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What makes this book so great : re-reading the classics fo fantasy and SF

Author: Jo Walton
Publisher: London : Corsair, 2015.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Jo Walton is an award-winning author of, inveterate reader of, and chronic re-reader of science fiction and fantasy books. What Makes This Book So Great? is a selection of the best of her musings about her prodigious reading habit. Jo Walton's many subjects range from acknowledged classics, to guilty pleasures, to forgotten oddities and gems. Among them, the Zones of Thought novels of Vernor Vinge; the question of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jo Walton
ISBN: 9781472111616 1472111613
OCLC Number: 896854216
Notes: Originally published: 2014.
Description: pages cm
Contents: Why I re-read --
A Deepness in the Sky, the tragical history of Pham Nuwen --
The singularity problem and non-problem --
Random Acts of Senseless Violence : why isn't it a classic of the field? --
From herring to marmalade : the perfect plot of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency --
"That's just scenery" : what do we mean by "mainstream"? --
Re-reading long series --
The distopic earths of Heinlein's juveniles --
Happiness, meaning and significance : Karl Schroeder's Lady of Mazes --
The weirdest book in the world --
The poetry of deep time : Arthur C. Clark's Against the Fall of Night --
Clarke reimagined in hot pink : Tanith Leed's Biting the Sun --
Something rich and strange : Candas Jane Dorsey's Black Wine --
To trace impunity : Greg Egan's Permutation City --
Black and white and read a million times : Jerry Pournelle's Janissaries --
College as magic garden : why Pamela Dean's Tam Lin is a book you'll either love or hate --
Making the future work : Maureen McHugh's China Mountain Zhang --
Anathem : what does it gain from not being our world? --
A happy ending depends on when you stop : Heavy Time, Hellburner and C.J. Cherryh's Alliance-Union universe --
Knights who say "Fuck" : swearing in genre fiction --
"Earth is one world" : C.J. Cherryh's Downbelow Station --
"Space is wide and good friends are too few" : Cherryh's Merchanter novels --
"A need to deal wounds" : rape of men in Cherryh's Union-Alliance novels --
How to talk to writers --
"Give me back the Berlin Wall" : Ken MacLeod's The Sky Road --
What a pity she couldn't have single-handedly invented science fiction! George Eliot's Middlemarch --
The beauty of lists : Angelica Gorodischer's Kalpa Imperial --
Like pop rocks for the brain : Samuel R. Delany's Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand --
Between two worlds : S.P. Somtow's Jasmine Nights --
Lots of reasons to love these : Daniel Abraham's Long Price books --
Maori fantasy : Keri Hulme's The Bone People --
Better to have loved and lost? Series that go downhill --
More questions than answers : Robert A. Henlein's The Stone Pillow --
Weeping for her enemies : Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor --
Forward momentum : Lois McMaster Bujold's The Warrior's Apprentice --
Quest for ovaries : Lois McMaster Bujold's Ethan of Athos --
Why he must not fail : Lois McMaster Bujold's Borders of Infinity --
What have you done with your baby brother? Lois McMaster Bujold's Brothers in Arms --
Hard on his superiors : Lois McMaster Bujold's The Vor Game --
One birth, one death, and all the acts of pain and will between : Lois McMater Bujold's Barrayar --
All true wealth is biological : Lois McMaster Bujold's Mirros Dance --
Luck is something you make for yourself : Lois McMaster Bujold's Cetaganda --
This is my old identity, actually : Lois McMaster Bujold's Memory --
But I'm Vor : Lois McMaster Bujold's Komarr --
She's getting away! Lois McMaster Bujold's A Civil Campaign --
Just my job : Lois McMater Bujold's Diplomatic Immunity --
Every day is a gift : Lois McMaster Bujold's "Winterfair Gifts" --
Choose again, and change : Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga --
So, what sort of series do you like? --
Time travel and slavery : Octavia Butler's Kindred --
America the Beautiful : Terry Bisson's Fire on the Mountain --
Susan Palwick's Shelter --
Scintillations of a sensory syrynx : Samuel Delany's Nova --
You may not know it, but you want to read this : Francis Spufford's Backroom Boys : the Secret Return of the British Boffin --
Faster than light at any speed --
Gender and glaciers : Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness --
Licensed to see weasels and jade earrings : the short stories of Lord Dunsany --
The net of a million lies : Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep --
The worst book I love : Robert A. Heinlein's Friday --
India's superheroes : Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children --
A funny book with a lot of death in it : Iain Banks's The Crow Road --
More dimensions than you'd expect : Samuel Delany's Babel-17 --
Bad, but good : David Feintuch's Midshipman's Hope --
Subtly twisted history : John M. Ford's The Dragon Waiting --A very long poem : Alan Garner's Red Shift --
Beautiful, poetic and experimental : Roger Zelazny's Doorways in the Sand --
Waking the dragon : George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire --
Who reads cosy catastrophes? --
Stalinism vs champagne at the opera : Constantine Fitzgibbon's When the Kissing Had to Stop --
The future of the Commonwealth : Nevil Shute's In the Wet --
Twists of the God game : John Fowles's The Magus --
Playing the angles on a world : Steven Brust's Dragaera --
Jhereg feeds on others' kills : Steven Brust's Jhereg --
Yendi coils and strikes unseen : Steven Brust's Yendi --
A coachman's tale : Steven Brust's Brokedown Palace --
Frightened teckla hides in grass : Steven Brust's Teckla --
How can you tell? Steven Brust's Taltos --
Phoenix rise from ashes grey : Steven Brust's Phoenix --
I have been asking fo nothing else for an hour : Steven Brust's The Phoenix Guards --
Athyra rules minds' interplay : Steven Brust's Athyra --
What, is there more? Steven Brust's Five Hundred Years After --
Orca circles, hard and lean : Steven Brust's Orca --
Haughty dragon yearns to slay : Steven Brust's Dragon --
Issola strikes from courtly bow : Steven Brust's Issola --
What has gone before? --
The time about which I have the honor to write : Steven Brust's The Viscount of Adrilankha --
Dzur stalks and blends with night : Steven Brust's Dzur --
Jhegaala shifts as moments pass : Steven Brust's Jhegaala --
Quiet iorich won't forget : Steven Brust's Iorich --
Quakers in space : Molly Gloss's The Dazzle of Day --
Locked in our separate skulls : Raphael Carter's The Fortunate Fall --
Saving both worlds : Katherine Blake (Dorothy Heydt)'s The Interior Life --
Yearning for the unattainable : James Tiptree Jr.'s short stories --
SF reading protocols --
Incredibly readable : Robert A. Heinlein's The Door in Summer --
Nasty, but brilliant : John Barnes's Kaleidoscope Century --
Growing up in a space dystopia : John Barnes's Orbital Resonance --
The joy of an unfinished series --
Fantasy and the need to remake our origin stories --
The mind, the heart, sex, class, feminism, true love, intrigue, not your everyday ho-hum detective story : Dorothy Sayers's Gaudy Night --
Three short Hainish novels : Ursula K. Le Guin's Rocannon's World, Planet of Exile and City of Illusions --
On reflection, not very dangerous : Harlan Ellison's The Last Dangerous Visions --
Why do I re-read things I don't like? --
Yakking about who's civilised and who's not : H. Beam Piper's Space Viking --
Feast or famine? --
Bellona, Destroyer of Cities, Jay Schreib's play of Samuel Delany's Dhalgren --
Not much changes on the street, only the faces : George Alec Effinger's When Gravity Fails --
History inside out : Howard Waldrop's Them Bones --
I'd love this book if I didn't loathe the protagonist : Harry Turtledove and Judith Tarr's Household Gods --
Screwball-comedy time travel : John Kessel's Corrupting Dr. Nice --
Academic time travel : Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog --
The society of time : John Brunner's Times Without Number --
Five short stories with useless time travel --
Time control : Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity --
Texan ghost fantasy : Sean Stewart's Perfect Circle --
The language of stones : Terri Windling's The Wood Wife --
A great castle made of sea : why hasn't Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell been more influential? --
Gulp or sip : how do you read? --
Quincentennial : Arthur C. Clarke's Imperial Earth --
Do you skim? --
A merrier world : J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit --
Monuments from the future : Robert Charles Wilson's The Chronoliths --
The suck fairy --
Trains on the moon : John M. Ford's Growing Up Weightless --
Overlodading the sense : Samuel Delany's Nova --
Aliens and Jesuits : James Blish's A Case of Conscience --
Swiftly goes the swordplay : Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword --
The work of disenchantment never ends : Kim Stanley Robinson's Icehenge --
Literary criticism vs talking about books.
Responsibility: Jo Walton.

Abstract:

A unique book, from the incomparable Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Among Others, Jo Walton: What Makes This Book So Great: Re-Reading the Classics of Fantasy and SF is a collection of  Read more...

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Walton's critical gift is her ability to help you love your favorites even more, and to be fascinating, at length, on books you don't give a damn about. This is a remarkable guided tour through the Read more...

 
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Clark's Against the Fall of Night -- Clarke reimagined in hot pink : Tanith Leed's Biting the Sun -- Something rich and strange : Candas Jane Dorsey's Black Wine -- To trace impunity : Greg Egan's Permutation City -- Black and white and read a million times : Jerry Pournelle's Janissaries -- College as magic garden : why Pamela Dean's Tam Lin is a book you'll either love or hate -- Making the future work : Maureen McHugh's China Mountain Zhang -- Anathem : what does it gain from not being our world? -- A happy ending depends on when you stop : Heavy Time, Hellburner and C.J. Cherryh's Alliance-Union universe -- Knights who say "Fuck" : swearing in genre fiction -- "Earth is one world" : C.J. Cherryh's Downbelow Station -- "Space is wide and good friends are too few" : Cherryh's Merchanter novels -- "A need to deal wounds" : rape of men in Cherryh's Union-Alliance novels -- How to talk to writers -- "Give me back the Berlin Wall" : Ken MacLeod's The Sky Road -- What a pity she couldn't have single-handedly invented science fiction! George Eliot's Middlemarch -- The beauty of lists : Angelica Gorodischer's Kalpa Imperial -- Like pop rocks for the brain : Samuel R. Delany's Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand -- Between two worlds : S.P. Somtow's Jasmine Nights -- Lots of reasons to love these : Daniel Abraham's Long Price books -- Maori fantasy : Keri Hulme's The Bone People -- Better to have loved and lost? Series that go downhill -- More questions than answers : Robert A. Henlein's The Stone Pillow -- Weeping for her enemies : Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor -- Forward momentum : Lois McMaster Bujold's The Warrior's Apprentice -- Quest for ovaries : Lois McMaster Bujold's Ethan of Athos -- Why he must not fail : Lois McMaster Bujold's Borders of Infinity -- What have you done with your baby brother? Lois McMaster Bujold's Brothers in Arms -- Hard on his superiors : Lois McMaster Bujold's The Vor Game -- One birth, one death, and all the acts of pain and will between : Lois McMater Bujold's Barrayar -- All true wealth is biological : Lois McMaster Bujold's Mirros Dance -- Luck is something you make for yourself : Lois McMaster Bujold's Cetaganda -- This is my old identity, actually : Lois McMaster Bujold's Memory -- But I'm Vor : Lois McMaster Bujold's Komarr -- She's getting away! Lois McMaster Bujold's A Civil Campaign -- Just my job : Lois McMater Bujold's Diplomatic Immunity -- Every day is a gift : Lois McMaster Bujold's "Winterfair Gifts" -- Choose again, and change : Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga -- So, what sort of series do you like? -- Time travel and slavery : Octavia Butler's Kindred -- America the Beautiful : Terry Bisson's Fire on the Mountain -- Susan Palwick's Shelter -- Scintillations of a sensory syrynx : Samuel Delany's Nova -- You may not know it, but you want to read this : Francis Spufford's Backroom Boys : the Secret Return of the British Boffin -- Faster than light at any speed -- Gender and glaciers : Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness -- Licensed to see weasels and jade earrings : the short stories of Lord Dunsany -- The net of a million lies : Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep -- The worst book I love : Robert A. Heinlein's Friday -- India's superheroes : Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children -- A funny book with a lot of death in it : Iain Banks's The Crow Road -- More dimensions than you'd expect : Samuel Delany's Babel-17 -- Bad, but good : David Feintuch's Midshipman's Hope -- Subtly twisted history : John M. Ford's The Dragon Waiting --A very long poem : Alan Garner's Red Shift -- Beautiful, poetic and experimental : Roger Zelazny's Doorways in the Sand -- Waking the dragon : George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire -- Who reads cosy catastrophes? -- Stalinism vs champagne at the opera : Constantine Fitzgibbon's When the Kissing Had to Stop -- The future of the Commonwealth : Nevil Shute's In the Wet -- Twists of the God game : John Fowles's The Magus -- Playing the angles on a world : Steven Brust's Dragaera -- Jhereg feeds on others' kills : Steven Brust's Jhereg -- Yendi coils and strikes unseen : Steven Brust's Yendi -- A coachman's tale : Steven Brust's Brokedown Palace -- Frightened teckla hides in grass : Steven Brust's Teckla -- How can you tell? Steven Brust's Taltos -- Phoenix rise from ashes grey : Steven Brust's Phoenix -- I have been asking fo nothing else for an hour : Steven Brust's The Phoenix Guards -- Athyra rules minds' interplay : Steven Brust's Athyra -- What, is there more? Steven Brust's Five Hundred Years After -- Orca circles, hard and lean : Steven Brust's Orca -- Haughty dragon yearns to slay : Steven Brust's Dragon -- Issola strikes from courtly bow : Steven Brust's Issola -- What has gone before? -- The time about which I have the honor to write : Steven Brust's The Viscount of Adrilankha -- Dzur stalks and blends with night : Steven Brust's Dzur -- Jhegaala shifts as moments pass : Steven Brust's Jhegaala -- Quiet iorich won't forget : Steven Brust's Iorich -- Quakers in space : Molly Gloss's The Dazzle of Day -- Locked in our separate skulls : Raphael Carter's The Fortunate Fall -- Saving both worlds : Katherine Blake (Dorothy Heydt)'s The Interior Life -- Yearning for the unattainable : James Tiptree Jr.'s short stories -- SF reading protocols -- Incredibly readable : Robert A. Heinlein's The Door in Summer -- Nasty, but brilliant : John Barnes's Kaleidoscope Century -- Growing up in a space dystopia : John Barnes's Orbital Resonance -- The joy of an unfinished series -- Fantasy and the need to remake our origin stories -- The mind, the heart, sex, class, feminism, true love, intrigue, not your everyday ho-hum detective story : Dorothy Sayers's Gaudy Night -- Three short Hainish novels : Ursula K. Le Guin's Rocannon's World, Planet of Exile and City of Illusions -- On reflection, not very dangerous : Harlan Ellison's The Last Dangerous Visions -- Why do I re-read things I don't like? -- Yakking about who's civilised and who's not : H. Beam Piper's Space Viking -- Feast or famine? -- Bellona, Destroyer of Cities, Jay Schreib's play of Samuel Delany's Dhalgren -- Not much changes on the street, only the faces : George Alec Effinger's When Gravity Fails -- History inside out : Howard Waldrop's Them Bones -- I'd love this book if I didn't loathe the protagonist : Harry Turtledove and Judith Tarr's Household Gods -- Screwball-comedy time travel : John Kessel's Corrupting Dr. Nice -- Academic time travel : Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog -- The society of time : John Brunner's Times Without Number -- Five short stories with useless time travel -- Time control : Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity -- Texan ghost fantasy : Sean Stewart's Perfect Circle -- The language of stones : Terri Windling's The Wood Wife -- A great castle made of sea : why hasn't Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell been more influential? -- Gulp or sip : how do you read? -- Quincentennial : Arthur C. 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