What Makes This Book So Great: Re-Reading The Classics Of Science Fiction And Fantasy by Jo Walton
|What Makes This Book So Great: Re-Reading The Classics Of Science Fiction And Fantasy by Jo Walton|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: Author and avid reader Jo Walton has her reviews and essays collected in this - What Makes This Book So Great. An authoritative voice in the field of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Walton's writings will encourage fans of Sci-Fi and Fantasy to run straight to their nearest bookshop, and those who are new to the genre are sure to feel persuaded by her wonderful writing and clever, thoughtful essays.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 512||Date: January 2015|
Jo Walton has published over ten books, several of which have been award-winning. On top of that, she has a voracious appetite for books - both as a well-respected writer of original fiction, but as a well-respected reviewer too. Not only does she have time to do all that, but she also writes a regular column for Tor.com, on Science Fiction and Fantasy books, and it is these columns that a selection of which are collected here.
With the mainstream success of 'Game of Thrones' and the return of both 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars', it appears that we seem to be in the middle of somewhat of a renaissance period for the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy. In spite of that, both genres are often treated as inferior to mainstream fiction and rarely receive quite as much attention, praise or publicity as they should.
Reading Jo Walton's passionate and loving words, it is impossible to see why.
Jo Walton does not just work in the worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy, she lives and breathes them, and strongly encourages the reader to live and breathe them with her. Some articles may just focus on one book, but fleeting references to others had me scribbling the names down, and the list I had made when I finished the book is several pages long and could easily lead to an expensive trip to a bookshop followed by a good few months of poverty!
Don't think that the author is dropping hundreds of books into the conversation in order to seem clever though - it is obvious that this is her language and her world, and she is a more than capable guide.
In fact, I was often filled with a sense of wonder - Walton feels like an incredibly kind and enthusiastic librarian, leading the reader round a cavernous library full of wonderful treasures, delights and marvels.
In addition to the reviews and essays on classic Sci-Fi and Fantasy, there are small chapters on intriguing topics such as How To Talk To Writers and The Joy Of An Unfinished Series and Literary Criticism vs Talking About Books that are great reads outside of the book, and far more than just padding between book discussions.
No matter your stance on Science Fiction and Fantasy, this book stands alone as a wonderfully written guide to reading, and the articles are endlessly entertaining and readable in their own right. If you are a fan of the genre - this book is a must-buy, although I warn you that there's a likelihood that all the recommendations will leave you somewhat destitute.
And if you're not familiar with the genre?
Give it a go anyway. Jo Walton will welcome you in, show you around and make you feel very welcome indeed - I'll guarantee that you'll want to stay.
Many thanks to the publishers for the copy.
One of my favourite fantasy novels of recent years is Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Trilogy) by Brian McClellan - a gritty and action-packed romp that essentially combines the French Revolution with wizards...
The best Sci-Fi I've read in a while has to be Descent by Ken MacLeod - a clever, captivating and funny look at a very possible near future. You might also appreciate Geek Wisdom by Stephen H Segal and we can recommend Walton's The Philosopher Kings.
You can read more book reviews or buy What Makes This Book So Great: Re-Reading The Classics Of Science Fiction And Fantasy by Jo Walton at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy What Makes This Book So Great: Re-Reading The Classics Of Science Fiction And Fantasy by Jo Walton at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.