Among Others

Jo Walton
Among Others Cover

Among Others


Among Others has magic and witches and fairies, so, it is a fantasy, right? Well I'm not so sure. This book fits right in with mainstream literature and really doesn't need to be saddled with a genre label. It may be a fantasy, or it may just have an unreliable narrator. It's entirely possible that the narrator is not sane, though towards the end of the book, she does get a witness to see fairies. Or maybe she just tells us that he saw them.

Mori, a fifteen year old girl, is in a strange family situation, having run away from her mother, a dark witch. She tells us all about it, the whole story, in her daily journal entries. Her twin sister was killed and she was partially crippled when hit by a car trying to avoid one of her mother's spells. She's pretty sure her father's three sisters are witches, too. They enroll her in a boarding school and she joins a science fiction book club at the town library. She's an avid reader and loves science fiction. She discovers the book club after using magic to find a karass. This is an allusion to Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, but I don't think she ever really explains that. She does that a lot. There are references to Anarres, George Orr, and others. She even says "hot jets". If you haven't read the books these references are from, they'll just go right over your head. I know there were many that I didn't recognize because I hadn't read the books. She mentions a lot of science fiction books, lots and lots. She loves Zelazny, Heinlein, Le Guin, and Vonnegut; Doesn't think much of Dick.

Here is a listing, probably not complete, of the books (and a handful of short stories) mentioned in Among Others, in order of appearance:

  1. Lord of the Rings
  2. Ursula Le Guin's The Wind's Twelve Quarters, Volume 2
  3. John Boyd's The Last Starship from Earth
  4. Judith Kerr's When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
  5. Anderson's Ensign Flandry
  6. Roger Zelazny's Creatures of Light and Darkness
  7. Empire Star by Samuel R. Delany.
  8. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
  9. Cat's Cradle
  10. Breakfast of Champions
  11. The Sirens of Titan
  12. Zenna Henderson-Pilgrimage
  13. A Canticle for Leibowitz
  14. Dying Inside
  15. Have Spacesuit, Will Travel
  16. The Chrysalids
  17. The Bull From the Sea
  18. The Charioteer
  19. The Lathe of Heaven
  20. Dragonflight
  21. Le Guin's City of Illusions
  22. Larry Niven's The Flight of the Horse
  23. Ringworld
  24. A Gift From Earth
  25. Out of the Silent Planet,
  26. James Tiptree, Jr.' s Warm Worlds and Otherwise
  27. Nine Princes in Amber
  28. The Guns of Avalon
  29. Our Mutual Friend
  30. Samuel Delany's Triton
  31. Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle
  32. The Starlight Barking
  33. Purposes of Love
  34. The Last of the Wine
  35. The Magus.
  36. "The Girl Who Was Plugged In"
  37. "Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death"
  38. The Left Hand of the Electron
  39. The End of Eternity
  40. The Communist Manifesto
  41. The Symposium,
  42. World of Ptaavs, Niven
  43. Time Enough For Love
  44. Sturgeon story in Dangerous Visions, "If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?"
  45. Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Spell Sword
  46. Delany's Babel 17
  47. Glory Road
  48. Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
  49. Waldo and Magic, Inc.
  50. Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword
  51. Telempath
  52. Up the Line
  53. Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains
  54. Heritage of the Star
  55. Four Quartets
  56. Ted Hughes's Crow
  57. Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsinger
  58. Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen Donaldson
  59. A Wizard of Earthsea.
  60. The Silmarillion
  61. The Hobbit
  62. The Crystal Cave
  63. The Shockwave Rider, Brunner
  64. Stand on Zanzibar
  65. Arthur C. Clarke's Imperial Earth
  66. Childhood's End
  67. 2001
  68. Born With the Dead
  69. Alan Garner, Red Shift
  70. The Dispossessed.
  71. The Shockwave Rider
  72. Clifford Simak's City
  73. Frank Herbert's Dune
  74. Plato's Republic
  75. Josephine Tey, Daughter of Time
  76. Nevil Shute's An Old Captivity
  77. Brave New World,
  78. The Eye of the Heron
  79. The Word For World is Forest
  80. The Left Hand of Darkness
  81. Stepsons of Terra
  82. Voyage to Alpha Centauri
  83. Poul Anderson's Guardians of Time
  84. The World Inside
  85. Make Room! Make Room!
  86. The Dark Is Rising,"
  87. The Mote in God's Eye
  88. The Pern books: The White Dragon
  89. Dragonquest
  90. Citizen of the Galaxy
  91. The Grey King
  92. Silver on the Tree
  93. The Farthest Shore!
  94. Emma
  95. Star Wars
  96. Isaac Asimov's Guide to Science
  97. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  98. Four Quartets
  99. Charisma by Michael Coney
  100. Hello Summer, Goodbye
  101. Sign of the Unicorn!
  102. the Foundation Trilogy
  103. The Dream Master
  104. Clement's Mission of Gravity
  105. Piers Anthony, Vicinity Cluster
  106. Chaining the Lady,
  107. A Spell for Chameleon
  108. Mary Renault's Return to Night
  109. Brat Farrar
  110. Isle of the Dead.
  111. Return to Night
  112. The Greeks by H. D. F. Kitto
  113. Brunner's Telepathist.
  114. Space Hostages
  115. "Houston, Houston"
  116. Doorways in the Sand
  117. Roadmarks
  118. Charisma
  119. Heinlein: The Number of the Beast
  120. Starship Troopers
  121. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,"
  122. This Immortal
  123. The Sword of Shannara
  124. "And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill's Side"
  125. Mary Renault's The Persian Boy
  126. Phaedrus
  127. The Laws
  128. Pavane.
  129. Times Without Number
  130. Dick's The Man in the High Castle
  131. Ward Moore's Bring the Jubilee
  132. Christopher Priest's A Dream of Wessex
  133. Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen
  134. Too Many Magicians.
  135. Theodore Sturgeon's A Touch of Strange,
  136. Christopher Priest's Inverted World,
  137. Gate of Ivrel by C. J. Cherryh
  138. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

There is a Goodreads Listopia with a somewhat different list than mine, here: