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Among Others

Among Others [Kindle Edition]

Jo Walton
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Product Description


2Among Others is a wonder and a joy."-- Jeff Vandermeer. New York Times.

Funny, acute, and impassioned . . . Walton's trying hard to do what I call moving the boundary: to alter, or make more permeable, the wall between the possible and the impossible. I think she almost succeeds."-- Ursula Le Guin.

"I don't believe I've seen, either in fiction or in memoir, as brilliant and tone-perfect an account of what discovering SF and fantasy can mean to its young readers... Remarkable." -- Gary K.Wolfe, Locus

"Never deigning to transcend the genre to which it is clearly a love letter, this outstanding (and entirely teen-appropriate) tale draws its strength from a sold foundation of sense-of-wonder and what-if." --Publishers Weekly

Among Others is about a young girl brought up in a magical family who is sent to a mundane, non-magical school; a captivatingly told mirror image of Harry Potter. --The Guardian

"If you love SF and fantasy, if reading it formed your teen years, if you do remember the magic you used to do, if you remember the absolute joy of first discovering those books, then read this."--Robin Hobb

"There are the books you want to give all your friends, and there are the books you wish you could go back and give your younger self. And then there's the rare book, like Jo Walton's Among Others, that's both."

Among Others is about a young girl brought up in a magical family who is sent to a mundane, non-magical school; a captivatingly told mirror image of Harry Potter. --The Guardian

If you love SF and fantasy, if reading it formed your teen years, if you do remember the magic you used to do, if you remember the absolute joy of first discovering those books, then read this. --Robin Hobb

Book Description

Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Winner of the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novel. 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 SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 526 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Corsair (20 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008GQHO86
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #80,102 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jo Walton writes science fiction and fantasy novels and reads a lot and eats great food. It worries her slightly that this is so exactly what she always wanted to do when she grew up. She comes from Wales, but lives in Montreal.


The King's Peace (Tor 2000)
The King's Name (Tor 2001)
The Prize in the Game (Tor 2002)
Tooth and Claw (Tor 2003, reprinted Orb 2009)
Farthing (Tor 2006)
Ha'Penny (Tor 2007)
Half a Crown (Tor 2008)
Lifelode (NESFA 2009)
Among Others (Tor 2011)

Poetry Collections

Muses and Lurkers (Rune Press 2001)
Sibyls and Spaceships (NESFA 2009)
The River and the Road (forthcoming from Aqueduct in 2013)


Copper Cylinder Award (Among Others 2012)

Hugo: (Among Others 2012)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, 2002

Mythopoeic Award (for Lifelode, 2010)

Nebula Award (for Among Others, 2012)

Prometheus Award (for Ha'Penny) 2008

Robert Holdstock Award (Among Others, 2012)

Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award (for Farthing) 2007
Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award (for Half a Crown) 2009
Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award (for Among Others 2012)

World Fantasy Award (for Tooth and Claw) 2004

Award Nominations

Indie Lit Awards: (Among Others 2012)
John W. Campbell Memorial (Farthing 2007)
Lambda (SF with gay/lesbian issues) (Ha'Penny 2008)
Locus (Farthing 2007, Among Others 2012)
Mythopoeic (Among Others 2012)
Nebula (Farthing 2007)
Prometheus (Libertarian) (Half a Crown 2009)
Quill (Farthing 2007)
Rhysling (SF poetry) (2007: "Candlemass Poem", in Lone Star Stories, Feb 2006)
Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice (Ha'Penny 2008)
Seiun (Best work translated into Japanese) (Farthing, Ha'Penny, Half a Crown 2011)
Sidewise (Alternate History) (Farthing 2007, Ha'Penny 2008, Half a Crown 2009)
Sunburst (Canadian Literature of the Fantastic) (Half a Crown 2009)
Tiptree Honor (Lifelode 2010)
World Fantasy Award (Among Others 2012)

Her livejournal, with wordcount, poetry, recipes and occasional actual journalling, is at: She also blogs about old books at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A marvelous affirmation of the transformative power of literature in the education of anyone, not merely the adolescent protagonist of this novel, "Among Others" is a beautifully rendered celebration of fantasy and science fiction as literature, worthy of recognition by a readership that should extend far beyond the typical audiences for fantasy and science fiction. If you love books, if you understand how they can inspire you and sustain you, then you have to read "Among Others", since it is not merely a most affectionate love letter for those who admire greatly both fantasy and science fiction. Walton's novel is also an enchanting coming-of-age story, demonstrating how her protagonist, Morwenna Phelps, finds refuge in the power of the written word and in an expanding social network of like-minded fans of fantasy and science fiction; a saga which should resonate strongly with anyone who began loving great literature in their youth. The more magical aspects of "Among Others" should not deter potential mainstream fiction readers, especially those familiar with the more fantastical elements of Jonathan Lethem's "The Fortress of Solitude" or Pete Hamill's "Snow in August". While delving into the make-believe worlds conjured by the likes of Samuel Delany, Ursula Le Guin, Robert Silverberg, and J. R. R. Tolkien, Morwenna also tempts fate by performing magic in her English boarding school, plunging unexpectedly towards an emotionally charged climax in which she must confront both her own destiny and her half-crazed magician mother's. This beautifully written ode to fantasy and science fiction is destined to be remembered as a classic work of fantasy and realism, admired and cherished by readers for generations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars mixed bag 28 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An unusual book really. Part homage to SF and Fantasy as a narrative reading list, part 70s coming of age memoir, part faerie story. I didn't feel the strands were well distributed, as the reading list side was overplayed. Strands of narrative we're unsatisfactorily abandoned. But it had charm and the central character was interesting and well written ( and likely partly autobiographical ). So a decent read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads well 24 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this with considerable enjoyment despite not having a great liking for magic as a genre. Jo Walton very cleverly allows you to hold off from making a decision about the existence of 'fairies; and magical action throughout the book. They could all be real or merely the overheated imagination of a young girl with many problems in her life. I also like her view that magic, if performable, is so fraught with unintended consequences ranging from one end of the universe to another that it is best avoided except on an entirely personal level. The tale ended well enough but I would have liked a bit more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 19 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A wonderful book. Told from the perspective of a young person who has been through traumas and has an unconventional and dysfunctional family. A must for adults who were avid sci fi readers as teenagers as these books are the main characters refuge as she makes her way through adolesence and learns about herself, friends and family. What is real and what is imagined is up to the reader to decide. A beautifully written and well crafted novel.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From one lover of interlibrary loans to another 14 Sep 2012
I kept exclaiming aloud whilst reading this, Mor just sounded exactly like me on so many points - about Welsh/English differences, how tap water tastes completely different outside the Valleys, and the blessing of civilization that is the free interlibrary loan system. I will certainly be using it to track down Mor's reading lists, in the case of any of the more unusual books she devours that might not be on here - I've never read SF before, but this has inspired me to give it a go.
The plot isn't the point of this book, so much as Mor's insights - and I liked that. Sometimes it's nice to get to know the character more, which the diary entries allow you to do. The author has captured the experiences of a childhood in the Welsh Valleys, with all the idiosyncrasies that entails, absolutely perfectly. It's lovely to have read this, and to return to it when I get homesick at uni! Will definitely be reading more of Jo Walton, a new author for me.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag... 30 Nov 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I run out of inspiration or recommendations for my next book purchase I often turn to the list of Hugo and Nebula Award winners and nominees, and pick something at random. This was how I came to 'Among Others' so I was more than a little surprised to find something which can, surely, only peripherally at most, describe itself as SF. This in of itself is no bad thing of course and, in a way, I almost felt like the novel was written for me - I grew up a bit later in the 80s but I was also the oddball, geeky, SF-loving bookworm, scored straight As in everything and went to an academically competitive all-girls school where hell really was other people! So I really wanted to love this but came away feeling dissatisfied.

Walton plays with and mixes genres here and it didn't work for me. On one hand the novel was reminiscent of the adolescent coming-of-age Judy Blume novels which teens used to read back in my day (maybe they still do?) - on the other, it felt like a long diarised reading-list of SF novels with characters pontificating about their contents at every given opportunity. I suppose this can partly be forgiven seeing as she's describing a book-club - and if you can't pontificate about books there then where can you? But there were several occasions where the reader's absence of knowledge of a given text did prevent complete understanding of what was going on.

The cynical part of me also wonders whether one of the reasons this book scooped the awards was because it serves so elegantly (and successfully - I have already ordered some of the novels Walton mentions!) as a marketing vessel for the genre...

On the positive side, I really enjoyed Walton's take on the world of magic and fairies. I liked the way she made it subtle, intangible and unpredictable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love boarding school stories
I love boarding school stories, and this was one with a difference. I couldn't put it down from start to finish.
Published 1 month ago by Sparklepony
5.0 out of 5 stars easy to read and believable
totally absorbing. easy to read and believable.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs S J McGuire
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky read for sci-fi loving geekettes everywhere
Really quirky book that I loved. Always good to have a girly geek as protagonist :)
Published 2 months ago by DebsMcG
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Recommended Reading List (nothing else)
Winner of both Hugo and Nebula SF Awards. Would it be too much to expect a SF novel?
Published 3 months ago by Paul FitzGerald
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange, left me wanting to know more, but loved every word.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, and I'm still not entirely sure what I got, but I loved it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Queen of Denmark
3.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi/Fan marketing ploy
Story about a young disabled Welsh girl whose mother is a witch. Even though she is long seperated from the mother she fears the mother is trying to kill her by devious and eveil... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Christopher Rice
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Great character, great narrator. There is something quite captivating about the storyline and the way the fantasy elements unfold here
Published 7 months ago by Stripyzebra
5.0 out of 5 stars Something else ..
I loved this book, I wouldn't have expected to like it so much from the cover - I thought it might be one my wife might enjoy more than me when I got it. Read more
Published 8 months ago by BH
2.0 out of 5 stars The Blurb Was Promising
As the title suggest the blurb makes this book sound so much better then it actually is. There isn't any kind of plot to this book and none of the characters were particularly... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Skyler Haslam
2.0 out of 5 stars OK idea. Very poor execution.
You have to wait until the last ten pages to have an insight into what this book might have been. They are exciting and compelling, and it's the only time when Ms Walton has... Read more
Published 12 months ago by roger
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