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What Makes This Book So Great collects Jo Walton's Tor.com blog posts written between 2008 and 2011. In each entry she lovingly revisits a favorite science fiction or fantasy title that has fallen out of the public eye. In these pages you will discover both Jo Walton's enchanting style (even and especially when she writes about books you've never heard of) and a treasure trove of classic titles you will immediately need to add to your to-read list.Rebecca — From What Makes This Books So Great
As any reader of Jo Walton's Among Others might guess, Walton is both an inveterate reader of SF and fantasy, and a chronic re-reader of books. In 2008, then-new science-fiction mega-site Tor.com asked Walton to blog regularly about her re-reading—about all kinds of older fantasy and SF, ranging from acknowledged classics, to guilty pleasures, to forgotten oddities and gems. These posts have consistently been among the most popular features of Tor.com. Now this volumes presents a selection of the best of them, ranging from short essays to long reassessments of some of the field's most ambitious series.
Among Walton's many subjects here are the Zones of Thought novels of Vernor Vinge; the question of what genre readers mean by "mainstream"; the underappreciated SF adventures of C. J. Cherryh; the field's many approaches to time travel; the masterful science fiction of Samuel R. Delany; Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children; the early Hainish novels of Ursula K. Le Guin; and a Robert A. Heinlein novel you have most certainly never read.
Over 130 essays in all, What Makes This Book So Great is an immensely readable, engaging collection of provocative, opinionated thoughts about past and present-day fantasy and science fiction, from one of our best writers.
"For readers unschooled in the history of SF/F, this book is a treasure trove."—Publishers Weekly