leviathan Wakes and after that is The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

    Among Others isn't available in the UK yet? I thought Walton was a UK writer? I heard that her back catalog will finally be getting reprints here in the states soon. Typically the only book of hers available on the shelf is Among Others
     
  10. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    No. Tooth and Claw has just been released but no others yet, as far as I know: not even Farthing. And yes, from Wales, originally, I think. But resident in the US for quite a while.


    Later Update: A quick look around shows that Amazon have Amongst Others released on the 21st March by Corsair Books.

    Thanks for the update, Corp: your reading group sounds like fun!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  11. Corporal Blues

    Corporal Blues I like to rock the party

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    Oh, I didn't know that. I remember seeing Farthing on shelves a few years back, but haven't seen a copy of it in a while. Hopefully the reprints will come soon, I'd like to read more of her stuff.


    It's definitely worth a read... if only for all the great book recommendations the novel will provide. I'm a huge LeGuin fan thanks to Among Others, and many of my recent book buys have been books mentioned by the main character, Mori. In fact, I'm reading The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper right now thanks to AO.

    It was my first time at a live-in-person book group, but I enjoyed it. Though I do miss the SFFWorld book groups!