What Makes This Book So Great

What Makes This Book So Great
By Jo Walton

whatmakesIn 2012 Montreal resident Jo Walton won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Among Others, a novel about a young girl’s love for classic SF. It was obviously a book close to Walton’s heart, as she is both an indefatigable reader and someone who really enjoys talking about what she reads. Since 2008 she has been writing a reader’s blog for the SF publisher Tor, from which this collection of over 130 short essays is drawn.

As befits their origin, these aren’t so much in-depth critical reviews or even sketches of classics revisited as they are brief, informal appreciations of sometimes obscure favourites that Walton has found herself re-reading. A pair of authors who aren’t household names — Lois McMaster Bujold and Steven Brust — are particularly well represented, while in thematic essays interesting topics such as genre fiction’s use of blue language and what to do when a promising multi-volume series goes to the dogs are addressed. A well-informed and thoroughly engaging companion, especially for fans of contemporary SF.

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