enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Jo Walton, Among Others

I read this book about 15-Jun-2008. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2008. This note was last modified Tuesday, 06-May-2014 13:04:57 PDT.

This note does not contain major spoilers for the book.


Manuscript, and short form of working title ("Deep"); no idea what the title will become if a publisher wants this [see below]. (Also sometimes known as Industrial Landscape of Elfland).

Since it's a first draft, and Jo has said she's doing considerable work on the ending in particular, I won't say much, but I want to record having read it (if only to explain the gap in reading other things).

I found the first-person narrator charming, clever, engaging, rather wise (particularly for a teenager), and entirely believable. The plot came as something of a surprise to me when it showed up at the end, but it made good enough sense; and the book had been carried quite nicely by my interest in the character. This is exactly the sort of thing that gets adjusted in revisions—fairly minor tweaks earlier could raise the visibility of the plot earlier, making it less a surprise when it surfaces later. (I call it "the" plot; but of course a decent book is never that simple. I needed a label for the main thread of events that isn't just the daily life of the protagonist.)

Jo said this is to some considerable extent autobiographical (except where it isn't), and I found that a bit of a distraction. The best way for me to deal with it was to shove it firmly aside when it was insisting on my attention. (If she hadn't said anything, it still would have been quite apparent, so I can't blame her for putting the idea into my head.)

Like all of Jo's books (except for actual sequels), it's not like any of her other books, and it's very good. I hope it gets published and I get to read the final version.

And yeah, it did, and won the Hugo and Nebula. Official title is Among Otherscite.

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David Dyer-Bennet