Book - 2018
"In her first collection, award-winning novelist Jo Walton delivers both subtle legends and reinvented realities. An ancient coin cyber-spies on lovers and thieves. The magic mirror sees all but can do nothing. A cloned savior solves a fanatically-inspired murder. Three Irish siblings thieve treasures with bad poetry and the aid of the Queen of Cats"--Back cover.
- Starlings (a poem)
- Fiction. Three twilight tales ; Jane Austen to Cassandra ; Unreliable witness ; On the wall ; The panda coin ; Remember the allosaur ; Sleeper ; Relentlessly mundane ; Escape to other worlds with science fiction ; Joyful and triumphant: St. Zenobius and the aliens ; Turnover ; At the bottom of the garden ; Out of it ; What a piece of work ; Parable lost ; What would Sam Spade do? ; Tradition ; What Joseph felt ; The need to stay the same ; A burden shared ; Three shouts on a hill (a play)
- Poems. Dragon's song ; Not in this town ; Hades and Persephone ; The death of Petrarch ; Advice to Loki ; Ask to Embla ; Three bears Norse ; Machiavelli and Prospero ; Cardenio ; Ten years ahead: oracle poem ; Pax in Forma Columba ; Translated from the original ; Sleepless in New Orleans ; The Godzilla sonnets ; Not a bio for Wiscon: Jo Walton.
In the introduction to Walton's first story collection, the author claims to have spent most of her career not knowing how to write a short story. One of the few pieces she acknowledges as a "proper" story is the marvelous and sad "A Burden Shared," set in a future where an app allows users to share their pain with others. But there are also first chapters of books never penned, extended jokes, and writing exercises that allowed Walton to play with a theme or point of view that intrigued her. All are enjoyable, no matter how brief. One of the entertaining experiments is "The Panda Coin," which follows a single coin as it is passed from person to person on a space station. There is also a hilarious play, "Three Shouts on a Hill," which pokes fun at the heroic quest. The volume concludes with a lovely sampling of Walton's poetry. VERDICT This collection of 20 stories, 15 poems, and a single one-act play demonstrates Walton's versatility as an author whose novels have also bounced among genres with kinetic abandon, including the Nebula- and Hugo Award-winning Among Others.—KC Copyright 2017 Library Journal.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
This collection of fiction and poetry from Hugo- and Nebula-winner Walton (The Just City) showcases her trademark focus on genre and philosophical questions. Most of the fiction is very brief, and fans of the form will have plenty to appreciate. The strongest story is the relatively long "The Panda Coin," which follows the path of a gold coin as it passes through the economy of a space station. Cleverest is "Sleeper," the story of a future biographer interviewing a simulation of her 20th-century subject. The inclusion of "Tradition," however, is unfortunate, as it's an undisguised, nearly point-for-point rehashing of a very common joke, and the play "Three Shouts on a Hill" fails to rise above the tropes and clichés it attempts to interrogate. Of the poetry included at the end, "Machiavelli and Prospero" stands out as a rewarding and clever piece of character insight, and "Sleepless in New Orleans" is particularly striking for its voice. The collection will appeal most strongly to Walton's dedicated fans and those with academic interest in her work. (Feb.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.
The first collection of stories by award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among Others, Necessity).Review by Publisher Summary 2
“Starlings isn’t really a short-story collection. It’s something better: a written showreel, illustrating yet again that [Walton’s] imagination stretches to the stars (or the starlings), and that she’s endlessly inventive in finding new methods to express it.”—NPR BooksAn ancient coin cyber-spies on lovers and thieves. The magic mirror sees all but can do nothing. A cloned savior solves a fanatically-inspired murder. Three Irish siblings thieve treasures with bad poetry and the aid of the Queen of Cats.With these captivating initial glimpses into her storytelling psyche, Jo Walton shines through subtle myths and reinvented realities. Through eclectic stories, subtle vignettes, inspired poetry, and more, Walton soars with humans, machines, and magic—rising from the every day into the universe itself.Review by Publisher Summary 3
The first collection of stories by award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among Others, Necessity).