by Jo Walton
Morwenna Phelps is a young woman with a great love of fantasy literature. After the death of her twin sister she has increasingly retreated into her imagination and may be falling into a fantasy world. Or, she may be becoming increasingly attuned to another world of magic and fairy folk hidden from the rest of humanity.
Alienated from her possibly insane mother, Morwenna’s father sends her to an English boarding school for girls. By day she tries to make friends at school, and by night she tries to defend herself against her mother’s witchcraft and the tempting allure of the fairy world.
This novel is a love story about fantasy literature. Through her father’s collection, used book stores, and the local library Morwenna explores the works of writers like J. R. R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, Roger Zelazny, Samuel Delany, Kurt Vonnegut, John Brunner, Robert Silverberg and many others. Anyone interested in sampling the riches of science fiction and fantasy but intimidated by bookshelves overflowing with Tolkien imitators and romantic vampires would do well to explore Morwenna’s reading list.
Among Others is a great coming-of-age story and shows that a love of fantasy fiction can lead to a richer understanding of the world and humanity. It won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel of the year. Jo Walton's novel is recommended for anyone who had considered reading SF but was afraid that it was not for women, or adults, or anyone who lives outside of their parent’s basement.
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Review by Keith Davis