!E-pub ♲ Among Others ♿ PDF or E-pub free

!E-pub ☫ Among Others ♠ Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and science fiction, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantmentRaised by a half mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds As a child growing up in Wales, she and her twin sister played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins, but her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions When her mother tries to bend the spirits to dark ends with deadly results, Mori is sent away and must try to come to terms with what has happened without falling prey to the darkness I tried to write this review without spoilers, but it depends on what you consider to be spoilers I think it s a book basedon characters than events, and I don t think knowing some of the events will spoil the whole, but you might want to exercise a bit of cautionAmong Others feels like a book written just for me The protagonist, Mori, is Welsh, disabled, synaesthetic, listens to folk music, reads SF and fantasy reads anything and everything She says, early in the books, that, I I tried to write this review without spoilers, but it depends on what you consider to be spoilers I think it s a book basedon characters than events, and I don t think knowing some of the events will spoil the whole, but you might want to exercise a bit of cautionAmong Others feels like a book written just for me The protagonist, Mori, is Welsh, disabled, synaesthetic, listens to folk music, reads SF and fantasy reads anything and everything She says, early in the books, that, It doesn t matter I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books She speaks casually and without bigotry about LGBT people, thinks about religion, and thinks positively at least mostly so about sex She s at an English school, a private school with traditions and expectations and such a very middle class air And her world is a world with room for all of this, for everything we know in our everyday lives, and also for magic It s a book written after the climax of the story, really Mori s fantastical adventures have come to their climax, and now she has to live with the consequences She says that it s like life after the Scouring of the Shire And she does have huge consequences to live with she has her own injury, and the death of her twin sister, to come to terms with.It s a book about an ordinary girl, in many ways, and most definitely about an ordinary world Magic comes through the cracks, but most of the time Mori has to live with things just the way we all do, catching buses and trains, and being excited about the latest books by her favourite authors coming out And about being attracted to boys, too though in many ways this book is as much a love story about a girl and the interlibrary loan system as it is about a girl and a boy It s a book about books, as much as anything else, maybethan anything else Mori talks about everything she s reading, often with astute comments about it all I want to find and read some of these books, and try to find the same magic in them as the protagonist of Among Others does.There were two things I didn t connect with as well, and they don t detract from it enough to deduct a star, even though they seem to be the things I have the most to say about One is that the final confrontations feel very abrupt Part of that is Mori s matter of fact narration, and part of it is that it does come up very suddenly, after a lot of real world concerns and preoccupations it seems to jar against the rest, there I would almost prefer the book without closure, without climax, because it is a story written after the world didn t end, and Mori is living with the consequences.The other thing, which I think is well articulated by this review, is that Mori s mother is a complete stereotype of a neglectful, mentally ill mother As I said to that reviewer, part of that could be that Mori is only just learning about shades of grey it is in the last fifty pages or so that she says that children are better tools for fairies because they don t see in shades of grey for most of the book, she doesn t see in shades of grey, she is in the process of learning to do so Mori sees the world in the way it might be seen in children s fantasy a point she makes for herself about Susan Cooper s The Dark is Rising although she is somewhat wrong there are shades of grey in that sequence, too where things are black and white, and there is a definite bad guy She s fifteen years old, not an adult yet, and she is just growing toward anuanced view of the world So I think it is partially that which informs the portrayal of her mother, and there are some subtle things, maybe that you only see when you know them from the inside, that hint at Mori s fears and the things her mother has done to her The ones that I mentioned to the other reviewer are what particularly struck me the way she disguises taking a book from the shelf, fearful of her mother s knowing, and also the way she says that she makes sure not to give anything away at school , because it will be used against her Those are thought patterns you get from being bullied abused, in my experience.At the same time, it takes work to see the potential subtleties in the portrayal of Mori s mother it s all too easy to just take Mori at her word, and it is discomforting to wonder about how much of that is intentional and how much is just internalised by the author.Overall, though, I loved the book I read it with my teddy, Helen, at all times, because it felt somehow wrong to read something that spoke to my teenage self without her this book really felt written for me, and I could talk about it for hours, if given the chance One of my favourite things, though, was the very last line it feels almost bathetic, and yet at the same time, so perfect for Mori, so perfect for the story, and so perfect for me The whole book was immensely easy to read, and I wish I d been able to just set aside a few hours and blast right through it most of what happens in it is just ordinary life, but Mori s voice is well done and it s all quite magical, even the parts that aren t meant to be, because there s magic in reading and talking about reading and reading about reading This is one of those books that I think of frequently, it has stayed with me Walton has blessed this work with a strong female lead and is minimalistic, meaning that most of the action, what little there is, is subtle and underplayed Yet it is a hypnotic book to read, Jo Walton does a great job of characterization, economically describing the cast in such a way that the reader knows the populace, yet there are few one dimensional characters Of course the aspect of the book that gets so much a This is one of those books that I think of frequently, it has stayed with me Walton has blessed this work with a strong female lead and is minimalistic, meaning that most of the action, what little there is, is subtle and underplayed Yet it is a hypnotic book to read, Jo Walton does a great job of characterization, economically describing the cast in such a way that the reader knows the populace, yet there are few one dimensional characters Of course the aspect of the book that gets so much attention rightfully so is the ubiquitous references to science fiction literature Akin to Ernest Cline s novel Ready Player One, the narrative at times takes a back seat to Walton s streaming sci fi reminiscences Whereas Cline took us back to the 80s, Walton waxes nostalgic through a list of science fiction and fantasy greats.No wonder now, looking back, that this won the Hugo, it s that good 2018 This is a book for readers Walton s ongoing list of cool SF books weaved into the storyline and the themes of reading akin to magical realism makes this a very special and fun book I may need to re read some time This is for all the libraries in the world, and the librarians who sit there day after day lending books to peopleI m not quite sure how to describe this book, what precisely it is but it has that something that is making me read it for the third time in as many years, and each time it finds a new way into my heartThere are some awful things in the world, it s true, but there are also some great booksThis is a love ode to books and libraries, and the magic of stories,This is for all the libraries in the world, and the librarians who sit there day after day lending books to peopleI m not quite sure how to describe this book, what precisely it is but it has that something that is making me read it for the third time in as many years, and each time it finds a new way into my heartThere are some awful things in the world, it s true, but there are also some great booksThis is a love ode to books and libraries, and the magic of stories, and the unashamed homage to so many science fiction classics, and the perfect understanding thatIf you love books enough, books will love you back Half way, Glorfindel said, and he didn t mean I was half dead without her or that she was halfway through or any of that, he meant that I was halfway through Babel 17, and if I went on I would never find out how it came out.There may be stranger reasons for being aliveIt is also an offbeat story of a girl who grew up seeing fairies in Wales, walking a thin line between magic and mundane or perhaps, just playing it all in her overactive and slightly unstable imaginationAnd it was the landscape that formed us, that made us who we were as we grew in it, that affected everything We thought we were living in a fantasy landscape when actually we were living in a science fictional oneIt is a story about adjusting to the life in which you are an outsider, where you stick out like a sore thumb, an outsider still stripped raw from the death of the twin sister who was a part of youthan others could ever understand and from the shattering your life took both physically and emotionallyTwins are clones, too If you looked at an elm tree you d never think it was part of all the others You d see an elm tree Same when people look at me now they see a person, not half a set of twins I have finished with saving the world, and I never expected it to be the slightest bit grateful anywayIt s a story of learning to live with the physical and mental pain and learning to redefine a new normal for yourself, burying all the possibilities from before and trying to focus on the realities of nowIt s too late for that now I m going to grow up and she isn t She s frozen where she is, and I m changing, and I want to change I want to live I thought I had to live for both of us, because she can t live for herself, but I can t really live for her I can t really know what she d have done, what she d have wanted, how she d have changedIt s a story of painful search and longing for people who are yours , your karass, who will understand you and accept you and be there for you even when everything is crashing down around youBeing left alone and I am being left alone isn t quite as much what I wanted as I thought Is this how people become evil I don t want to be Bibliotropic, Hugh said Like sunflowers are heliotropic, they naturally turn towards the sun We naturally turn towards the bookshopAnd it s a story of the aftermath, of what happens after climax of the before story had been achieved and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces of their livesWhen I needed someone, somehow that net of family that I counted on to be there for me, the way you might bounce down to a trampoline, disappeared, and instead of bouncing back I hit the ground hardDon t look for much of conventional plot here that s been left behind in the story that Mori only alludes to, the story after the climax of which we join in This is Frodo s life after the Scouring of the Shire, as Mori notesTolkien understood about the things that happen after the end Because this is after the end, this is all the Scouring of the Shire, this is figuring out how to live in the time that wasn t supposed to happen after the glorious last stand I saved the world, or I think I did, and look, the world is still here, with sunsets and interlibrary loans And it doesn t care about me anythan the Shire cared about FrodoDon t look for conventional magic or fantasy or you ll be sorely disappointed Mori s world is full of very vague, very subtle magic that you can easily rationalize as either the remnants of magical thinking of childhood or perhaps a way her traumatized mind comes to rationalize the trauma that left her broken or, if you want to be cruel, perhaps some of the seeds of madness that, if we believe Mori, possess her mother, the woman who persistently burns one of her daughters out of the photographs that she sends to her.Don t be frustrated by the constant name checking of endless pre 1980 science fiction and the entire journal entries comprised of little but Mori s precocious thoughts and impressions of themOne of the things I ve always liked about science fiction is the way it makes you think about things, and look at things from angles you d never have thought about beforeYes, it does help if you have read at least some of them Yes, it s precisely the wealth of books that remains at the heart of this story about finding self in the world that is not rushing to meet you with open arms Yes, there will beabout books and Mori s impressions of them than any other plot strands It s the strange beauty of this book, and it s the heart of itInterlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilization.Libraries really are wonderful They re better than bookshops, even I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their heartsMori PhelpsMorwenna Morganna You tell me, I m still confused by the implications of a couple of seemingly throwaway and yet deeply significant lines in the bookneeds to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and learn to live with the aftermath, and not just simply live but be herself, find friends, thrive, find new things that matter, make new post aftermath hopes and fears, come to peace with her losses and move on while still keeping what s dear to her in her heart.And if sometimes the reasons to pick yourself back up and keep going are strange and unusual well, so be itAnd here I am, still alive, still in the world It s my intention to carry on being alive in the world, well, until I die I ll live, and read, and have friends, a karass, people to talk to I ll grow and change and be myself I ll belong to libraries wherever I go Things will happen that I can t imagine I ll change and grow into a future that will be unimaginably different from the past I ll be alive I ll be me I ll be reading my bookWonderful book, unusual, subtle and memorable, a tribute to the time of searching for books in the bookstores and libraries and not knowing what will come your way, and forever a tribute to the times of searching for yourself in life and really having no idea what will come your way 5 stars I keep going back and forth between 2 and 3 stars I should have really loved this book, but I found myselfannoyed than charmed Although it appears we re supposed to take the main character s story at face value and believe that the magic and fairies and her evil mother are real, I found myself writing it all off as her way of coping with amundane unstable mother and car accident I think what pushed me over the edge into disbelief was the scene with the aunts and the earrings I me I keep going back and forth between 2 and 3 stars I should have really loved this book, but I found myselfannoyed than charmed Although it appears we re supposed to take the main character s story at face value and believe that the magic and fairies and her evil mother are real, I found myself writing it all off as her way of coping with amundane unstable mother and car accident I think what pushed me over the edge into disbelief was the scene with the aunts and the earrings I mean, what was that except some belligerent child who s playing make believe and throwing a tantrum And we re supposed to believe she s 15 And as much as I love books, read and eat and breathe books, I wanted her to get her head out of them and be in the real world for a bit and have conversations that were real There s something to say for being a well rounded person with multiple interests I realize I sound awfully harsh regarding a fictional girl whose twin just died maybe it was the over use of the word brill to describe everything she liked You d think someone who read so much would have a larger vocabulary BibliotropismExcellent YA reading with acute relevance to us oldies as well A fifteen year old girl from the Welsh valleys learns about life, death, sex, love and friendship Handicapped in mysterious circumstances, estranged from her mother for equally mysterious reasons, Morwenna has to cope with everything from family blending to the trials of social isolation at an English girls school.But mostly Among Others is about Morwenna s irrepressible attraction to books, especially to the imaginat BibliotropismExcellent YA reading with acute relevance to us oldies as well A fifteen year old girl from the Welsh valleys learns about life, death, sex, love and friendship Handicapped in mysterious circumstances, estranged from her mother for equally mysterious reasons, Morwenna has to cope with everything from family blending to the trials of social isolation at an English girls school.But mostly Among Others is about Morwenna s irrepressible attraction to books, especially to the imaginative construction of alternative worlds in sci fi These take up where her younger fantasies of faeries leave offWe thought we were living in a fantasy landscape when actually we were living in a science fictional oneFaeries after all are very knowledgeable but they can t do much in the world of people, not without help Morwenna loves fantasy but despises allegory Things are what they are and are degraded by being made to stand for other thingsFiction s nice Fiction lets you select and simplify, she says Fiction, in other words, explains things It helps a person get from a magical view of the world of a child to the realism of adulthood, without the loss of one s imagination, including one s moral imaginationOne of the things I ve always liked about science fiction is the way it makes you think about things, and look at things from angles you d never have thought about before Books are the centre of Morwenna s existenceSometimes it feels as if it s only books that make life worth livingHer judgment has been honed by reading all the best writers and understanding what makes them the best Through her reading she also finds others who are sympathetic to her tastes and ways of thinking By understanding them she understands herself and her situation It is not an overstatement to say that she is redeemed through her reading.Walton s epigram for Among Others is a subtle mis quote from Virgil s Aeneidet haec olim meminisse iuvabit, that isit will be a joy to remember these things some dayShe has left out the important first word of Virgil s original Forsan in Latin Perhaps , in English For Walton, there is no perhaps about Morwenna s life She will always find joy in what she has read and what it has done for her life Morwenna grows up in Wales hanging out with faeries Nothing extraordinary about it, loved the matter of fact telling and how they re precisely as I imagined they d be IllusiveThey d moved in with the green things after people had abandoned themand unfathomable Some are pretty little things with gossamer wings, others creatures ripped from the pages of Grimm s Fairy TalesFairies tend to be either very beautiful or absolutely hideousShe s 15 with a ton of issues a mother who s crac Morwenna grows up in Wales hanging out with faeries Nothing extraordinary about it, loved the matter of fact telling and how they re precisely as I imagined they d be IllusiveThey d moved in with the green things after people had abandoned themand unfathomable Some are pretty little things with gossamer wings, others creatures ripped from the pages of Grimm s Fairy TalesFairies tend to be either very beautiful or absolutely hideousShe s 15 with a ton of issues a mother who s crackers, the death of her twin, the appearance of her father who d dropped into her life after years without a whisper, then shipped her off to an English boarding school A misfit who walks with a cane talks funny,comfortable in the company of faeries than people immersed in the world of books, fantasy sci fi in particular Friendless lonely, she s also clever and surprisingly grounded A strange, gentle story that I should have loved and did for the most part Away with the faeries a Gaelic phrase my parents used to describe me Grew up lost in my own little world so coming across Morwenna felt a bit like finding a soul mate I m not daft, never actually spoke to any but whereas Santa left me cold I truly believed in faeries, spent hours hunting for them in neglected places, overgrown fields, derelict buildings Books were a refuge for me as well, a pint sized immigrant with a Glaswegian brogue that sent my Canadian classmates into hysterics every time I opened my mouth cons Why oh why didn t she stick with the style she began in, the subtlety of magical realism Instead you get this outta left field epic ending, unnecessary and jarring Dropped to 3 stars and rounded to 3 meanderings All the references to obscure sci fi fantasy novels whet my appetite Roger Zelazny top of my list to try memorableI should never have tried to talk to that fairy Let someone else do something about Dutch elm disease It isn t my problem I know what I was expecting before I had read this novel I knew it had won last year s Hugo and I ve been working my way through every hugo and runner up since they started What I hadn t expected was an unabashedly delightful review of so many great science fiction novels from the last 75 years, most of which I ve also read and delighted over I loved Mor and was always very proud of her, and who wouldn t be As long as you are a science fiction fan, using magic as easily as breathing, thinkin I know what I was expecting before I had read this novel I knew it had won last year s Hugo and I ve been working my way through every hugo and runner up since they started What I hadn t expected was an unabashedly delightful review of so many great science fiction novels from the last 75 years, most of which I ve also read and delighted over I loved Mor and was always very proud of her, and who wouldn t be As long as you are a science fiction fan, using magic as easily as breathing, thinking magic as easily as reading, you and I are her She is our Everyman So, yes, I do normally hit a lot of ratings at the five star level, but is that because I research novels before I read them and only aim for the best Or is it because I always find something brilliant in everything I read Maybe both, but I don t care I love books, I love books, I love books and my kinship with Jo Walton, even though I have never spoken with her, or even read any of her other novels, is one of karass Thank You, Jo A love letter to science fiction and fantasy, to books and to librarians We never looked anything like anyone in our family, but apart from the eye and hair color I don t see anything It doesn t matter I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books A support letter to adolescence, and to girls alienated from their families So then I realised guiltily how my very presence in his car was actually a huge reproach For one thing, there is only one of me, when he aba A love letter to science fiction and fantasy, to books and to librarians We never looked anything like anyone in our family, but apart from the eye and hair color I don t see anything It doesn t matter I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books A support letter to adolescence, and to girls alienated from their families So then I realised guiltily how my very presence in his car was actually a huge reproach For one thing, there is only one of me, when he abandoned twins For another, I am crippled Thirdly, I am there at all I ran away I had to ask for his help and worse, I had to use the social services to ask for his help Clearly, the arrangements he made for us were far from adequate In fact, my existence there at that moment demonstrated to him that he is a rotten parent and to girls alienated from their schools If the school was going out of their way to try to detach us from magic, they couldn t organize things better I wonder if that was someone s original intention We don t have our own plates, or our own knives and forks or cups Like most of what we use, they re communal, they re handed out at random There s no chance for anything to become imbued, to come alive through fondness Nothing here is aware, no chair, no cup Nobody can get fond of anything Walton s writing is astonishing it impeccably captures the voice of a 15 year old Welsh girl, Morwenna Markova, after she is sent to England to live with her estranged father and then immediately dispatched to boarding school Books have been a life long source of enjoyment and solace, and sustain her through the loss of her twin She is both naive and worldly, with that bookish sort of experience that is not backed by the experience of real life A Polish Jew I am part Polish Part Jewish All that I know about Judaism comes from A Canticle for Leibowitz and Dying Inside Well, and the Bible, I suppose Fans of fantasy and science fiction will love the multitudes of references to genre classics, from LeGuin to McCaffrey to Zelazny and Vonnegut Literary references are veiled Mor and her sister call factory near them Mordor, as it looked like something from the depths of hell, black and looming with chimneys of flame and overt Mor frequently interprets the world according to authors she has read Robert Heinlein says in Have Spacesuit, Will Travel that the only things worth studying are history, languages, and science Librarians become allies in Mor s adjustment to England, and through them, she discovers other like minded souls.However, there is also something about the writing that is distancing, perhaps because of Mor s own emotional distance, perhaps because the narrative about the fairies is enigmatic, or perhaps because the overtones of fear in dealing with her mother that aren t realized There is an awkward exploration of sexuality, perfectly age appropriate, but uncomfortable, and relationships that doesn t quite weave in as smoothly as I would have liked Whatever it was, it prevents me from that emotional connection that characterizes my five star reads.Walton is an interesting writer, and is content to leave questions lying around, unanswered If you are the sort of reader that likes wrapping with neat bows, this may not suit you Still it is intriguing, and will undoubtedly win a second or third full read down the road.Quite a surprise, and one of theunusual pieces I ve read Four and a half unreliable stars.Cross posted at i am at a total loss about how this book got published this is not a book in the sense of a novel, i mean it s the diary of an articulate, well read sci fi diehard teenager talking about what she did and what she read every day for a year this account of her every day life is sprinkled with unimpressive encounters with fairies, because apparently in this world, welsh people are kinda down with spirit creatures the other reason this isn t a book is that it s an epilogue to a story we never g i am at a total loss about how this book got published this is not a book in the sense of a novel, i mean it s the diary of an articulate, well read sci fi diehard teenager talking about what she did and what she read every day for a year this account of her every day life is sprinkled with unimpressive encounters with fairies, because apparently in this world, welsh people are kinda down with spirit creatures the other reason this isn t a book is that it s an epilogue to a story we never get to hear mori, our main gal, is living with a father she barely knows and in boarding school having fled from her evil witch literal, not metaphorical mother why well, sometime before mori s boring daily diary begins, there was a huge magical battle between good mori her twin sister and evil the mother , which left mori with a bad leg and a dead sister you d think that at least some of the book would explain why the mother was evil, why she hated her kids, why she waged magical war on them, and just generally, what kind of magic we re talking about but nada no explanations of any sort for ANYTHING instead, this is what we get school sucked today my classmates are so lame today, my mother tried to kill me in my sleep that sucked, too my leg hurts i went to the woods and talked to a fairy but they re really cryptic wow, ursula le guin s awesome this lesbian is hitting on me but i m straight how can anyone think heinlein is authoritarian i wish i knew my father were better i touched this guy s dick at a party and he called me a slut so guess i won t be seeing him again my grandad s pretty cool though i miss my sister but i want to live let me go re read lord of the rings for the six hundreth time sci fi book club, yay my aunts keep trying to get my ears pierced but you can t see fairies if your ears are pierced i think my aunts are evil i am not exaggerating this is the entire book WTF i m really kind of bitter because i kept a journal growing up maybe if i added the occasional gnome on the side, i could get that published, too